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Former presidential candidate Herman Cain dies after month-long battle with coronavirus

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – MAY 31: Herman Cain, former chairman and chief executive officer of Godfather’s Pizza, speaks during the final day of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference on May 31, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Leaders of the Republican Party spoke at the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference which hosted 1,500 delegates from across the country. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ATLANTA — 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain has died at an Atlanta-area hospital after battling the coronavirus, according to a statement posted on his official Twitter account Thursday. He was 74.

Cain had been hospitalized at the beginning of July for COVID-19. As a co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, Cain was one of the surrogates at President Donald Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At least eight Trump advance team staffers who attended the Tulsa rally also tested positive for coronavirus.

Trump faced criticism for holding the big-arena event despite warnings from public health experts that it is not yet safe to hold mass gatherings. More than 6,000 people attended the rally at the BOK Center, an arena that can seat more than 19,000.

Cain briefly rose to the top of polls during the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination by highlighting a plan to simplify the tax code with what he called the 9-9-9 plan. On the campaign trail, he spoke about being diagnosed in 2006 with stage 4 liver cancer and his doctors giving him slim hope for long-term survival.

More recently, he has kept involved in conservative politics as a commentator on Newsmax.

Dan Calabrese, editor of HermanCain.com, posted the obituary on Cain’s Twitter and website, saying in part:

Let me deal with some of the particulars of the last few weeks. We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight. He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear pretty quickly that he was in for a battle.

We didn’t release detailed updates on his condition to the public or to the media because neither his family nor we thought there was any reason for that. There were hopeful indicators, including a mere five days ago when doctors told us they thought he would eventually recover, although it wouldn’t be quick. We were relieved to be told that, and passed on the news via Herman’s social media. And yet we also felt real concern about the fact that he never quite seemed to get to the point where the doctors could advance him to the recovery phase.

-DAN CALABRESE

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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