Audience members at the mostly maskless “Save America” rally in Cullman, Alabama, booed former President Donald Trump on Saturday when he encouraged them to “take the vaccines” — his most forceful endorsement to date. The booing prompted observations on Twitter that this was “that moment your monster turns on you.”
Alabama has the lowest vaccination rate in the U.S., with slightly more than 36 percent of people fully jabbed, according to an NBC News tracker. Republican Gov. Kay Ivey has blamed “the unvaccinated folks” for Alabama’s covid resurgence, NBC News reported.
Trump acknowledged the rights and freedoms of audience members to boo him and go maskless, echoing opponents of vaccine and mask mandates.
“No, that’s OK. That’s all right. You got your freedoms,” Trump 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.”
An NBC News poll shows the demographic breakdown of the vaccinated in the U.S. with 69 percent of adult respondents saying they’ve already been vaccinated, versus 13 percent saying they won’t get ever get vaccinated.
According to the poll, 88 percent of Democrat respondents said they have been vaccinated, 60 percent of Independents said they have been vaccinated and 55 percent of Republicans said so.
Trump’s message struck a dissonant chord with @NomessTess, who tweeted, “Your voters dying before they get to the ballot box isn’t good for numbers I guess.”
The same poll tried to gauge support for Trump over party, and 46 percent of Republican respondents said they support Trump more than party vs. 62 percent of Republican respondents who said they support the party more than Trump.
“The pandemic will end when these people love their children more than they hate the vaccine,” Ara Rubyan tweeted
Despite claiming credit for the manufacture of vaccines during his administration, Trump conspicuously failed to actually tell people to get vaccinated or to disclose that he received the vaccine, Washington Post reported. Polls show that most of the unvaccinated don’t believe Trump supports vaccinations and didn’t know he has been jabbed.
Trump being booed at the rally on Saturday gave us “a little taste of how difficult that vaccine-resistant genie will be to put back in the bottle,” Aaron Blake wrote in a Washington Post analysis. The GOP “will struggle to confront the conspiratorial impulses it has allowed to spread largely unchecked,” Blake continued.
Trump being booed by his own supporters at a rally is largely unprecedented. The only other time it happened is when Trump praised Tom Brady at a 2016 rally in Maryland.
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