Former presidential candidate Herman Cain has been hospitalized with COVID-19, less than two weeks after he attended a Trump rally in Oklahoma. Cain’s hospitalization in Atlanta comes as the U.S. continues to grapple with a serious uptick in coronavirus cases.
“On Monday, June 29, Herman Cain was informed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. By Wednesday, July 1, Mr. Cain had developed symptoms serious enough that he required hospitalization,” a statement on Cain’s Twitter account said Thursday. “He spent the past night in the hospital and as of today, Thursday, July 2, he is resting comfortably in an Atlanta-area hospital. Mr. Cain did not require a respirator, and he is awake and alert.”
Cain, who at 74 is in a demographic particularly vulnerable to the virus, attended President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20. The 2012 Republican presidential candidate posted a photo of himself and other rally attendees, none of whom were wearing masks. Although masks were provided to attendees at the rally, wearing them was not mandatory.
Trump campaign officials tell CBS News that Cain sat with members of the president’s “Black Voices for Trump” advisory board, as seen in the photo he posted to Twitter, but he did not come into direct contact with Mr. Trump.
“Contact tracing was conducted after the Tulsa rally but we do not comment regarding the medical information of individuals. Regardless, Mr. Cain did not meet with the president,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement.
The statement posted to Cain’s Twitter said “there is no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus.”
Dan Calabrese, the longtime editor of Cain’s website, wrote in a column that Cain had also traveled to Arizona, which is dealing with a serious outbreak, in the days since the rally.
“We honestly have no idea where he contracted it. 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,” Calabrese 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.”
Mr. Trump has largely resisted wearing a mask in public, although he told Fox Business in anthat he thinks “masks are good.” He said he would “absolutely” wear a mask if he was in a “tight situation with people.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that Mr. Trump does not need to frequently wear a mask because he isn’t around very many people, and the people he is around have been tested.
Nicole Sganga contributed reporting.