A leading Donald Trump supporter who played down the danger posed by coronavirus has been killed by Covid-19.
Herman Cain’s death at the age of 74 was broken by Newsmax Thursday morning.
A statement released on his website said: ‘Herman Cain — our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us — has passed away, ‘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.’
President Trump, who has himself sought to play down the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, has yet to comment on his friend’s death.
Cain’s official Twitter account tweeted that people were overreacting to coronavirus just a day before his death.
That message said: ‘Our government, and our media, have incinerated their credibility. So, is it any wonder that people are skeptical? #Coronavirus.’ It was accompanied by a link to a story about parents planning on holding off from giving their children coronavirus vaccines, although it is unlikely Cain sent the tweet himself.
Cain, who was chairman of the Black Voices for Trump campaign group, was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 at the start of this month.
His Twitter account announced that he was being treated with oxygen for his lungs earlier this week.
The stage-four cancer survivor initially seemed to be responding well to treatment and shared updates from his hospital bed in Atlanta, Georgia.
It is unclear how he picked up the killer virus, although Cain was photographed maskless at Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June.
That event was blamed for a subsequent spike in coronavirus diagnoses in the area.
Cain’s website editor Dan Calabrese said after his diagnosis ‘We honestly have no idea where he contracted it. I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling the past week, including to Arizona where cases are spiking.