Reporter to Psaki: Will Colin Powell's Death Affect The Message That COVID Vaccines Are Important?

White House press secretary Jen Psaki spoke about the death of Ret. Gen. Colin Powell at Monday's press briefing. NBC News White House and Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell asked if the death will affect the message from the White House about the importance of vaccines. <blockquote>Q As the public reflects on the life of Colin Powell and his public service, people are also now aware that he had a breakthrough case of COVID in addition to cancer and had some vulnerabilities. Because he was fully vaccinated and got COVID that took his life, any concerns about how that will be interpreted publicly? Or how does that affect the message from the White House about the importance of vaccinations? MS. PSAKI: Well, as people saw in the statement issued by the President — a very personal statement about his personal relationship — this is obviously a heartbreaking tragedy for the country and one the President is feeling personally. There are extremely rare cases of deaths or hospitalizations among fully vaccinated individuals. That has been the case even before the death of Colin Powell, especially among people — older people over a certain age and people who have underlying health issues or people who are battling other diseases. That has been the case. It is also the case — and this is important for people to know and understand — that there — who are concerned — that an unvaccinated person has a more than 10 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to a fully vaccinated person. So there’s no question that vaccination, that taking precautions can save lives. It is — and it is still true. And this raised that — certainly the death of Colin Powell — that underlying health issues, fighting other diseases is something that can lead to greater risk.</blockquote>