Fox News anchor John Roberts is taking plenty of heat, to include from his liberal media colleagues, after tweeting in response to the death of Colin Powell that his passing “raises new concerns” about vaccine efficacy.
Never mind that Roberts would later delete the tweet as more information was learned and that his assertion was almost certainly influenced by a statement from Powell’s family, the reason the story remains relevant two days later is that it showcases the fevered response from the media — almost in unison — to any effort to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the vaccine.
On that note, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reported Tuesday that former CDC Director Robert Redfield announced a day earlier that about 40 percent of all recent COVID deaths in the state of Maryland are among those who’ve had both shots.
Powell, 84, died Monday from what his family said was “complications from COVID-19,” while the so-called experts saying his passing highlights the importance of getting vaccinated — he had been fully vaccinated but had yet to get a vaccine booster. According to reports that followed, Powell had multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that weakened his immune system. His chief of staff said Powell also suffered from Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder.
Early Monday, the former secretary of state’s family announced on Facebook: “General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19. He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”
As the family stated, Powell was “fully vaccinated,” and the statement made no reference to any other health issues.
Approximately an hour and a half after the statement was posted, Roberts tweeted: “The fact that Colin Powell dies from a breakthrough COVID infection raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long term.”
Dr. Paul Cook, an infectious disease expert with the Brody School of Medicine, told WITN that Powell’s death is not a testament to vaccine efficacy, but rather of older age and comorbidities increasing the risk of death.
“He had two things working against him,” Cook said. “Number one, he was 84 years old, and we know that elderly people don’t respond to the vaccine as well as younger people. Probably more important though is that he had multiple myeloma, which is a form of cancer.”
Nonetheless, breakthrough cases are becoming more common, and apparently, so too are deaths among those who have been fully vaccinated. Roberts posted this tweet Monday afternoon:
Dr. Robert Redfield just told @MarthaMacCallum on @Foxnews that 40% of the recent Covid deaths in the state of Maryland were among people who are fully vaccinated. Redfield says this under scores the importance of maintaining a high level of immunity.
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) October 18, 2021
Carlson summed it up well: “So what does that tell you exactly? Well, it tells you you’ve been lied to. Vaccines may be highly useful for some people, but across the population, they do not solve COVID. That’s not speculation. It is an observable fact. People have been fully vaccinated can still get the virus. They can still transmit the virus to others, and they can still die from COVID. Colin Powell is hardly the only example of that.”
The reaction to Roberts’ tweet is part of an orchestrated effort to paint Fox News as anti-vaccine, a campaign designed to intimidate and bully the network into submission on the issue of mandating vaccines, or adversely affect the commanding lead Fox News has in ratings.
The Fox News anchor posted a series of tweets afterward explaining his actions, according to Business Insider — those tweets appear to have also been deleted.
“I deleted my tweet about the tragic death of Colin Powell because many people interpreted it as anti-vax,” Roberts wrote. “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.”
“As we all know, the FDA is now recommending boosters for certain people, and I personally know a number of people who have had breakthrough infections – some of them, quite troubling,” Roberts continued. “Yes, Powell had myeloma, but I was still stunned to hear of his passing from COVID. We live in the same town, and we would occasionally run into each at the local sandwich shop. His death is a loss for our community and our country. I plan to get a booster as soon as possible.”
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