(WLAX/WEUX) – Former joint chief’s chairman and secretary of state Colin Powell passed away from COVID-related complications at the age of 84.
Flags at the White House and federal facilities are now flying at half-staff to mark the passing of general Colin Powell, a man President Biden calls a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity.
Biden says: “thing about Colin Powell is he’s not only a dear friend and a patriot, one of our great military leaders and a man of overwhelming decency. This is a guy born, son of immigrants, and he rose to the highest ranks, not only in the military but also in areas of foreign policy and statecraft.”
General Colin Powell died on Monday of complications related to COVID-19. Powell was 84.
“I lost a tremendous personal friend and mentor,” said defense secretary Lloyd Austin.
In his decades of military and public service, Powell had a trailblazing record of firsts as the youngest and first black chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the first black secretary of state.
He grew to international prominence heading up the joint chiefs during the U.S.-led victory in the Persian Gulf war.
Another milestone came twelve years later as the world watched his speech before the United Nations pushing for the invasion of Iraq.
That speech was later found to be based on faulty intelligence and Powell would call it a “blot” on his record. But his former boss, President George W. Bush, released a statement Monday calling him “highly respected at home and abroad.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “he never stopped believing in America, and we believe in America, in no small part, because it helped produce someone like Colin Powell. Thank you, mister secretary.”
Powell was fully vaccinated, according to his family.
He was reportedly also being treated for Parkinson’s disease and multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells.
While general Powell died despite being fully vaccinated, doctors say COVID-19 vaccines are still effective.