- Colin Powell, 84, died of COVID-19 complications despite being vaccinated. He had cancer, per the NYT.
- Fox News anchor John Roberts tweeted that Powell's death "raises new concerns" about vaccine efficacy.
- Roberts then deleted his tweet amid criticism, clarifying that he was "excited to get vaccinated."
After facing widespread accusations of sowing skepticism about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in the wake of Colin Powell's death, Fox News anchor John Roberts deleted his original tweet and declared that he is in favor of vaccines.
Earlier on Monday, the former Secretary of State's family announced that he had died from complications of COVID-19, despite being vaccinated. He was 84 years old and, per The New York Times, had a compromised immune system as a result of receiving treatment for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.
"The fact that Colin Powell died from a breakthrough COVID infection raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long-term," Roberts wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
His post quickly triggered condemnation from other journalists and political observers, including The Times' Maggie Haberman and CNN's Jake Tapper.
-Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 18, 2021
-Sam Stein (@samstein) October 18, 2021
-Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 18, 2021
After Roberts deleted his original tweet, he posted a string of tweets where he sought to explain himself.
"I deleted my tweet about the tragic death of Colin Powell because many people interpreted it as anti-vax," Robert 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," he went on to say. "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."
-John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) October 18, 2021
Fox News, which has come under fire for undermining trust in COVID-19 vaccines, responded to a request for comment by simply linking back to Robert's tweets.