The Guardian (Nigeria)

Tributes as former U. S. secretary of state dies of COVID- 19

- By Ngozi Egenuka

COLIN Powell, the first Black U. S. secretary of state whose leadership in several Republican administra­tions helped shape American foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, has died from COVID- 19 complicati­ons, his family said on Facebook. He was 84.

According to a statement by his family, he had been fully vaccinated against COVID- 19.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfathe­r and a great American,” a statement said.

“We want to thank the medical staff for their caring treatment,” it added.

A source familiar with the matter said Powell had multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body’s immune response. Even if fully vaccinated against COVID- 19, those who are immunocomp­romised are at greater risk from the virus.

George W Bush was among the first to pay tribute, saying that Powell was “a great public servant” who was “such a favorite of Presidents that he earned the Presidenti­al Medal of Freedom twice. He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend.”

Former Vice- President, Mike Pence, offered his condolence­s to the Powell’s family as well.

“Powell was a true American patriot who served our nation with distinctio­n in uniform, as a four- star general, National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and as 65th Secretary of State,” Pence said on Twitter.

Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, said in a statement that he was an American icon whose career in public service will always be celebrated and remembered.

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