Herman Cain, a Trump surrogate, tests positive for coronavirus after attending Tulsa rally

Cain attended Trump’s rally in Tulsa on June 20 and posted a photo of himself with others at the event, which showed him not wearing a face mask.
Image: Herman Cain speaks at a press conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Nov. 8, 2011.
Herman Cain speaks at a press conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Nov. 8, 2011.Eric Thayer / Getty Images file

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By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate and businessman, has tested positive for COVID-19 more than a week after attending President Donald Trump's Tulsa rally, a statement posted to his official Twitter account on Thursday.

“There is no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus, but we do know he is a fighter who has beaten Stage 4 cancer,” the statement said. Cain is currently recieving treatment at an Atlanta hospital.

While there’s no way to pinpoint exactly where he contracted the virus, Cain Trump’s rally in Tulsa on June 20 and posted a photo of himself with others at the event, which showed him without a mask on. The 74-year-old tested positive on June 29, the statement said.

After testing positive for COVID-19 on Monday, he developed symptoms "serious enough that he required hospitalization," and spent the last night in the hospital where he’s been resting comfortably on Thursday, the statement said.

"Mr. Cain did not require a respirator, and he is awake and alert," it said.

Cain, who is an official surrogate for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, wrote an op-ed after the rally in which he defended the event, writing, "The media worked very hard to scare people out of attending the Trump campaign rally last Saturday night in Tulsa."

"Yes, there were some empty seats in the nosebleed sections, but 16,000 people in the COVID-19 era is pretty impressive," he wrote.

Since the rally, multiple people who attended the rally have tested positive for the virus, including a journalist and at least two members of the campaign's advance team. In addition, six campaign staffers tested positive hours before the rally as well, but they were not present at the event.

Trump's campaign said in a statement Thursday that Trump did not meet with Cain at the rally.

"Contact tracing was conducted after the Tulsa rally but we do not comment regarding the medical information of individuals," campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said. "Regardless, Mr. Cain did not meet with the President."