Colin Powell, a former U.S. Secretary of State, has passed away from “complications of COVID” despite being “fully vaccinated” against the virus. He was 84.
According to a New York Times report, Powell, a decorated veteran and civil servant, died on Monday. He spent four decades of his life as a top U.S. soldier, diplomat, and security adviser. Many would remember him delivering a speech to the U.N. in 2003 that helped the country go to war in Iraq.
The veteran and public servant died as a result of COVID-19 complications, according to a statement made by his family. He was fully vaccinated and received treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Powell’s passing will serve as a reminder to Americans that the vaccine doesn’t prevent COVID-19 infection. The average age of those who succumbed to the disease is 78 years old. Meanwhile, the survival rate for Americans under 50 years old is 99.987%. The risk, however, increases incrementally over that marker.
He will remain in the minds of Americans for being a vocal critic of the Iraq War, even though he honorably served to bring Saddam Hussein to justice. He would also be remembered as a person who served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as National Security Adviser under the Bush administration. After that, Powell became a controversial political figure.
Back in 2008, Powel decided to endorse Barack Obama for president instead of Sen. John McCain, who was also a veteran and his personal friend. Then, eventually, he would go on to critique Obama, who was relatively unknown back then.
“The president also has to … shift the way in which he has been doing things,” Powell once said while appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press. “The American people feel that too many programs have come down. There are so many rocks in our knapsack now that we’re having trouble carrying it,” he added.
“Some people don’t like what he has done in transformation … And it’s caused him some difficulty. But the fact of the matter is, he did put together a health care reform. It’s not perfect. And I think it’ll have to be fixed over time. And a lot of people are not happy with that health care reform. But he did it,” Powell went on to say.
Despite all this, Powell insisted that he sees himself a Republican, even though debates about his political alignment and public statements are rampant. Back in 2016, Powell voted against former President Donald Trump, also calling Trump a liar in 2020 as he backed Joe Biden for president.
“The one word I have to use with respect to what he’s been doing for the last several years is the word I would never have used before, never would have used with any of the four presidents I worked for: He lies,” Powell once stated. “He lies about things, and he gets away with it because people will not hold him accountable.”
“We have a Constitution. We have to follow that Constitution. And the president’s drifted away from it,” he went on to say.