Former President Donald Trump heard an unfamiliar sound during his Saturday night rally in Cullman, Alabama: Booing, directed at him.
The jeers at Trump events are usually aimed at the media, Twitter and Facebook, Hillary Clinton, or anyone with the last name of Biden, but this time, they came after Trump encouraged the crowd to get vaccinated against COVID-19. "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."
Immediately, people began to boo. "That's okay," Trump responded. "That's all right. That's good, you got your freedoms. But I happen to take the vaccine. If it doesn't work, you'll be the first to know. Okay." Trump was hospitalized last October with COVID-19, and was vaccinated before leaving the White House in January.
Alabama has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with the highly contagious Delta variant causing a surge in cases. Alabama health officials said 85 percent of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, and there has been an increase in the number of children with COVID-19; this week, 50 infected kids have been hospitalized, The Guardian reports.
Officials shared their concerns that Trump's rally would be a super-spreader event, with Luke Satterfield, an attorney for Cullman, saying beforehand that the city wants to "prevent as many non-COVID related things as possible, so our hospital can use its resources to focus on the pandemic and its variants. We don't want to put any extra strain on them."