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"Herman Cain being killed by a pandemic and then later tweeting that the pandemic isn't really that deadly isn't the most important thing to happen in 2020 but it is by far the craziest," one Twitter user wrote

By Claudia Harmata
September 01, 2020 05:16 PM
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Herman Cain
Herman Cain in 2011
| Credit: Eric Thayer/Getty

Herman Cain's Twitter account, renamed "The Cain Gang," is still active following the TV and radio host's death in late July from the novel coronavirus — and some of the posts are raising eyebrows.

Over the weekend, the account shared a since-deleted tweet questioning the mortality rate of the coronavirus disease COVID-19, according to reports. Some called the post "ironic" given Cain's death from the virus.

"Herman Cain being killed by a pandemic and then later tweeting that the pandemic isn't really that deadly isn't the most important thing to happen in 2020 but it is by far the craziest," one user wrote.

Cain's posthumous account's new bio reads: "Official Twitter for Team Cain. Formerly run by Herman Cain, now supervised by his team and family. The mission continues." It appears that the account is being maintained to support Cain's eponymous conservative website, where articles are still being posted.

The former business executive, who was a headline-grabbing 2012 Republican presidential candidate, died earlier this summer about a month after he became sick with COVID-19. He was 74.

The original tweet from The Cain Gang, captured by the HuffPost, shared an article titled "CDC Now Says 94% of COVID Deaths Had an Underlying Condition."

The Twitter account captioned the post, "It looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be."

Accoridng to CNN, Twitter recently removed a similar tweet that falsely claimed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had "quietly" admitted "that only 6%" of people listed as coronavirus deaths "actually died from Covid," while "the other 94% had 2-3 other serious illnesses."

However, the government data actually further bolstered the longstanding assessment that underlying health conditions put coronavirus patients at more risk.

As the director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told Politifact: "[A]dvanced age and several other underlying diseases lead to bad outcomes with COVID infections. The people dying were not going to die but for the acquisition of COVID."

A spokesman for the CDC'S National Center for Health Statistics told Politifact that "the underlying cause of death is the condition that began the chain of events that ultimately led to the person’s death. In 92% of all deaths that mention COVID-19, COVID-19 is listed as the underlying cause of death."

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Following Cain's death, his close friend and colleague Dan Calabrese, who announced his death to the world, responded to criticism that Cain treated the coronavirus flippantly in the weeks before it killed him.

"To me, where he got it, it’s kind of neither here nor there. But I wish people would stop trying to turn it into a political angle in that way," Calabrese, the editor of Cain's website, told PEOPLE.

"This is such a partisan age and people get defined by where they stood on the political spectrum and I’m sure a lot of people will define Herman in that way," Calabrese said. "That was so much not who he was. His favorite thing to do was to help people see a way forward in their lives."

Herman Cain
Herman Cain in December 2011, announcing he was leaving the 2012 presidential race.
| Credit: Chris Rank/Corbis via Getty

"There’s people that are running around on Twitter ... going, ‘Oh wasn’t he a COVID denier?’ No," added Calabrese.

He also pushed back the certainty that Cain got sick while attending President Donald Trump's Oklahoma rally, where he was photographed not wearing a mask. Health officials have said they believe that event was linked to other infections at the time.

Despite being seen without a mask at the Oklahoma event in late June, Cain understood the threat posed by the virus, his friend said, insisting that Cain did wear a mask at times and was an "advocate" of proper coronavirus prevention such as mask-wearing and hand-washing.

(Cain's official Twitter, which was also run by staffers, posted a since-deleted tweet in June that people who wouldn't wear masks were "FED UP.” But he spoke approvingly of masks back in April.)

Calabrese also explained that Cain had traveled widely before he got sick.

"I want people to know he did a lot of traveling that week, he traveled to Vegas, he was gonna go to Arizona and I think his flight got redirected. He was on several flights," Calabrese prevoiusly told PEOPLE. "The whole conclusion that people are jumping to that he got it at the Tulsa rally — I think that a lot of people are jumping to that conclusion because they want to, but we have no reason to think he got it there as opposed to some of the airplanes he might have been on."

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