Donald Trump was booed by crowds in Alabama at his “Save America” rally when he recommended they get vaccinated against Covid.
The former president told his supporters: “I believe totally in your freedoms, I do, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. But I recommend take the vaccines.”
His suggestion was met with boos, as can be heard in a video shared by Vox journalist Aaron Rupar on Twitter.
Mr Trump still insisted that vaccines are “good” and encouraged them to get the jab.
“You’ve got your freedoms,” he said. “But I happened to take the vaccine.”
After the booing died down, Mr Trump, who was vaccinated at the White House in January 2021, assured the crowd: “If it doesn’t work you’ll be the first to know”, to a ripple of laughter.
“l’ll call up Alabama and say hey, you know what?” he continued. “But it is working.”
According to the Daily Beast, Mr Trump’s allies have encouraged him to run a pro-vaccination campaign, which he has been reluctant to do, fearing – correctly if the response in Alabama is any indication – that the position would be unpopular with his supporters.
Although the former president was vaccinated while still in office at the start of the year, he did so privately, and the American public were not made aware of it until March.
More than 400,000 Americans had died of coronavirus when Trump left office, and that number has since increased to more than 600,000.