Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain died from the coronavirus.
The news was posted on his personal website and reported by Newsmax, a conservative media company he had recently joined.
He had been in an Atlanta-area hospital for COVID-19 all month, two days after testing positive for the virus.
Cain attended Trump’s disastrous June 20th rally in Tulsa, where eight members of the advance team tested positive for the coronavirus and the campaign staff had to self-isolate afterward in case of infection.
He tweeted a photo of himself in the stands with the words: ‘Here’s just a few of the #BlackVoicesForTrump at tonight’s rally! Having a fantastic time!’
Cain was 74.
‘Herman Cain embodied the American Dream and represented the very best of the American spirit,’ tweeted White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany Thursday. ‘Our hearts grieve for his loved ones, and they will remain in our prayers at this time. We will never forget his legacy of grace, patriotism, and faith.’
He tested positive on June 29 and was hospitalized on July 1.
Cain was not wearing a mask nor following social distancing protocols in the photo from the Tulsa event.
The rally, which only had 6,200 attendees in an event space that could hold 19,000 – did not turn into the campaign comeback the Trump team had hoped for.
Trump came under fire for holding a rally as coronavirus cases were rising in Oklahoma and several states as the reopening process picked up. Few attendees wore masks or socially distanced.
Local health officials on the ground cautioned against the rally and a group of businesses sued to stop it – a legal move that failed.
Trump postponed it by one day when it was originally scheduled for Juneteenth, the day that slavery officially ended in the U.S.
For weeks, Black Lives Matter protests had been taking place around the country after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who was killed by a white police officer.
Having the rally in Tulsa was also controversial, because the city had one of the worst race riots in the country in 1921.
That anniversary had just passed on May 31.
Additionally, an outdoor speech the president was scheduled to give for those who couldn’t make it into the BOK Center, where the rally took place, was canceled when he was in route to Tulsa because the expected overflow crowds never materialized.
The Trump campaign bragged they had given away 1 million tickets but many of those were online tricksters, who signed up for the free tickets but had no intention of attending.
Trump was reportedly furious when he saw the sea of empty blue seats waiting for him that night although the White House denied any anger on his part.
And he was criticized for using the racist phrase ‘Kung flu’ when talking about COVID-19. He also said he ordered less testing once he heard cases were on the rise – a statement White House officials later rushed to say was a joke.
Additionally, the Washington Post reported that videos and photos emerged showing that before the rally, workers removed thousands of ‘Do Not Sit Here, Please!’ stickers from seats in the BOK Center that were intended to mark recommended distances between attendees.
Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, ran for the 2012 presidential nomination.
His catchy 9-9-9 tax plan and strong debate performances made him a serious contender.
But, in November 2011, he faced allegations of sexual misconduct – all which he denied – and suspended his campaign in December.
Cain had been accused by two women of sexual harassment when he served as CEO of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s.
Later two more women came forward. Cain acknowledged that the restaurant organization made financial settlements to the complainants but denied any wrong doing.
But his campaign was not able to recover from the scandal.
In April 2019, Trump considered Cain for an appointment to the Federal Reserve Board but he withdrew himself from consideration after several Republican senators said they would not vote for his confirmation.
Cain’s death comes two days after the co-founder of Turning Point USA, a prominent conservative group known for its young star Charlie Kirk, died of COVID-19 complications.
Co-founder Bill Montgomery died at age 80.