Trump Avoids Word 'Vaccine' at Alaska Rally After Boos in Alabama

Former President Donald Trump appeared to avoid saying the word "vaccine" during his rally in Alaska on Saturday after he was booed for encouraging his supporters to get vaccinated in past rallies.

He has often found himself at odds over the vaccine with segments of his voters. The former president has vocally supported the vaccine, touting it as one of his accomplishments during his presidential tenure. However, many of his own voters have expressed skepticism about the vaccine, which is shown to prevent severe illness from COVID-19.

Trump acknowledged the tension Saturday, when he skirted around using the word while simultaneously boasting about his efforts to get out a vaccine within the first year of the pandemic. His remarks illustrate the extent of how the vaccine, which received wide support from both major parties, have become politicized.

"We did so much in terms of therapeutics, and a word that I'm not allowed to mention—but I'm still proud of that word," he said. "We did that in nine months, and it was supposed to take five years to 12 years and nobody else could've done it. But I'm not mentioning it in front of my own people."

Trump avoids saying vaccine during rally
Former President Donald Trump avoided the word “vaccine” during his Alaska rally on Saturday. In a previous rally, some audience members booed him when he touted his accomplishments with COVID-19 vaccines. Above, Trump speaks during rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

He added that "someday we're going to have to all sit down and have a little talk."

Vaccines Booed at Trump Rally

During a rally in Alabama last August, Trump was met with boos from some of his supporters for saying they should take the COVID-19 vaccination.

"And you know what? I believe totally in your freedoms. I do. You've got to do what you have to do. But I recommend take the vaccines. I did it. It's good. Take the vaccines," Trump said, prompting loud boos from some audience members.

He was met with a similarly icy reception from his supporters in December, when he said during an event in Texas that he had received a booster shot, which was recommended amid an Omicron-fueled surge in cases over the winter.

Most Americans, regardless of political party, have received the COVID vaccine, but there has been a lag among some conservative states in the South and Midwest, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Polls have found that most unvaccinated voters support Trump over President Joe Biden, even as both supported the vaccine.

The former president's comments on Saturday came as he stumped for his preferred candidates in key races in Alaska, with some taking a notably different approach to the vaccine.

Former Governor Sarah Palin, who received Trump's endorsement in the race for the state's at-large congressional district, said in December she would take the vaccine "over my dead body." During the rally, she pushed unfounded COVID-19 conspiracies, calling the pandemic a "plandemic," and referring to "COVID B.S."

"This is all about control versus freedom," she said. "It's good versus evil. It is a spiritual battle. They used the pandemic as an example to achieve a goal of controlling you."

Newsweek reached out to Trump's office for comment.