The conservative Fox News network has been repeatedly criticized for promoting skepticism and disinformation regarding the lifesaving vaccines that have been proven safe and effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
On Monday, news broke that Republican former Secretary of State Colin Powell died from complications with COVID-19. Though Powell was fully vaccinated, he had multiple myeloma, a form of cancer that decimated his immune system, greatly diminishing the effectiveness of the vaccine's antibodies.
Nevertheless, Fox News host and reporter John Roberts emphasized Powell's vaccination status, suggesting his death was a reason to doubt the effectiveness of the vaccines.
In a now-deleted tweet, Roberts wrote:
"The fact that Colin Powell died from a breakthrough COVID infection raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long-term."
The anchor was inundated with backlash, mostly from social media users noting the severity of Powell's preexisting condition and criticizing Roberts for not including that crucial context.
Roberts later backtracked in a subsequent Twitter thread.
Roberts insisted that his tweet wasn't "anti-vax," and that he publicly encouraged Americans everywhere to get vaccinated, including with booster shots, if eligible. He also further eulogized Powell, calling his death "a loss for our community and our country."
But people were still incensed by the original tweet.
Meanwhile, conservatives were enraged that Roberts didn't double down on his misleading tweet.