Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, who attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was taken to the hospital Wednesday after contracting COVID-19.
Cain, 74, tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday and “developed symptoms serious enough that he required hospitalization,” according to a statement on his Twitter account.
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO is “resting comfortably in an Atlanta-area hospital” after spending the night there, the statement said. “Mr. Cain did not require a respirator, and he is awake and alert.”
“There is no way of knowing how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus, but we do know he is a fighter who has beaten Stage 4 cancer,” the statement continued. “With God’s help, we are confident he will make a quick and complete recovery.”
Many health experts expressed concern about holding the Tulsa rally, particularly at an indoor venue amid the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 128,000 people in the U.S.They said it had the potential to become a “super spreader” event.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled such gatherings as among the most high-risk places for spreading infection. It has stressed that if people do gather in groups, they should maintain six feet of distance and wear masks.
‘Super spreader’:Health experts fear Trump rally in Tulsa could spread infection
A photo of Cain, a co-chair of Black voices for Trump, at the Tulsa rally shows him and a number of other people in close proximity without any face coverings.
Cain described attending the rally in an op-ed for the Western Journal. He said that contrary to reports that only about 6,200 attended the event in the venue that could accommodate more than 19,000, “I saw with my own eyes that there were at least 16,000 people there.”
“Yes, there were some empty seats in the nosebleed sections, but 16,000 people in the COVID-19 era is pretty impressive,” Cain said.
“I’ve had about enough of the media telling us this rally was some sort of bust. It was triumphant and electric,” Cain wrote. “Everyone who attended came away from it feeling good.”
In April 2019, Trump announced he intended to nominate Cain to serve on the Federal Reserve board. The plan to nominate Cain, who has been accused of repeated sexual harassment, was met with immediate backlash from both Democrats and Republicans. Two weeks later, Cain said he asked Trump to take his name out of consideration because he couldn’t afford the “pay cut.”
Cain survived stage 4 colon cancer, which was diagnosed in 2006.