Death of Colin Powell from COVID complications is sad -- and puts paid to Joe Biden's vax claims

The death this morning of former Secretary of State and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell is sad news indeed.

He may not have been someone we always agreed with -- to be honest, sometimes his public statements in his last years were infuriating. But he was honorable, he served honorably, he embodied public service, he served in combat, no slimy scandals were ever associated with his name, and no one ever wondered whether he was so incompetent he had to be doing it by design in an effort to dismantle the U.S., as is heard at times with the current crop of White House incompetents. Powell was competent. He was also a gentleman and a patriot. One feels 'pity' in the true tragic sense at the news of his death, given that he was likely the highest-profile American to catch COVID and didn't deserve to be felled by this nasty Chinese export at the age of 84, same as hundreds of thousands of other Americans. It's natural to hope that he has a magnificent funeral honoring his life with no ugly politics to cloud it.

Since he was a high-profile person and did his duty to be fully vaccinated against the disease, it's particularly sad to see that he succumbed anyway. After all, hasn't Joe Biden been loud and inflexible about getting those COVID vaccine numbers up and demanding that all Americans get vaccinated to end the pandemic regardless of their circumstances, one-size-fits-all? It didn't do any good for Powell. 

The press is full of government ads, human interest stories, and tweets about people who died of COVID who didn't get vaccinated for it. Some are disgusting, gloating affairs. Others are earnest bids to encourage Americans to get vaxxed. Now that Powell has succumbed to the disease, even after being fully vaxxed, there might be room for a pause in this dishonest "narrative."

Like everyone, he did the best he could. We don't know if he had co-morbidities or not -- (Update: He had the significant co-morbidity of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer). He made a decision that his best odds would be in getting the vaccine and so he did. Others make decisions that not getting the vaccine will give them their best odds. The viciousness and capriciousness of COVID, as well as all the things we don't know about it pretty well render both kinds of decisions as sometimes useless as happened in the case of Powell, who was not protected by it. For that, the point is obvious: The choice to get a vaccine is a matter that is best left to the individual, each decision to be respected in its own way rather than greeted with gloatings.

Maybe Powell's untimely death will put a stop to that now and open the door to authentic science and an honest discussion on how much protection the vaccines truly provide.

Image: National Archives, no known copyright restrictions

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