On Monday, the nation learned that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had passed away at 84.

RIP Secretary Powell

I hate to even write an article like this. I am not a fan of articles about death but I felt like it was only important that I help keep Central Texans informed on exactly what is going on around the world, and to give my thoughts on a man with a legacy such as Powell's.

Monday morning, ABC News, CBS, and NBC all confirmed that Powell, the first Black secretary of state, is sadly no longer with us. Powell passed away due to complications of COVID-19, likely caused by his multiple myeloma and its diminishing effect on vaccines.

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Yes, He Was Vaccinated

The New York Times and multiple other sources report that Secretary Powell had been vaccinated. However, he suffered from a rare blood cancer that can make vaccines less effective.

It's a reminder that vaccines are a great tool for fighting disease, but they're not a magical force field that stops any virus from getting into your body. The vaccine is intended to give your body the tools it needs to react to the virus quickly so that you have a better chance of experiencing mild symptoms if infected, or at least symptoms not severe enough to require hospitalization.

We Can (And Should) Protect Each Other

So, even if you're vaccinated, if you have an underlying condition like Secretary Powell's, you should absolutely continue to take precautions to protect yourself and those around you. That goes for the rest of us too. You never know if someone you're interacting with has a condition that makes them vulnerable to the worst effects of COVID-19, so please be mindful of that.

An Accomplished Man

As mentioned above, Colin Powell was the first Black Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005 under former President George W. Bush. He was born to Jamaican immigrants in New York in 1937, and had risen to the rank of four-star general by 1989, when he became Commander of the US Army Forces Command.

He would go on to become the 12 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before serving as Secretary of State.

Not Without Controversy

Secretary Powell is credited with justifying the War in Iraq under President Bush. Over the years, he maintained that he'd done all he could to avoid going to war and advise his peers in the White House against it, but he never waivered from his support of the decision that was ultimately made.

In 2012, Powell surprised many by endorsing former President Barack Obama for re-election, and after speaking out against both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, eventually endorsed Clinton for the 2016 election. He left the Republican party after the January 2021 Capitol building riot.

Quite A Life

Whatever your thoughts on Powell, the man did live quite an accomplished life and seemed to be dedicated to serving his country to the best of his abilities.

My condolences go out to his family and friends, and I hope we can all remember to look out for and care for one another as this pandemic continues.



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