Aug. 24, 2021 - Former President Donald Trump was booed at a rally in Cullman, Alabama, over the weekend when he urged the crowd to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I believe totally in your freedoms. I do. You’ve got to do what you have to do,” Trump said Saturday. “But I recommend: take the vaccines. I did it. It’s good. Take the vaccines.”
Some people in the largely maskless crowd started booing. Trump responded to the boos by saying it was “OK.”
“But I happen to take the vaccine,” he said. “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.”
Trump decided to hold the “Save America” rally in Cullman despite the city declaring a COVID state of emergency on Thursday because of a high infection rate. Alabama has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, 36%, and is running low on ICU beds to accommodate COVID patients.
Trump has previously urged people to get vaccinated. In a May interview on Fox News, he said, “I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly. … It is a safe vaccine, and it is something that works.”
Trump was vaccinated while in office. While president he contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized after regularly ignoring COVID safety measures such as mask wearing and social distancing.