Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate who served as a chairman of Black Voices for Trump, died Thursday because of complications from the virus, weeks after attending Mr. Trump’s indoor rally In Tulsa, Okla. It had been a loaded setting and date — the weekend of Juneteenth, as protests over the death of George Floyd spread across the country — and the president needed as many Black supporters In attendance as he could muster.
Mr. Trump tweeted his condolences, calling Mr. Cain “an American patriot, and great friend.” Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said In a statement that Mr. Cain “represented the very best of the American spirit.”
There was no nod to the reality that Mr. Cain may have put himself at greater risk because he was trying to be a good soldier for Mr. Trump. Inside the Tulsa arena, Mr. Cain posted selfies showing him sitting with other Black Trump supporters, none of whom wore masks.
It was an outcome that few In Trumpworld wanted to bear a measure of responsibility for. One campaign adviser said Thursday he hoped no one would “politicize” Mr. Cain’s death, and noted that it was impossible to tell where someone might have contracted the virus. The campaign did not respond to a request for comment about Mr. Cain’s attendance at the rally.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus continues to circle Mr. Trump:
His national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, became the latest and most senior member of the administration to test positive for the coronavirus.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Mr. Trump’s eldest son and a top fund-raising official for the re-election campaign, has received a clean bill of health since her positive test for the coronavirus this month. And she’s already been spotted back at the White House.
A rarity: Obama goes there