President Donald Trump said one-time Republican presidential candidate ‘passed away from the China virus’ Thursday as he offered a tribute at the start of a coronavirus briefing.
Trump used the term which critics say is racist as he called Cain ‘a very special person’ hours after the 74-year-old’s death was announced.
The president did not address Cain’s final days which started with him being taken to the hospital suffering from the virus nine days after going to the disastrous Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and speaking out against wearing masks.
‘I begin by expressing our sadness at the passing of a wonderful man,’ Trump said.
‘He was a very special person. Unfortunately he passed away from a thing called the China virus.
‘We send out prayers to Herman’s great wife, Gloria. And I have to say, America grieves for all of the 150,000 Americans that had their lives taken by this horrible, invisible enemy.’
Cain, a cancer survivor, left his widow and daughter Melanie and son Victor. He has spent almost a month in the hospital before his death.
Trump had earlier tweeted a tribute calling him ‘an American patriot and a great friend,’ adding: ‘Melania and I loved Herman Cain, a great man. Herman, Rest in Peace!’
Trump also shared a photo of the two men together in what looks to be the White House’s Situation Room.
Cain had been called to the Situation Room during the spring of 2019 when he was being considered for a spot on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors.
Senate Republicans had balked at the idea, essentially dooming Cain’s nomination.
Among the issues which were raised when his name was floated were accusations of sexual harassment, and the long-time mistress who doomed his presidential cmapaign in 2011 saying she would testify at his confirmation hearing.
His complete lack of experience as an economist was also highlighted.
More recently Cain had taken a position at Newsmax, which reported both his hospitalization for COVID-19 and his death Thursday morning.
The news was also posted on his personal website.
Cain had been in an Atlanta-area hospital for breathing issues for almost a month.
He had attended Trump’s disastrous June 20th rally in Tulsa, where eight members of the advance team tested positive for the coronavirus and the campaign staff had to self-isolate afterward in case of infection. He tested positive for the virus nine days later.
Earlier Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had tweeted about Cain’s life.
‘Herman Cain embodied the American Dream and represented the very best of the American spirit,’ she wrote. ‘Our hearts grieve for his loved ones, and they will remain in our prayers at this time. We will never forget his legacy of grace, patriotism, and faith.’
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Source: Daily Mail