The reporting of Colin Powell’s death exemplifies why the public is so confused about the COVID outbreak. Here’s a representative excerpt concerning the General’s demise:

His passing represents a breakthrough death—when fully vaccinated patients die from COVID-19. Roughly 7,100 such deaths have been reported in the US, with 85% occurring in patients 65 and older.

That the infection was the proximate cause of his death is true. But more information is required to form an accurate reason for General Powell’s death. He had multiple myeloma – a cancer of the bone marrow that is incurable. Modern treatments have extended life, but do not offer a cure. While not one of the commonest forms of cancer, it is not a rare disease. I have seen many cases both as a chairman of a department of internal medicine and as a nephrologist. The disease commonly causes kidney failure. The disease also impairs the immune system.

Thus, it is no surprise that vaccination against COVID did not protect Powell as he was unlikely to mount a protective immune response to the vaccine. So calling his infection “a breakthrough death” is to not to understand the circumstances that made Powell susceptible to the infection. If COVID had not killed him another infection would have. Thus, Powell really died from multiple myeloma. Any infection could have carried him away.

He case represents a perplexing problem. Those most in need of the protective effects of the vaccine are those least likely to benefit from it as their compromised immune system prevent the desired effect.

Everything about our response to this virus seems rump side up. Mandating vaccinations in those least in need of it under penalty of job loss and worse does not seem like enlightened public health policy to me. I wrote about the supply problems our lockdowns were likely to spawn more than one and a half years ago. They were so certain to eventuate that even a physician could see them coming. But they happened anyway. COVID madness should be curable unlike multiple myeloma, so perhaps there’s still time for a reasonable response to the epidemic which seems to be morphing into an endemic . We need to learn to live with it.