Colin Powell’s body was barely cold before anti-vaxxers began using his death to promote their false narrative about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Powell, the first Black secretary of state and Joint Chiefs of Staff, died Monday at the age of 84 after suffering from complications related to COVID-19. Powell’s family announced his death on Facebook and confirmed that the decorated retired four-star general—who was born in Harlem, New York, and raised in the Bronx—was fully vaccinated.
It was later learned that Powell was immunocompromised, as he was in treatment for multiple myeloma. That didn’t stop the anti-vaxxer machine from kicking into high gear and attempting to weaponize Powell’s death from COVID-19.
Immunocompromised people make up about 2.7% of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention.
As of July 2021, about 44% of fully vaccinated immunocompromised patients have had breakthrough infections from COVID-19. And as of May, about 10,000 or so Americans were diagnosed with COVID-19 after being vaccinated, but only 5,100 of those were hospitalized or died. And it should be noted that 189 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated, with 19.23 million getting shots around the globe daily.
The New York Times reports that multiple myeloma also wasn’t Powell’s first cancer diagnosis. He underwent prostate cancer surgery in 2003 while he was secretary of state.
But you know facts can’t correct stupid. So in comes FOX News anchor John Roberts with a now-deleted tweet that read: "The fact that Colin Powell died from a breakthrough COVID infection raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long-term.”
After getting slammed by practically everyone with a brain, Roberts attempted to explain his tweet, saying: "I deleted my tweet about the tragic death of Colin Powell because many people interpreted it as anti-vax," Robert wrote. "It was not.
“I was excited to get vaccinated, hoping it would help speed a return to 'normal life'. I also did a PSA on Fox encouraging vaccination for those able.
"As we all know, the FDA is now recommending boosters for certain people, and I personally know a number of people who have had breakthrough infections - some of them, quite troubling," Roberts continued.
"Yes, Powell had myeloma, but I was still stunned to hear of his passing from COVID," he went on to say. "We live in the same town, and we would occasionally run into each at the local sandwich shop. His death is a loss for our community and our country. I plan to get a booster as soon as possible."
But that didn’t stop Rep. Matt Gaetz from throwing his own inane commentary into the mix. Way to support your even more inane party, Matt, while also pushing an agenda that we all know is killing more Americans than it should.
Then there’s Fox News itself, which we know holds zero accountability as it recklessly pushed the anti-vaxxer agenda in the hours after Powell’s family announced his death.
Powell was a stalwart of the Republican Party, serving as the youngest and first Black national security adviser under former President Ronald Reagan and first Black national security adviser and as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush. And in 1995, he toyed with a presidential run.
He left at the end of Bush’s first term as questions swirled about whether he should have done more to stop the war in Iraq before it started.
In his later years and during former President Donald Trump’s presidency, Powell began to move away from the party he had affiliated himself with for so long.
President Barack Obama tweet that Powell “understood what was best in this country, and tried to bring his own life, career, and public statements in line with that ideal.”
Vice President Kamala Harris called Powell an “independent thinker and a barrier breaker who inspired leaders in our military and throughout our nation.”
When Harris landed in Nevada Monday, a reporter asked her to respond to the fact that some Americans may be skeptical about the vaccine after learning about Powell’s death. Harris reportedly said: “I think that today is a day to really reflect on the life of the man and his extraordinary service and not to politicize the efficacy of vaccines." (See at 2:26.)
On Monday, President Joe Biden called Powell a “patriot of unmatched honor and dignity” and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until Oct. 22.