Colin Powell, first Black US state secretary, dies of Covid complications


Washington: Former US secretary of state Colin Powell passed away at 84 years of age due to complications related to coronavirus disease, the family has announced on his Facebook page on Monday. Powell, also the first Black secretary of state, was fully vaccinated, according to the family statement.

“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, grandfather and a great American,” the Powell family said.

The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was an American war hero who became the US secretary of state under the Bush administration. While announcing Powell’s appointment in 2000, then US President George W. Bush hailed him for his “towering integrity” and his “sense of duty and honour” as a soldier.

“In directness of speech, his towering integrity, his deep respect for our democracy, and his soldier’s sense of duty and honour, Colin Powell demonstrates… qualities that will make him a great representative of all the people of this country.”

In his remarkable decades-long career, Powell found it hard to live down his infamous speech to the United Nations Security Council, which paved the way for the Iraq invasion and ouster of Saddam Hussein. He had alleged the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which turned out to be a false claim. The misleading intelligence input, resulting in the Iraq invasion, claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

“It’s a blot… and will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It’s painful now,” Powell said in a 2005 interview with ABC News.