John Oliver Visits ‘Sesame Street’ to Raise Lead Poisoning Awareness (Video)

“Last Week Tonight” host rips Congress for failure to fund programs that would reduce lead levels

John Oliver enlisted help from some friends on “Sesame Street” to make Americans more aware of the country’s lead problem.

Along with Elmo, Rosita and Oscar, Oliver sang a song about getting the government to take notice of the persistent lead crisis that faces lower income families in America.

Earlier in the segment, Oliver grimly noted that Flint, Michigan, is not the only community facing a serious problem with lead. A USA Today Network report found that lead contamination is present in 2,000 other water systems across all 50 states.

In addition, there are 7.3 million lead service lines across the country, which cannot be removed as the government is not sure where they all are.

Oliver then cited a study which found that while the cost of at least containing lead may seem high, the return on every dollar spent would be at least $17 in terms of lower crime rates, more productive citizens, and reduced medical bills.

The problem is that Congress has consistently voted to defund the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that is responsible for combating lead, which primarily affects poor Americans who can’t afford to live in houses with lower lead levels.

“So most people with lead problems are stuck in homes they can’t leave and doing their best to avoid danger,” Oliver said. “Which may sound familiar because it’s the plot of every f–king horror movie ever made!”

Watch the video above.