Herman Cain hospitalized with Covid-19

Herman Cain, the godfather pizza mogul who twice ran for president and was briefly considered a potential candidate for the Federal Reserve Board under President Donald Trump, was hospitalized Wednesday and is being treated for the coronavirus.

Cain, 74, was told Monday that he had tested positive for the disease, according to a statement posted on his official Twitter account. By Wednesday, “he had developed symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization,” the statement said.

Cain is currently being treated at an Atlanta-area hospital, according to the statement, where he is “resting comfortably” and “awake and alert.”

On Wednesday, two days after Cain was said to be positive, he tweeted his apparent support for South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s decision not to require the wearing of masks or social distancing during Trump’s upcoming visit to Mt. Rushmore.

“The masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump,” Cain tweeted. “PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”

Cain is not using a fan and is doing well, his staff told Newsmax, the conservative media outlet where Cain has worked as a contributor since April.

A Cain spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last month, Cain attended Trump’s much-publicized rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the kick-off event for the president’s reelection bid after the coronavirus pandemic forced him to abandon the campaign for months.

Critics, including local public health officials, had urged Trump to postpone the rally, warning that organizing a large gathering of people could spread the disease.

Cain posted a photograph of himself at the June 20 rally sitting near other attendees, none of whom appeared to be wearing masks, as many health officials currently advise.

Days later, Cain wrote in The Western Journal that “the media worked very hard to scare people from attending the Trump campaign on Saturday night in Tulsa.” Cain wrote that the rally was a success and questioned criticism of a disappointing turnout at the event.

At least a half-dozen Trump campaign staff members who helped prepare for the rally in Tulsa had tested positive for the coronavirus before the event. The campaign said at the time that “no positive COVID staff member or anyone in immediate contact will be at today’s rally or close to assistants and elected officials.”

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told NBC News in a statement that Cain “did not meet with the president” at the Tulsa rally.

In Thursday’s Twitter statement, Cain’s staff wrote, “There is no way to know for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus, but we do know that he is a fighter who has beaten Stage 4 cancer.”

“With God’s help, we are confident that he will recover quickly and completely,” the statement said.

Cain had served in leadership roles at the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank between 1989 and 1996. He later became a player in Republican politics as economic adviser to Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign before briefly launching his own candidacy in 2000.

In the 2012 Republican Party presidential primary season, Cain garnered massive media coverage with his catchy economic plan “9-9-9” to replace much of the federal tax code with a 9% business transaction tax, a tax 9% personal income and 9% sales tax. Critics called the plan “dubious” and impractical.

Cain suspended that campaign in December 2011 after allegations of sexual harassment, which he denied.

Cain regained media attention in April 2019, when Trump announced that he was considering nominating Cain to the Federal Reserve Board.

However, within a month, Trump tweeted that his “truly wonderful” friend had “asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board.”

Cain said at the time that “the people who hate me” are already digging up the negative things found in the stories from eight years ago … I am not going to let prosecutors run my life or determine my career. “