The death of Colin Powell struck people differently, depending on their viewpoints. Some are blaming him for the Iraq war while others criticize him for not speaking out more forcefully against the strange breed of Republicans now running the party (even though he twice voted against Donald Trump). Personal feelings about Colin Powell aside, he was an American hero. He was a four-star general who faithfully served this country and continued to serve after retirement. He was the child of immigrants who were able to realize their dreams for their child by coming to this country. Whatever people may think of him in life, it is wrong to use his death for political gain.
Raw Story reported on a Fox News host (among others) who are trying to use Powell’s death to advance their anti-vaccine agenda. Powell died of Covid complications, though he was fully vaccinated. It is a shame that these people cannot do their research before spreading their poison, but that is the way they operate. As Slate magazine pointed out, “vaccines are not perfect.” They are still the most effective method we have to battle serious outcomes of Covid, but depending on a person’s condition, the vaccine cannot prevent complications.
Powell suffered from multiple myeloma, which is a blood cancer. As with most cancers, myeloma destroys the body’s immune system, and as Slate specifically pointed out, prevents a body from developing antibodies, which is what protects us from Covid. As a result, Powell’s body could not fight Covid. If your body cannot create antibodies, it cannot fight a disease. This information shows the sheer recklessness and stupidity of many conservative pundits. People still need to get the vaccine. As if using Powell’s death to lambaste vaccines is not bad enough, Donald Trump has reared his ugly head.
CNN quoted Trump’s highly inappropriate statement: “Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media. Hope that happens to me someday. . . . He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!” The man is an unmitigated ass. He is unable to display even the slightest bit of empathy or feeling, and there are people out there who want to see this thing back in office. As CNN’s Chris Cillizza said: “This is, in a word, classless. In two words: Utterly classless.”
Former Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Obama all issued thought-provoking, kind statements about Colin Powell. People with sense know that you do not speak ill of the dead, especially of one who served our country. Regardless of his political beliefs or any mistakes he made while in office, Colin Powell deserves our respect if for no other reason than his service to our country. To hear one who faked bone spurs so that he did not have to serve say such crass things only shows again the level of class possessed by Donald Trump: None.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years