Liberal commentators have rushed in to police what they say is a dangerous conversation about former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s death Monday from complications of COVID-19.
Whom exactly are they trying to convince?
After Powell died at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland, the media was filled with bipartisan tributes to his character and four decades of public service, including as national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state under Republican presidents.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
ON COLIN POWELL pic.twitter.com/VbCISAEIsx
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 18, 2021
However, many advocates of COVID-19 vaccination were upset about the coverage and discussion of how Powell died — complaining that his “fully vaccinated” status was getting more attention than his age, 84, or his apparently immune-system-compromising treatment for multiple myeloma.
Caroline Orr Beuno, a “mis/disinformation” expert at the University of Maryland, called out some of the “irresponsible” tweets by elite media outlets.
NYT, MSNBC, Newsweek, & AP all mention Colin Powell being fully vaccinated in their headlines, but don’t mention that he was immunocompromised from multiple myeloma. pic.twitter.com/vSdQu7iMQ5
— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) October 18, 2021
John Roberts, a Fox News anchor, deleted his tweet saying Powell’s death “raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long-term” amid a Twitter pile-on, and clarified that he is not “anti-vax.”
Can the media please bother to mention that Colin Powell had blood cancer and was 84-years-old? I haven’t seen the cancer in a single headline and it’s pretty important context! pic.twitter.com/XlnOa4b3v5
— Jordan Zakarin (@jordanzakarin) October 18, 2021
Maggie Haberman, The New York Times’ Washington correspondent, admonished Roberts and conservative activist Matt Schlapp after he defended the anchor.
That has nothing to do with turning the death of a man with underlying conditions into a vaccine tale. Which was the point. https://t.co/SVleY0zrel
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 18, 2021
Adam Blickstein, a Washingtonian reporter, predicted Republicans will use Powell’s death “in order to kill more Americans with anti-vaccine propaganda.”
Colin Powell was an American hero with a complicated legacy. The fact his death will be used by Republicans in order to kill more Americans with anti-vaccine propaganda is an absolute tragedy
— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) October 18, 2021
CNN's Alisyn Camerota: "Would the booster shot have saved his [Colin Powell's] life?"
CNN Medical Analyst Leana Wen: "It might have helped…"
"…Yes the vaccine does protect you, but it protects you even better if everybody around you is vaccinated." pic.twitter.com/yD92bhv6e0
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 18, 2021
With general support from the media, President Joe Biden and his administration have often overstated the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines they are mandating, while vilifying and attempting to silence skeptics.
- Republicans have led resistance to vaccination mandates based on a more realistic understanding of the virulence of the coronavirus, but they have tended to underestimate the efficacy of vaccines, according to the limited data on breakthrough cases.
- The risk of hospitalization for vaccinated people is less than 1% compared to 1-5% for vaccinated people in the United States, and age and comorbidities are major risk factors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden said in a speech Thursday that divisive “vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us. That’s why we continue to battle the misinformation that’s out there.”
Biden: “Vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us." pic.twitter.com/nohZNMtlK7
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 14, 2021