Ex-US Presidential Candidate Dies of COVID-19

Ex-US Presidential Candidate Herman Cain. Source: Reuters

Herman Cain, the Republican pizza chain CEO who ran for president in 2012, died on Thursday July 30 after contracting COVID-19.

Mr Cain, 74, was hospitalised after being diagnosed with the disease earlier this month.

“Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away,” a message posted on his official website said.

File image of ex-US presidential candidate Herman Cain. Source: File

He was a supporter of President Trump and is one of the most high-profile Americans to die with the virus.

His social media accounts had been providing regular updates on his condition. On July 7, a post from his Twitter account said “doctors are trying to make sure his oxygen levels are right”.

“This is a tough virus,” it said. “Please continue praying.”

Who was Herman Cain?

Born in Tennessee, USA to a janitor and a cleaner, Mr Cain went on to study for a degree in maths and a master’s in computing.

He worked variously as a Baptist minister, a radio talk show host and as a businessman.

Cain, as a co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, was one of the surrogates at President Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Source: Twitter

Mr Cain was an advocate of a flat tax system and ran for office after a stint as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.

During his run, he told reporters he would not stand for any “gotcha questions”.

“And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I’m going to say you know, I don’t know. Do you know?” he asked.

He initially proved popular, but later found himself at the centre of a number of sexual harassment allegations.

Although he denied the accusations against him, his popularity soon suffered and he suspended his campaign. Mitt Romney later became the Republican candidate in an unsuccessful race against President Barack Obama’s bid for a second term in office.

In 2019, Mr Trump sounded him out to sit on the Federal Reserve Board, but he withdrew his nomination after several Republican senators refused to back his appointment.

However, Mr Cain continued to back Mr Trump and appeared at a rally held by the president in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20.

He was admitted to hospital after contacting coronavirus on July 1.

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