Former presidential candidate and loyal Trump ally Herman Cain dies of coronavirus
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain has died of coronavirus.
The news was announced on the prominent Republican's website. He was 74.
"Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away," editor of the website Dan Calabrese wrote.
"He's entering the presence of the Saviour he's served as an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta, and preparing for his reward."
Mr Calabrese noted that because of his history with cancer and his age, Mr Cain was in a high-risk group.
"We knew when he was first hospitalised with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight," Calabrese wrote.
"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."
His death was mourned in a tweet by President Donald Trump.
"My friend Herman Cain, a Powerful Voice of Freedom and all that is good, passed away this morning," Mr Trump wrote.
"Herman had an incredible career and was adored by everyone that ever met him, especially me. He was a very special man, an American Patriot, and great friend."
His death comes weeks after he bragged about attending Donald Trump's Oklahoma rally without a mask.
A photo posted on Twitter shows him among a crowd, none of whom are wearing masks.
A day before he was hospitalised earlier this month, Mr Cain celebrated the fact that a South Dakota Independence Day event would not make masks mandatory.
"Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump," he tweeted.
"PEOPLE ARE FED UP!"
It is not known if he contracted the disease in Tulsa during the rally.
Mr Cain was one of very few prominent African-Americans in the Republican Party.
He ran for president in 2012, briefly leading in the Republican Party polls during the primaries.
As a rambunctious businessman with strong conservative opinions, his campaign served as a prototype for Mr Trump's ultimately successful run for president.
But his campaign was brought undone by sexual misconduct allegations in November of 2011. He suspended his campaign a month later.
Mr was a prominent executive for Burger King, before becoming the CEO of Godfather's Pizza, a popular fast food chain.
Only 6200 people attended Mr Trump's Tulsa rally on June 20, barely a quarter of the stadium's capacity.
But footage and photos of the event showed the crowd packed in tightly around the stage and in the seats closest to the front.
A stage set up for the crowd overflow was dissembled before there was nobody there to see.
Dozens of Secret Service staffers were placed in self-quarantine after two agents were diagnosed with COVID-19 after the rally.
Six other Trump campaign workers also tested positive while in Tulsa.
The city is among the hardest hit by the virus's second spike, with about one in 50 of the residents there confirmed to have the disease.
More than 152,000 Americans have died of the disease.
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