Former President Donald Trump was briefly booed at a rally on Saturday in Alabama after telling his supporters they should get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Trump, who held a rally in Cullman, about 50 miles north of Birmingham, touted to rally goers that the three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – were developed in under nine months during his presidency. He then suggested that they get the vaccine.
"You know what? I believe totally in your freedoms. You got to do what you have to do, but I recommend: Take the vaccines. I did it – it's good," he said.
Shortly afterward, some boos could be heard in the crowd, which was mostly maskless. Trump acknowledged the crowd's reaction and said it was OK.
"That's alright. You got your freedoms. But I happen to take the vaccine. If it doesn't work, you'll be the first to know. I'll call Alabama say, 'Hey you know what?' but it is working. But you do have your freedoms."
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Alabama has the lowest percentage of people in the nation who are fully vaccinated at 36%, according to a USA TODAY analysis. Only four states – Idaho, Wyoming, Mississippi and West Virginia – have a lower percentage of people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Alabama is at 48%.
On the other hand, Alabama reported no new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, two days after 3,890 new cases were reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the state's public health department, more than 21,000 positive cases have been reported in the past week, and nearly every county, including Cullman, has been designated high transmission. It was also reported last week that the state had no more ICU beds available.
The states' low vaccination rate was the subject of criticism from Gov. Kay Ivey, who said in July that it was "time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks" for the state's increasing positive cases. The city of Cullman declared a state of local emergency on Thursday, and a local hospital requested that the city provide emergency services for the Trump rally, because overcrowding made it difficult for the hospital to do so.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.