South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was booed and shouted down by GOP activists on Saturday for advocating COVID-19 vaccinations, the Daily Beast reports.
"If you haven't had the vaccine, you ought to think about getting it because, if you're my age—" Graham said at a county Republican event in Summerville, South Carolina, as the crowd interrupted him with boos and shouts of "No!"
"I didn't tell you to get it. You ought to think about it," Graham continued, eliciting more shouts of, "No!"
"Well, I"m glad I got it," said Graham, who tested positive for COVID in August and later said if he hadn't been vaccinated, "it'd have been a lot worse."
"Ninety-two percent of the people in the hospitals in South Carolina are unvaccinated," Graham continued.
"False. Not true!" the crowd yelled.
"I'm with you on, let's don't mandate it," Graham said, attempting in vain to win back his audience. "I'm with you that it's probably unconstitutional, but I"m not going to legitimize what I think is the truth. The truth is that unvaccinated people—"
"I'm going to lose my job in 60 days!" a man screamed from the back of the crowd, interrupting Graham. "You've got to stop it now!"
The man then told Graham he now works as a civilian for the Navy, but is also a veteran.
"OK, I'm a veteran too," Graham responded. "How many of you have taken measles shots?"
"It's not the same!" the crowd screamed.
"In the military, they can say you've got to get vaccinated," Graham continued. "I think that's a dumb idea. You know why? We shouldn't be driving people away from serving. Like if you're a healthcare worker, and you don't want to get vaccinated, why do you want to get people to quit being nurses? ... I trust you to make a decision that's good for you."
Graham then asked the civilian Navy employee whether he's against the vaccine.
"No, I'm against the mandate," the man responded.
"That's where I'm at," Graham said.
"How do we stop it?" the man asked.
"You're going to have to get somebody who is in control of one of the houses. If we had the House—" Graham said.
"I've got 60 days and I lose my job!" the man said.
"I don't know what's going to happen. We'll try our best," Graham responded.
At that point, the moderator cut off the discussion. "We're going to move to the next question, folks," he said.
The Daily Beast notes that Graham "isn't the first Republican to face pressure from the Republican base over vaccines. In August, Donald Trump was booed at an Alabama rally after he encouraged his supporters to take the vaccine."
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