Former Secretary of State Colin Powell died Monday morning of complications from COVID-19.
The 84-year-old 4-star-general was fully vaccinated, but his COVID-19 infection seemed to be a breakthrough case. His family released a statement on Facebook thanking the medical staff at Walter Reed Medical Center for treating Powell while he was in their care.
“General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19,” Powell’s family wrote. “He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great American.”
But Anti-Vaxxers have taken to their megaphones to use Powell’s death as justification of their false claims about the vaccine.
After news of his death broke Monday morning, the Twitter hashtag “fully vaccinated” began to trend. Inside the hashtag were hundreds of false claims about the vaccine’s effectiveness. Some even went as far as to say the vaccine was the reason Powell died. Fox News also put their spin on Powell’s death casting more doubt on the vaccine and how well it works.
Colin Powell was battling multiple myeloma, a rare cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell. The cancerous cells accumulate in your bone marrow and crowd out the healthy cells. This effects your body’s ability to fight infections.
According to cancer research studies, patients with multiple myeloma had diminished immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine. In a study pointed out by CNBC, only 45% of patients with active multiple myeloma developed an “adequate” immune response after getting vaccinated.
It is unclear what complications Colin Powel had from COVID-19 that led to his untimely passing.
But it is important to try and paint most of the picture before judging the painting. Using the death of Powel to further stoke divisions between who decided to get vaccinated or not does seem like the way we should honor a hero.
The first black man to ever hold the seat of Secretary of State deserves better than that.
If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude. – Colin Powell