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Vaccine skeptics cling to Colin Powell’s death to spread misinformation

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Vaccine skeptics cling to Colin Powell's death to spread misinformation

Almost immediately after Colin Powell’s death on October 18 went public, vaccine and pandemic skeptics began to argue that the Covid-19 vaccine received by the former US Secretary of State was ineffective or even contributed to his death.

While Powell, who also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior government positions, died of complications from Covid-19, the 84-year-old man also battled multiple myeloma. white blood cell cancer which weakened his immune system.

But on Gab Trends, a news gathering site that manages the far-right social site Gab, a headline claiming that Powell “died of # COVID19 despite being vaccinated twice” was highlighted.

Video in TikTok with Powell’s death commentary with embedded text: “So tell me HOW THE VACCINE SAVES PEOPLE’S LIVES !!! WILL BE, ”summed up more than 4,300 times. And in a Facebook post that has been circulated more than 500 times, Pamela Geller, an anti-Muslim provocateur, used Powell’s death to promote conspiracy theories that the Covid-19 vaccine itself causes Covid infections.

The phenomenon of attributing illness or death to prominent public figures to the Covid-19 vaccine has become commonplace since the vaccine was introduced late last year. In January, the post arguing that great baseball Hank Aaron was killed by the Covid-19 vaccine went viral on social media. These claims were debunked on several outlets.

But at the same time, some media observers also disagreed with the coverage of the event in the mainstream media. For example, Matthew Ingram of the Columbia Journalism Review criticized the Associated Press tweet for “doing anti-vacancy work for them!”

“Here’s a great example – mentions COVID, but does not mention blood cancer or other comorbidities, neither in this tweet, nor in one of the other two tweets on this topic,” – Ingram wrote in a tweet. – Keenan Chen

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