Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez cited the death of businessman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to swipe at President Trump for holding in-person campaign events amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Cain – a cancer survivor – died this summer of coronavirus complications after attending a Trump rally in Tulsa, Okla., in June.
HERMAN CAIN DIES AT 74 FROM CORNAVIRUS COMPLICATIONS
Asked during an interview with Politico on Tuesday about the president’s campaign events held Monday in front of crowds of supporters in the general election battleground states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, Perez pointed to the Tulsa rally, which was the only rally Trump’s held since the coronavirus swept the country in mid-March. Public health officials have warned against large gatherings of people amid the pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus.
Perez – spotlighting the Tulsa rally – noted that public health officials said the rally “likely contributed” to a surge in new coronavirus cases.
The DNC chairman then asked “was that a good model for how people should conduct themselves? Ask the family of Herman Cain.”
The president and his campaign touted a few days ahead of the Tulsa event that they had received 1 million requests for tickets to the rally, which was held in an indoor arena. But the crowds never materialized, and large portions of the arena’s upper deck were empty as the president spoke. The president acknowledged recently that a second rally scheduled for last month in the battleground state of New Hampshire was canceled due to health concerns.
The 74-year-old Cain was diagnosed with COVID-19 nine days after attending the Tusla rally without a mask. He was hospitalized and died last month.
The president told reporters on July 31 that he doesn’t’ believe Cain contracted the coronavirus at the Tulsa rally, saying, “No I don’t think he did.”
Trump resumes in-person campaign stops in Arizona on Tuesday and Thursday in Pennsylvania, two more important swing states, coinciding with this week’s Democratic National Convention.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden has largely avoided in-person campaigning – and instead holds virtual campaign events or small, socially distanced in-person events in his home state of Delaware or neighboring Pennsylvania.