Former GOP presidential candidate and Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain has been hospitalized with coronavirus, spokespeople announced on Twitter Thursday. Cain had attended President Trump‘s largely maskless rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20.
Cain was receiving treatment in an Atlanta area hospital Thursday, according to the Tweet. Cain’s spokespeople called their boss a “fighter who has beaten Stage 4 cancer.”
In the 2012 GOP presidential primary, Cain was a recognizable personality with his “9-9-9” tax plan, as well as a Tea Party activist, who made it to No. 2 in the polls at one point, NPR reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Editor of Hermancain.com Said Cain Was Hospitalized After Having Trouble Breathing — But ‘COVID-19 Doesn’t Know Who It’s Messing With’
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 2, 2020
Dan Calabrese, the editor of Cain’s news and commentary website, said in a blog post that he got a call Wednesday night advising him that Cain was having trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital, where he tested positive for coronavirus.
Cain did not yet need a respirator, Calabrese said.
“But let’s not sugarcoat it: COVID-19 is a horrible thing to experience, and while we are sure Herman will beat it just like he beats everything, he really needs prayer right now,” Calabrese said. “He’s 73 years old and just about as healthy as anyone I know, but this is really going to require all of his strength, and plenty of God’s help.”
Cain is a cancer survivor after a bout with stage 4 colon cancer in 2006, CNN reported. He was given a 30 percent chance of survival but, after chemotherapy and surgery, completely recovered in 2007.
Cain Was Photographed, Maskless, At President Trump’s Tulsa Rally, Which Was Criticized for Not Following Safety/Social Distancing Recommendations
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) June 20, 2020
Cain posted a photo on June 21 of him at President Donald Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally, along with fellow prominent Black Trump advocate Paris Dennard.
“Here’s just a few of the #BlackVoicesForTrump at tonight’s rally! Having a fantastic time!” Cain tweeted. In the photo, Cain was seated close to several people, none of whom were wearing masks.
Six Trump campaign staffers tested positive for the virus just before the rally began, the Washington Post reported. More officials tested positive afterward, including Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale, and cases increased in the area following the rally, according to the Post report.
Calabrese tried in his blog post to get in front of potential questions about Cain attending the rally.
“We honestly have no idea where he contracted it,” Calabrese said. “I realized people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling the past week, including to Arizona, where cases are spiking. 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.”
Cain Defended the Trump Rally in a Video the Day After, Predicting It Would Not Cause an ‘Uptick in Cases’
He also addressed concerns over the rally potentially becoming a “super-spreader” event. Everyone entering the rally was given a temperature check, Cain said. Also, “masks were worn by some people” and “sanitizer was everywhere.”
Cain said that he wore a mask when he was “in groups of people” and the event appeared safe.
“Chances are, even though it was a crowded room of people, they took precautions, so there’s probably not gonna be a big uptick in the number of cases,” Cain said.
The Post reported that Tulsa residents unsuccessfully sued to stop the rally and an attorney representing the BOK Center, where the event was held,” acknowledged that public health experts believed such events presented the “highest possible risk.”
Heavy reached out to Calabrese for comment and an update on Cain’s condition, but had not heard back as of yet Thursday afternoon.