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Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Former Republican presidential candidate and ex-CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain, 74, has died almost a month after being hospitalized for coronavirus.

The big picture: Cain, the co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, was in a high-risk group due to his history with cancer. Cain's positive coronavirus test came less than two weeks after he attended President Trump's controversial June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, where he tweeted a picture of himself without a mask.

  • Public health officials had warned that the large-scale rally could infect many and put lives at risk.
  • It's unclear whether Cain contracted the virus at the Trump rally.
  • While in the hospital, Cain commented on a July 4 celebration at Mt. Rushmore, tweeting: "Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!"

What they're saying: "Let me deal with some of the particulars of the last few weeks. We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight. He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance," Dan Calabrese wrote in a statement on Cain's website.

  • "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. We didn't release detailed updates on his condition to the public or to the media because neither his family nor we thought there was any reason for that."
  • "There were hopeful indicators, including a mere five days ago when doctors told us they thought he would eventually recover, although it wouldn't be quick. We were relieved to be told that, and passed on the news via Herman's social media. And yet we also felt real concern about the fact that he never quite seemed to get to the point where the doctors could advance him to the recovery phase."

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement: "Herman Cain embodied the American Dream and represented the very best of the American spirit. 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."

Go deeper

Trump speaks from White House in first public event since COVID-19 diagnosis

President Trump said during a Saturday rally on the South Lawn of the White House that the coronavirus "is going to disappear."

Why it matters: The rally with 300 to 400 attendees was the president's first public event since he contracted the coronavirus, and included conservative activist Candace Owens and the group “Blexit,” which seeks to convince Black voters to join the Republican Party.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.