Colin Powell, RIP. However, no peace for Fox News anchor, John Roberts, even after deleting his tweet

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Not long after the former secretary of state’s family announced he’d died of COVID-related complications, right-wing personalities began to pile on. “We’re seeing data from across the world…that fully vaccinated people are dying from COVID,” said one Fox host.

By Caleb EcarmaOctober 18, 2021

n the immediate aftermath of Colin Powell’s death from complications associated with COVID-19, conservative talking heads pounced. “The fact that Colin Powell died from a breakthrough COVID infection raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long-term,” Fox News anchor John Roberts wrote in a since-deleted tweet. His was an early example of what quickly followed: Though the 84-year-old Powell reportedly suffered from multiple myeloma, a plasma cell cancer that made it difficult for his immune system to function properly, the right-wing media has used his death as a chance to question the efficacy of COVID vaccines—and to push back at the logic behind the Biden administration’s new vaccine mandates. 

“The reports are he died from complications of COVID—the family has made a point in their post on Facebook this morning that Colin Powell was fully vaccinated,” said Fox News host Will Cain, who questioned the “limitations” of vaccination during Monday’s edition of Fox & Friends. “As Americans out there wonder what lies ahead for them, and they search and they need truth moving forward, we’re seeing data from across the world…that fully vaccinated people are being hospitalized, that fully vaccinated people are dying from COVID.” Cain went on to characterize Powell’s death as “a very high-profile example” proving that Americans need “more truth from our government and our health leaders as well” regarding vaccines. “We talk about [Powell’s death] on a day when state after state, and institution after institution, are pushing mandates for vaccination,” he added. 

Roberts deleted his tweet after it was thrown into question by Jake Tapper, Maggie Haberman, and other of his industry peers, because “many people interpreted it as anti-vax. 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…I plan to get a booster as soon as possible.” But before he nixed the tweet, it was cosigned by Rep. Matt Gaetz. “Post-vaccine breakthrough infection kills more people than Iraq’s WMD’s ever did,” Gaetz wrote, referencing Powell’s involvement in pushing the George W. Bush administration’s theory that Saddam Hussein’s regime possessed weapons of mass destruction. Similarly, Andrew Kloster, a former official in Donald Trump’s White House, joked that Powell “died as he lived: trusting the experts.” 
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On Newsmax, Powell’s death was cited by a commentator as yet another reason for Black Americans not to get vaccinated. “This is going to not only scare off elderly individuals but also African American individuals who are already hesitant to take the vaccine,” said Newsmax contributor Jennifer Kern after claiming that Powell’s high-ranking White House role proves that “a bunch of white supremacists” are not, in fact, running the Republican Party. “It is very important that we get some more information…. It would be very interesting if the family would be willing to share again in service and sacrifice to the country [to explain] what exactly happened here,” she said. At another point in the segment, Hal Lambert, a former finance chair of the Texas Republican Party, insisted that Powell’s death “is going to scare a lot of elderly people” away from COVID-19 vaccines. “Which vaccine did he have? Did he have the Johnson & Johnson one?…The Pfizer one? The Moderna? I think we do need to know those answers,” he said. “He’s a public figure and it was medical care that was provided by tax dollars.”

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/10/colin-powell-death-anti-vaxxers

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