Sen. Lindsey Graham R-S.C., was booed on Saturday for encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
In a video from a Republican event in a South Carolina country club event, Graham tells attendees "If you haven't had the vaccine you ought to think about getting it because if you're my age -" until he was quickly interrupted by booing and jeering.
The audience replied "No!"
Graham responded, "I didn't tell you to get it, you ought to think about it." Again, the audience booed and shouted "No!" again.
Graham mentioned how an overwhelming majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.
"Well I'm glad I got it. 92% of the people in the hospitals in South Carolina aren't vaccinated." said Graham, only to be heckled a third time by the crowd. "False!" said one attendee.
Graham is one of many prominent Republican politicians that have expressed support and encouragement for people to get a COVID-19 vaccine. In August, Graham tested positive for COVID-19, and he wrote on Twitter, "I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse."
Despite overwhelming evidence the vaccine is safe and effective, and encouragement from Republican leaders, Graham along with many of his colleagues have faced criticism and backlash from Republican supporters for encouraging the vaccine. In August, former President Trump told supporters in an Alabama rally, "Take the vaccine! I did it, it's good. Take the vaccines!" The crowd promptly responded with boos.
Prominent Republicans have faced so much opposition from their own base for supporting the vaccines because of misinformation that has been mainly circulating among Republicans. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., was suspended on Twitter for tweeting the vaccines were "failing".
According to The New York Times, there is a large partisan divide between who is vaccinated. Almost every state that voted for Biden in the 2020 election has a higher vaccination rate than almost every state that voted for Trump.
Graham tried to placate the audience by reiterating that he opposes vaccine mandates. "I'm with you on 'let's don't mandate.' I'm with you, that is probably unconstitutional." said Graham.