Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is now among the well over 2.7 million Americans who have tested positive for the Coronavirus. Cain is 74 years old, and the virus has been reported to have particularly damaging effects on the health of the elderly. According to a statement posted to Cain’s Twitter account on Thursday, the high-profile Republican “had developed symptoms serious enough that he required hospitalization” on Wednesday. Cain originally tested positive for the virus on June 29 — nine days after he attended Trump’s now infamous Tulsa rally, where he was photographed definitely not wearing a mask.
We are sorry to announce that Herman Cain has tested positive for COVID-19, and is currently receiving treatment in an Atlanta-area hospital.
Please keep him, and all who are battling this virus, in your prayers.
Our full statement appears below. Updates to follow. pic.twitter.com/lDRW7Rla4e
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 2, 2020
Face masks are important to stemming the spread of the Coronavirus, but amidst harshly anti-science rhetoric from prominent Republicans including President Donald Trump himself, the question of whether or not to actually wear a mask has become a political football. Republicans have opposed mask mandates and advocated for “personal choice,” while many on the opposite side of the spectrum have pointed out the basic, duly documented science behind the nationwide push for masks. Cain evidently fell on the anti-science side of the equation, and he could have either contracted or spread the virus at that Tulsa rally, where masks were a rare sight, at best.
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) June 20, 2020
Ironically, Herman Cain had posted an anti-mask rant on Twitter literally the day before it was announced that he’d been hospitalized on account of his Coronavirus symptoms. Discussing a planned Mt. Rushmore event, Cain had commented:
‘Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!’
Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!https://t.co/Oykdz4xThD
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) July 1, 2020
The Trump campaign faced criticism for holding the Tulsa rally at all amidst new rises in Coronavirus cases around the country, including in Oklahoma at the time. Just this week, the U.S. has yet again broken its daily record for the number of Coronavirus cases newly reported in a single day. On Wednesday, over 50,000 new cases were reported around the country, and on Thursday, the numbers weren’t much better. In Florida, which is one of the states facing some of the latest surge, state authorities reported over 10,000 new cases in a single day for the first time on Thursday.