Herman Cain, the TV and radio host, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has died about a month after he became sick with the novel coronavirus disease, his team announced on Thursday morning. He was 74.
"We’re heartbroken, and the world is poorer: Herman Cain has gone to be with the Lord," reads an update posted to his official website.
"We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight," Cain's friend Dan Calabrese wrote in that update on Thursday. "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."
Calabrese continued: "We all prayed so hard every day. We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we really liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he’d have a full recovery."
Cain had spent most of July getting treated for COVID-19 in an Atlanta-area hospital. His team said early this month that he tested positive on June 29.
His representatives said he began showing symptoms on July 1 and he was then hospitalized. Earlier this week, Cain’s representatives said he was still in the hospital and was “being treated with oxygen for his lungs.”
Cain’s team said in early July that there was “no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus."
However, the former restaurant executive-turned-politician had attended President Donald Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma — a large gathering that health officials believe is linked to subsequent infections. (Many attendees, including Cain, were seen without masks or social distancing.)
"I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling the past week," Calabrese wrote on his website earlier in July. "I don’t think there’s any way to trace this to the one specific contact that caused him to be infected. We’ll never know."
Cain is survived by his wife, Gloria, children Vincent and Melanie and their three grandchildren.
"They need our love, our support and our prayers," Calabrese wrote Thursday. "Nothing I talked about above meant as much to him as these wonderful people did, and because he loved them so much, we will continue to feel his impact on the world through them."