Herman Cain, a pizza business magnate who unsuccessfully ran for the 2012 Republican Party nomination for president, has died Thursday due to complications from coronavirus.
Cain had tested positive for COVID-19 on June 29. Just two days later, he was hospitalized after developing “serious” symptoms of the disease, according to a message that appeared on his Twitter account in early July.
“There is no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus,” a statement on Cain’s website said about his hospitalization.
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Cain, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, had attended a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, held by the president on June 20. The event was widely criticized for not enforcing social distancing recommendations, as many participants, Cain included, were seen not wearing masks or observing six-feet distancing standards to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) June 20, 2020
While it’s not clear whether Cain became ill from the disease due to the rally, his diagnosis and hospitalization would fit a timeline of him doing so around the date that it happened. Tulsa health officials have said that large events, like Trump’s campaign rally, likely facilitated a spike in cases of coronavirus in the county where it was held.
Cain, a staunch conservative who was supported by the Koch brothers over the years, entered the race for president in 2011, hoping to be the Republican choice for the election against then-President Barack Obama the following year. However, a series of sexual harassment allegations prompted him to drop out of the race before the first primary election.