Personalities on Fox News were slammed for using the death of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell from complications of COVID-19 to question the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines.
Hosts Tucker Carlson, Will Cain and John Roberts each faced backlash for their commentary. Powell, 84, was fully vaccinated, but had multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that attacks the immune system, making him more susceptible to the effects of the virus.
Cain used the news of Powell’s death to rail against President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates. He claimed there’d be calls for “more truth from our government” and noted that fully vaccinated people are being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19, even though the vast majority of victims are unvaccinated.
Roberts deleted a widely criticized tweet saying Powell’s death “raises new questions” about the shots, replacing it with a thread saying he was not anti-vaccine.
Carlson, meanwhile, suggested Americans are “being lied to” about the vaccines. He did not appear to reference Powell’s other health issues until the end of his broadcast.
At the very end of his broadcast, Tucker Carlson says he "left out that Colin Powell was suffering from a number of different health problems" when he pointed out that Powell was fully vaccinated when he died from covid complications. pic.twitter.com/CFYcyJXHxU
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 19, 2021
CNN’s Don Lemon ripped Fox News.
“The man had just died and this guy couldn’t wait to make it into a fight about vaccine mandates. It is disgraceful,” Lemon said of Cain.
Tucker Carlson didn't mention Colin Powell had cancer or was 84 years old pic.twitter.com/Nfhaua1mQy
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 19, 2021
Here we have @TuckerCarlson willfully ignore the fact Colin Powell had a blood cancer that made him immunocompromised. An illness that made him highly susceptible to complications. He’s lying to his viewers about the vaccine. When will he be held accountable? He’s a danger. pic.twitter.com/0XfRACSHAq
— VoteVets (@votevets) October 19, 2021
Tucker Carlson disrespected the memory of Gen. Colin Powell tonight - using him as a pawn for his disinformation campaign. And I can guarantee that while he was alive, Powell despised Carlson and all he stands for.
— Democratic Tweeter (@WileELiberal) October 19, 2021
Fox News is already using Colin Powell's death to cast doubt on vaccine effectiveness
Just a reminder, since they aren't mentioning it: While there have been breakthrough cases and deaths -- you are far, far, far more likely to die from Covid if you are unvaccinated pic.twitter.com/Vwzj1bGDE5
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) October 18, 2021
Tucker Carlson tonight: “So…do the vaccines really work? Is it still a good thing to get vaccinated? Did Colin Powell die BECAUSE of the vaccines? We’re not suggesting we know the answers. We’re just asking the questions the government won’t allow us to ask.”
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 18, 2021
Fox News host Will Cain used the death of Colin Powell to rant against vaccines. pic.twitter.com/tOK6axF13S
— David Edwards (@DavidEdwards) October 18, 2021
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.