By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Former 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is receiving treatment for coronavirus at an Atlanta-area hospital, according to a statement posted to his Twitter account.
Cain, a contributor for conservative media outlet Newsmax, was hospitalized Wednesday “after he had development symptoms serious enough that he required hospitalization” and was informed Monday that he tested positive for the virus.
“Mr. Cain did not require a respirator, and he is awake and alert,” according to the statement released Thursday.
Cain, as a co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, was one of the surrogates at President Donald Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“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. 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,” Dan Calabrese, who has been editor of HermanCain.com since 2012, said Thursday in a post on Cain’s website.
At least eight Trump advance team staffers who attended the Tulsa rally tested positive for coronavirus.
After interacting with several colleagues who later tested positive, all of Trump’s campaign staffers who attended his Tulsa rally quarantined the following week, CNN previously reported.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told CNN that Cain did not meet with Trump at the Tulsa rally.
“Contact tracing was conducted after the Tulsa rally but we do not comment regarding the medical information of individuals. Regardless, Mr. Cain did not meet with the President,” Murtaugh said.
Cain posted a photo of himself at the Tulsa rally, seated among other attendees without a facial covering.
Paris Dennard, pictured smiling right behind Cain in the picture on Cain’s Twitter page from the rally, told CNN he has not been informed about Cain’s positive diagnosis or his hospitalization.
Dennard, who is a Republican National Committee adviser for black media affairs, said he himself has not been tested for coronavirus since the Tulsa rally because he has “exhibited zero symptoms” and is regularly wearing a face covering.
As a cancer survivor, Cain, age 74, is considered at an increased risk for coronavirus, according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
In 2006, he was given a 30% chance of survival from stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to his liver. He underwent chemotherapy and surgery to remove the cancer from his liver and was declared cancer free in 2007.
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO announced his candidacy for president in 2011 and his 9-9-9 tax reform plan gained traction. After about seven months, he dropped his bid for the GOP nomination amid sexual harassment allegations, which he denied.
Cain was named in April 2019 as one of Trump’s picks for two open seats on the influential Federal Reserve Board. He withdrew from consideration within the same month after four Republican senators said publicly they would not vote to confirm him and amid concerns that his nomination hearing would resurface the harassment allegations.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond, DJ Judd, Sam Fossum and Donna Borak contributed to this report.