Herman Cain, former Republican presidential candidate, died of coronavirus complications. In the past, he had voiced support for the medication on social media, but as of the time of this article’s publication, it’s not known if he took hydroxychloroquine as part of his treatment.
Hydroxychloroquine has been the center of many news reports recently and much online debate. The drug is typically used to treat malaria and may also be used for conditions like lupus or arthritis. The FDA has cautioned against the use of COVID-19 outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial because of heart rhythm risks. Still, some doctors have said they have had personal success with hydroxychloroquine and believe further study is needed. One group, called America’s Frontline Doctors, hosted a press conference supporting hydroxychloroquine and the videos were later removed from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
It’s Not Known if Cain Took Hydroxychloroquine as Part of His COVID-19 Treatment
At the time of publication, it’s not known if Cain was given hydroxychloroquine as part of his COVID-19 treatment. His social media sites often posted support for the medication, but the combination of medications being given to him while he was hospitalized has not been released. His website has only said that he was taking medications, but did not list which ones.
Cain, 74, was a Stage 4 colon cancer survivor and was being treated at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. His age would have put him in the higher-risk category for COVID-19 complications.
Dan Calabrese, Editor of HermainCain.com, wrote on July 2 that he had gotten a call the night before that Cain had tested positive for COVID-19 after he was taken to the hospital for breathing problems. At the time, they were told he didn’t require a respirator. Calabrese said they had no idea where he contracted the virus and, while there was speculation about President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa in late June, Cain had done a lot of traveling that week beyond just the rally.
On the day that Cain’s death was announced, Calabrese wrote: “We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight. He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear pretty quickly that he was in for a battle.”
He said updates weren’t released on social media because there were some hopeful indicators, such as doctors saying just five days before his death that they believed he would ultimately recover. Calabrese also did not mention which medications Cain was taking.
Cain’s website has posted supportive messages about hydroxychloroquine, including while he was hospitalized. But more than likely Cain didn’t post the messages that were tweeted while he was in the hospital. For example, just hours before he died, his account tweeted about Major League Baseball. This was the last tweet from his account before his death was announced.
On July 3, two days after he was hospitalized, his Twitter account tweeted a study showing that hydroxychloroquine may lower death rates, writing: “Did anyone wait for this study before trashing the drug?” The story was written by Calabrese for Cain’s website.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 3, 2020
On July 7, his staff posted for him on his Twitter account, sharing that he wanted to let people know that he appreciated their prayers.
Herman asked us to let you know again how much he appreciates all your prayers. He's still in an Atlanta-area hospital, where doctors are trying to make sure his oxygen levels are right.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 7, 2020
Before he was hospitalized, his website and his Twitter account posted additional messages of support for the medication.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) June 5, 2020
Some were messages of hope that the drug might lower the death rate or help with treatment.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) April 3, 2020
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) April 1, 2020
Other messages voiced concern about why some were so opposed to the medicine.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) March 27, 2020
Cain had indicated that he supported hydroxychloroquine as a potential COVID-19 treatment. It’s not known if he took it himself, however, as that information has not been released.