Trump pays tribute to ‘my friend Herman Cain’ as former GOP presidential candidate, 74, dies from COVID-19 after going to President’s disastrous Tulsa rally and developing symptoms nine days later

  • President Donald Trump paid tribute to the life of GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain with a tweet Thursday afternoon 
  • Trump called Cain a ‘very special man, an American Patriot, and great friend’ and said he called members of Cain’s family
  • Cain had been hospitalized for nearly a month due to COVID-19, which he tested positive for nine days after attending the president’s Tulsa rally 
  • There, Cain was photographed not wearing a mask nor practicing social distancing 
  • His staff previously said in a statement there is ‘no way to know for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus’ 

President Donald Trump paid tribute to the life of former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain by tweet Thursday, several hours after Cain’s death due  to COVID-19 was announced. 

‘My friend Herman Cain, a Powerful Voice of Freedom and all that is good, passed away this morning,’ the president wrote. ‘Herman had an incredible career and was adorbed by everyone that ever met him, especially me. He was a very man, an American Patriot and great friend.’ 

Trump said he had spoken with Cain’s widow Gloria, as well as his daughter Melanie and son Victor.  

President Donald Trump (left) shared this photo with Herman Cain (right) on Twitter Thursday, calling him a ‘great friend.’ Cain’s website and employer announced Thursday morning that Cain had died of COVID-19. He tested positive nine days after going to Trump’s Tulsa rally 

Trump said he called the family of the late Cain. Last spring Trump had nominated Cain to be a member of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, but Senate Republicans tanked the choice. The image is likely from a Situation Room meeting during this time

‘Melania and I loved Herman Cain, a great man. Herman, Rest in Peace!’  

Trump also shared a photo of the two men together in what looks to be the White House’s Situation Room. Cain had been called to the Situation Room during the spring of 2019 when he was being considered for a spot on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors.  

Senate Republicans had balked at the idea, essentially dooming Cain’s nomination. 

More recently Cain had taken a position at Newsmax, which reported both his hospitalization for COVID-19 and his death Thursday morning. 

The news was also posted on his personal website. 

Cain had been in an Atlanta-area hospital for breathing issues for almost a month.    

He had 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 tested positive for the virus nine days later. 

Earlier Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had tweeted about Cain’s life. 

‘Herman Cain embodied the American Dream and represented the very best of the American spirit,’ she wrote. ‘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.’ 

Herman Cain, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, joined Newsmax recently and the media organization reported his death Thursday. Cain had been on a ventilator at an Atlanta-area hospital and was admitted on July 1 

Herman Cain died of COVID-19. He attended President Trump’s June 20th rally in Tulsa, where he tweeted the above photo

Few attendees wore masks or socially distanced at President Donald Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma  rally

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany sent out a tweet saying Hermain Cain ’embodied the American Dream and represented the very best of the American spirit’ 

On July 1, the same day Herman Cain was taken by ambulance to the hospital as his breathing worsened, he put out a tweet complimenting South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem for not making social distancing and mask-wearing mandatory at Trump’s July 3 appearance in her state 


June 20: Herman Cain attend’s President Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally and posts a photo of himself not wearing a mask 

June 29: Cain tests positive for COVID-19

July 1: Cain is taken to the hospital by ambulance for COVID-19

July 1: Cain tweets in appreciation that South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem isn’t forcing mask-wearing at Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech 

July 30: Cain dies of COVID-19   

At age 74, Cain was in the high-risk group for the virus because of his age. 

He’s also a cancer survivor – in 2006, Cain had a diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer, which also had spread to his liver.

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!’

His staff said in a statement there is ‘no way to know for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus.’ 

Cain had traveled to multiple cities in June, Newsmax reported.  

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. 

Rally attendees had to sign off on legal language promising not to sue the Trump campaign if they contracted COVID-19. 

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.

The president 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. 

Herman Cain is photographed at a campaign rally – complete with ‘Yes We Cain’ signs in the background – in Nashua, New Hampshire in November 2011 

Herman Cain (center right) stands alongside some of the other 2012 GOP hopefuls including Texas Gov. Rick Perry (left), now Sen. Mitt Romney (center left) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (right) 

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.

President Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally ended up being a disaster instead of the campaign comeback it was designed to be

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, according to Politico.

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