Powell to Woodward on health issues: 'Don't feel sorry for me'

Powell to Woodward on health issues: 'Don't feel sorry for me'
© Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Colin PowellColin PowellCooper becomes latest House Democrat to not seek reelection How American progressives normalize anti-Semitism Juan Williams: The GOP is an anti-America party MORE, who died on Monday, rejected expressions of sympathy for his health, according to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who said Powell told him earlier this year, "Don’t feel sorry for me, for God’s sakes!"

“I’ve got multiple myeloma cancer, and I’ve got Parkinson’s disease. But otherwise, I’m fine,” Powell said in a July interview, according to Woodward in a piece published on Monday by the Post.

“Don’t feel sorry for me, for God’s sakes! I’m [84] years old,” Powell. “I haven’t lost a day of life fighting these two diseases. I’m in good shape.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Powell died on Monday at the age of 84 due to complications from COVID-19, his family said. He was fully vaccinated but also had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

“I have to get all kinds of exams and I’m a former chairman, so they don’t want to lose me, so they make me come there all the time," Powell told Woodward of his visits to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"I’ve taken lots of exams and I get there on my own. I drive up in my Corvette, get out of the Corvette and go into the hospital. I also go to a clinic to get the blood tests taken. I don’t advertise it but most of my friends know it.”

During his conversations with Woodward, Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commented on numerous national defense issues, including the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Powell was largely regarded as having led the charge in shoring up support for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I thought we had to get out of there eventually,” he told Woodward. “[We] can’t beat these guys. Well, let’s get it over with. Afghanistan, you’re never going to win. Afghans are going to win."

“They have hundreds willing to fight and die for this country of theirs. That’s why I don’t have any problem with us getting out of there. We can’t go from 100,000 [U.S. troops] down to a few hundred and think that’ll prevail," he added.

When asked by Woodward who the "greatest man, woman or person you have ever known" was, Powell named his wife, Alma.

“She was with me the whole time. We’ve been married 58 years. And she put up with a lot. She took care of the kids when I was, you know, running around," he said. "And she was always there for me and she’d tell me, ‘That’s not a good idea.’ She was usually right.”