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Fox News exploits Colin Powell’s death as excuse to push dangerous misinfo

Fox News exploits Colin Powell’s death as excuse to push dangerous misinfo

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It’s hard to imagine Fox News sinking even lower than its previous valleys of mendacious and harmful anti-vaccine propaganda, but their coverage of the death of former Secretary of State and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell from complications related to COVID-19 reaches a new depth of deceptive agenda-pushing in their political advocacy masquerading as news commentary.

General Powell, you see, died of the COVID complications despite being fully vaccinated against the virus,  a fact that the talking heads on Fox News used to ramp up their false controversy of casting doubt on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine effort and play into the hands of their anti-vaxxer MAGA viewers.

“The family has made a point on their post on Facebook this morning that Colin Powell was fully vaccinated,” Fox News host Will Cain said this morning on air. “And as Americans out there wonder what lies ahead for them and they search and they need truth moving forward, we’re seeing data from across the world. We’re seeing data from Europe, from the United Kingdom, the fully-vaccinated people are being hospitalized and fully-vaccinated are dying from Covid.”

“And here we have a very high-profile example that is going to require more truth,” Cain continued, “more truth from our government, from our health leaders as well. As we talk about this story on a day when state after state and institution after institution are pushing mandates for vaccination.”

Another Fox News host, White House Correspondent John Roberts, posted a tweet expressing similar sentiments, saying:

“The fact that Colin Powell died from a breakthrough COVID infection raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long-term.”

What both hosts fail to mention is the fact that Colin Powell did not develop his post-vaccination COVID infection in a vacuum.

On Fox News’ more responsible rival, CNN, Dr. Jonathan Reiner of George Washington University told hosts Erica Hill and Jim Sciutto that the 84-year-old Powell had exactly the type of underlying health conditions that doctors have been citing when urging everyone to get vaccinated to protect the immunocompromised.

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“Colin Powell’s family in their statement said that he was fully vaccinated but had died from complications of COVID-19,” Sciutto reminded his audience. “We’ve now learned that he had multiple myeloma according to a source familiar with the matter. This is a cancer of the plasma cells and it can suppress your immune system. It’s important to put this in context.”

‘Right,” Dr. Reiner responded. “Multiple myeloma is a disease that itself suppresses the immune system but it’s also important to understand that the treatment for multiple myeloma, which patients often take every day, itself can suppress the immune system. So General Powell represented our most vulnerable population in this country; he was over the age of 80, he had cancer, and a treatment for his cancer made him vulnerable.”

“When we try to convince young people, who feel they are low risk from the virus itself, why they need to be vaccinated, it’s to protect our treasures, our people like General Powell, our grandparents, because while, you know, a 25-year-old may do quite well with the infection, if they spread it to someone like General Powell, they will not,” Dr. Reiner explained. “That is the imperative for vaccination in this country.”

By providing the missing context that Fox News refused to provide, CNN proved that it was considerably more dedicated to reporting actual news than the disinformation mongers at their cable news rivals.

Eventually, the blowback to John Roberts’ tweet inspired him to delete his original post and replace it with this declaration.

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That’s some serious backpedaling, but the apologetic tweet likely won’t reach the same large audience that witnessed Will Cain’s comments on the main Fox News broadcast.

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You can watch the appropriate segments on both Fox News and CNN in the video excerpts below.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter. 

Original reporting by David Edwards and Tom Boggioni at Raw Story.

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Vinnie Longobardo
Managing Editor
Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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