Herman Cain, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, tested positive for the coronavirus and is being treated at an Atlanta hospital. Cain attended President Donald Trump's June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma and shared a picture of himself ignoring social distancing guidelines and not wearing face coverings. Hours before he tested positive, Cain published a tweet celebrating that masks will not be required at Trump's event in South Dakota.
Cain was told he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, according to a statement published on his Twitter account. By Wednesday, Cain "developed symptoms serious enough" that he was taken to the hospital. He is "resting comfortably" and did not require a respirator. He is "awake and alert," the statement notes. "There is no way of knowing for sure or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus, but we do know he is a fighter who has beaten Stage 4 cancer," his team wrote.
HermanCain.com editor Dan Calabrese responded to speculation that Cain could have contracted the virus in Tulsa. “I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling the past week, including to Arizona where cases are spiking," he wrote. "I don’t think there’s any way to trace this to the one specific contact that caused him to be infected. We’ll never know."
Before Trump took the stage in Oklahoma, Cain tweeted a picture of himself sitting next to other Trump supporters, none of whom are wearing masks. Paris Dennard, the Republican National Committee adviser for Black media affairs, was sitting behind Cain and told CNN he was not told about Cain's positive test. He has shown "zero symptoms" and has not been tested for the coronavirus.
Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!https://t.co/Oykdz4xThD— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 1, 2020
Hours before he was hospitalized, Cain tweeted about masks not being required at Mt. Rushmore, where Trump will attend an Independence Day event on Friday. "Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!" Cain wrote.
Cain, 74, battled stage 4 colon cancer, which spread to his liver. He underwent surgery to remove the cancer and has been cancer-free since 2007. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults and people with underlying health conditions are considered among the most at-risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The CDC has also recommended wearing a face mask to help slow the coronavirus spread because it is possible to have the virus without showing symptoms.