Karma? Donald Trump got booed by his own supporters after telling them: “I recommend taking the vaccines.”
The former US president spoke at a rally in Cullman, Alabama, on Saturday night in a bid to support US Rep, Mo Brooks’s bid to move from his place in the US House for a Senate seat.
Like other US states that have been resistant to vaccinations and other COVID safety measures – normally stoked by Republican leadership – Alabama has declared a COVID state of emergency.
“I believe totally in your freedoms,” Trump said.
“I do, you’re free, you got to do what you have to do.”
“But I recommend taking the vaccines. I did it, it’s good, take the vaccines.”
The backlash is weird, as Trump was vaccinated while in office, after being hospitalised with COVID in October last year.
Responding to the boos and jeers, Trump affirmed his supporters’ rights to their freedom, despite unvaccinated people making up an overwhelming majority of hospitalisations and deaths from COVID in the US.
“That’s OK. That’s all right. That’s good, you got your freedoms,” he said.
“But I happen to take the vaccine. If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know. OK.”
Trump advises his audience in Alabama to take the Covid vaccine pic.twitter.com/aaxQfnnxoh
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 22, 2021
Ahead of the Trump rally, Alabama’s authorities said they feared a super-spreader event as the Delta variant disperses across the US.
According to the state hospital association, 85 per cent of COVID patients hospitalised this week were unvaccinated in Alabama. An even greater surge in COVID cases is being seen among children.
Alabama had 50 children hospitalised with COVID alone.
Dr Karen Landers, a pediatrician with the Alabama health department, told the Associated Press that she was “very concerned … children can and do contract and spread Covid-19”.
Trump hasn’t spoken in Alabama in 4 years (cause he loves it so much) but is holding a rally there tonight while covid surges and the state has 0 available ICU beds, further siphoning-off resources. I really wish folks we see he is trying to destroy USA, that’s literally the gig.
— NoelCaslerComedy (@caslernoel) August 21, 2021
Things also got heated for Mo Brooks, who spoke immediately after Trump about the 2020 election, urging the crowd to “put that behind you.”
“There are some people who are despondent about the voter fraud and election theft in 2020,” Brooks said.
“Folks, put that behind you, put that behind you.”
You can guess how well that went down.
The crowd immediately broke into boos and chants of “no!” in response.
“Yes,” Brooks told the booing crowd, which only intensified.
“Look forward, look forward, look forward. Beat them in 2022, beat them in 2024.”