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Former GOP Presidential Hopeful Herman Cain Has Died Of Coronavirus At 74

Ryan Ford 30 Jul 2020

Herman Cain, the former Godfather's Pizza exec who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, has died of coronavirus at 74, his staff announced on his Twitter account this morning.

"You're never ready for the kind of news we are grappling with this morning. But we have no choice but to seek and find God's strength and comfort to deal," they wrote, announcing Cain's passing.

Herman Cain jumped into the national spotlight in 2011 when he joined the Republican presidential race.

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Before that point, Cain made his mark in the restaurant industry, running the Godfather's Pizza chain from 1986 until 1996, a tumultuous time for the company during which he claimed he saved the chain from bankruptcy.

Although the 2012 Republican nomination went to Mitt Romney, Cain remained active in GOP politics and served as a Trump surrogate, co-chairing Black Voices for Trump.

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On June 29, Cain announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.

It's unknown exactly where or when he caught the virus, but his last major public appearance prior to that was at President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20.

Here, he was pictured shoulder-to-shoulder with other attendees, none of whom were wearing a mask.

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Days later, a statement on Cain's Twitter account stated that his symptoms required him to be hospitalized.

Having previously survived a bout with stage 4 colon cancer, Cain was considered to be at increased risk of adverse effects from COVID-19.

However, Cain also cited his cancer scare, in which he was given just a 30% chance of survival, as one of the major reasons he decided to run for president, according to CNN.

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Little news of Cain's condition was available during his hospitalization.

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"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," staffers wrote on his website.

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As news of Cain's death spread, condolences have started pouring in.

"My deepest sympathy and prayers to Herman Cain’s family and his loved ones," House minority leader Kevin McCarthy wrote on Twitter. "He led an accomplished life—business titan, cancer survivor, and Republican presidential candidate. He will always be remembered for his love of country."

"Saddened that Herman Cain—a formidable champion of business, politics and policy—has lost his battle with Covid. St. Peter will soon hear “999!” Keep up the fight, my friend," Senator Mitt Romney wrote of his former opponent on Twitter.

h/t: CNN, NBC News

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