Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell dies from COVID-19 complications

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In this image from video made available before the start of the convention, former Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

In this image from video made available before the start of the convention, former Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

WASHINGTON (KFOR) – Former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell has died.

On Monday, the Powell Family released a statement on Facebook announcing his death.

“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,” the statement read.

Although Powell was fully vaccinated against COVID-19, officials say his immune system was compromised due to cancer of plasma cells and Parkinson’s Disease.

Peggy Cifrino, Colin Powell’s longtime chief of staff, told CNN that Powell was fully vaccinated in February. He was scheduled to get his booster shot this past week, but that’s when he fell ill.

Powell became the first Black national security adviser during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. He was also the youngest and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush.

He was 84-years-old.

Congressman Tom Cole released the following statement after learning about Powell’s death:

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the unexpected passing of Colin Powell. America has lost not only a great warrior and respected statesman but a genuinely wise and decent man. Secretary Powell was a role model and a patriot revered and respected by millions of Americans of every race, ethnicity and political persuasion.

During my time in politics and in Congress, I had the privilege of interacting with Colin Powell. While we didn’t agree on every issue, I respected his perspective, his thoughtful approach to every issue, his deep patriotism and his long and selfless service to our country. 

I extend my sympathy to the Powell family, including his wife of 59 years, Alma Powell, and his loving children and grandchildren. All America grieves with them in their loss. 

In the words of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, Colin Powell spoke to ‘the better angels of our nature.’ His calm voice in these turbulent times will be greatly missed.” 

Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe also released the following statement:

“Kay and I are deeply saddened by the passing of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who also served as the nation’s highest military officer. His was a life marked by distinguished service to the nation — first in uniform, then as a diplomat and public servant. I always appreciated General Powell’s perspective and how he prioritized his long-standing relationships with Congress even when there were differences of opinions. Our prayers are with his wife Alma, their children and all who knew and loved him.”

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