Former Republican presidential contender Herman Cain has died due to COVID-19. Cain was hospitalized on July 2 for COVID-19 symptoms; his last apparent public appearance was at Donald Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma rally two weeks prior, on June 20. That event was intentionally structured to ignore pandemic safety recommendations, and Tulsa, Oklahoma saw a spike of COVID-19 cases in the weeks afterwards that public health experts believe was connected to Trump’s appearance.
Cain was a fierce public critic of mandatory mask efforts. The day before his hospitalization, he had praise for Trump’s no-mask policy a Mt. Rushmore event, declaring in a now-deleted tweet that “PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”