Ex-president Donald Trump, during a rally in Alabama on Saturday, told his supporters to get the COVID-19 vaccine but was booed in return.
“And you know what? I believe totally in your freedoms. I do. You’ve got to do what you have to do,” he said. “But I recommend take the vaccines. I did it. It’s good. Take the vaccines.”
Echoing boos were heard from the sea of people, most of whom without masks.
“No, that’s OK. That’s all right. You got your freedoms,” he said. “But I happened to take the vaccine. If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know. OK? I’ll call up Alabama, I’ll say, hey, you know what? But [the vaccine] is working. But you do have your freedoms you have to keep. You have to maintain that.”
Huge parts of the South are suffering from increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations because of the more infectious delta variant of the coronavirus.
The rally was specifically held in Cullman, where an increase in cases is recorded like what it experienced last December when cases peaked. A state of emergency was declared in the city on Thursday to give more emergency assistance for the rally.
According to an NBC News tracker, Alabama, with more than just 36 percent vaccinated people among its population, poses the lowest vaccination rate across the nation.
Republican Gov. Kay Ivey pinned the blame on the surge of cases to “the unvaccinated folks”.
The New York Times this month reported that most of the hospitalized individuals and deaths due to COVID are unvaccinated.
Republicans were seen to be the second-least-likely demographic group to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation vaccination tracking poll, NBC News reported.
Previously, Trump has campaigned for vaccination but states along with it. He endorsed vaccines during an interview with Fox Business last week but alleged that the Biden administration’s recommendation for booster shots is “a money-making operation for Pfizer.”