I don't understand the sentence "this rendered him practically mute" in the following passage.
After hearing " this rendered him practically mute", audiences laughed aloud clapping.
Please explain the meaing of the laughing..
It hasn't been easy for Rahm though as a young man he had a serious accident. I think, as many of you were aware of this, he was working at a deli, accident with a meat slicing machine, he lost part of his middle finger, and as a result of this, this rendered him practically mute.
It's a joke . .
The middle finger is often used to make an obscene gesture, so it is held up to give a message to another person - especially when one person is mad at another.
Because the finger got cut off, he will not be able to "give the finger" or "flip the bird" to another person.
As a result, he is forced to be silent or unable to "speak" (give) the message.
Like I said, it is a joke.