Herman Cain, candidate for president in 2012 and ardent supporter of President Trump, died Thursday according to an announcement made on his website. Dan Calabrese, the website’s editor, identified the coronavirus as the cause of death. Later in the day, in a White briefing, President Trump confirmed COVID-19 as the cause. Cain was 74.
Cain was hospitalized with the virus on July 1. He had previously overcome colon an liver cancer in the mid-2000s. Both his age and his prior medical history put him into the high-risk category for contracting the disease.
“We knew when he was first hospitalized with Covid-19 that this was going to be a rough fight,” Mr. Calabrese said in the announcement, adding, “Although he was basically pretty healthy in recent years, he was still in a high-risk group because of his history with cancer.”
Despite begin high-risk, Cain attended Trump’s indoor rally in Tulsa, Okla., on June 20 and had done “a lot of traveling” recently, Mr. Calabrese said.
The Tulsa rally had been criticized for gathering so many people at once without enforcing the use of face masks.
“I don’t think there’s any way to trace this to the one specific contact that caused him to be infected,” Calabrese said about the illness. “We’ll never know.”
Cain posted a video after the Tulsa rally, saying he had worn a mask when in groups of people, but he also posted photos of himself on social media that showed him not wearing a mask and surrounded by people in the arena.
Interestingly, after Trump scheduled an event at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Cain tweeted– in apparent agreement– that masks would not be mandatory, writing: “PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”