Moments before Super Bowl LV kicked off Sunday night, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden made a pre-recorded appearance to honor the more than 463,000 people who have died from COVID-19 by asking for a moment of silence – instead they were booed by some of the crowd.
‘Before kickoff we wanted to thank all the frontline healthcare heroes both at the game and watching across the country. You put yourself at risk to keep the rest of us safe. You and your families carried us through this year with courage, compassion and kindness. We couldn’t have made it without you. With all our hearts thank you.
The president said: ‘Now as we thank you and all of our essential workers, let’s remember we all can do our part to save lives. Wear masks, stay socially-distanced, get tested, get vaccinated when it’s your turn, and most of all let’s remember all those who we’ve lost.
‘So please join us, the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the National Football League in a moment of silence for the more than 440,000 Americans who lost their lives in this pandemic and for their loved ones who are left behind.’
Instead of a moment of silence, fans in the crowd were heard booing.
The boos infuriated many Americans watching at home who took to Twitter.
Scroll down for video
Moments before Super Bowl LV kicked off Sunday night, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden made a pre-recorded appearance to honor the more than 463,000 people who have died from COVID-19 by asking for a moment of silence
Instead of a moment of silence, fans in the crowd were heard booing toward the screen
‘That didn’t sound like a moment of silence,’ one person tweeted.
Another tweeted: ‘Was that a boo I hear from the crowd when Biden asked for us to have a moment of silence for +400K lost due to the COVID 19? Wow. That speaks volumes.’
‘That was the loudest moment of silence ever,’ a third user wrote.
‘Well that was an interesting ‘moment of silence,” another Twitter user wrote.
Some called it the ‘loudest’ and ‘shortest’ moment of silence they had ever heard.
‘The 20,000+ people at the super bowl not observing the moment of silence for lives lost to COVID somehow… makes sense,’ one person shared.
The lack of silence prompted some Americans watching from home to take to Twitter to respond to the incident
While the Bidens were praised by some for showing their appreciation to healthcare and essential workers, others defended the crowd.
Some claimed the crowd was booing at the Bidens and not the moment of silence.
About 22,000 people attended the Super Bowl on Sunday with 7,500 of them being healthcare workers as they watched Tom Brady receive his seventh Super Bowl victory against Kansas City’s star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.
The Super Bowl came as the nation continues to see a dramatic drop in new virus cases — a sign that the infection spike from holiday gatherings is easing.
The virus has killed more than 463,000 people in the US, but the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases went from 180,489 as of January 22 to 125,854 as of Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
And while only a limited amount of attendees were allowed at the Super Bowl, health officials fear the game could seed new cases at exactly the wrong time.
Just this week, the new coronavirus strain that spread quickly in the United Kingdom was confirmed in Kansas after turning up in several other states.
Other highly contagious variants also have scientists worried. States are in a race to vaccinate before the newcomers become widespread and additional strains emerge.
‘I’m worried about Super Bowl Sunday, quite honestly. People gather, they watch games together. We’ve seen outbreaks already from football parties,’ said Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘So I really do think that we need to watch this and be careful.’
Before Sunday’s game, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor put in place an ordinance requiring that masks be worn outside in several popular gathering spots. The order states that violators could be fined $500 as a ‘last resort’.
Another ordinance required masks at any indoor location when social distancing is not possible. That would include many bars and restaurants but not private residences.
The city acquired 150,000 donated masks that officials gave out to anyone who needed one ahead of the Super Bowl.