Trump says his rallies didn’t spread virus, many recall Herman Cain’s death

During Tuesday night's debate, the president downplayed the potential dangers of his infamous rallies where attendees did not wear masks or socially distance

During a fiery debate on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sparred over a range of political issues as millions of American voters watched from their homes.

One of the most contentious topics was the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 7 million Americans and killed more than 200,000. The debate moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, asked Trump about the potential exposure of some of his campaign rallies during the pandemic where attendees were not wearing masks or socially distancing.

Read More: Trump, Biden lash out, interrupt each other in angry debate

Trump insisted that there were no “negative effects” that stemmed from his rallies and took a jab at Biden, arguing that the former U.S. vice president was essentially envious of his crowd turnouts. “We’ve had no negative effect. We’ve had no negative effect. And we’ve had 35 — 45,000 people at these rallies,” he said. 

Despite Trump’s attempt to downplay the potential dangers of his rallies, Twitter was quick to point out that former Republican presidential candidate and Trump campaign staffer Herman Cain died of COVID-19 complications just weeks after attending a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Donald Trump is a LIAR!!! He just said that his rallies during a pandemic have had no negative affect on people? Ask Herman Cain how that worked out for him! And that rally was INDOORS! He is the Spreader-in-Chief!,” tweeted veteran White House correspondent and author April Ryan.

MSNBC anchor Melvin Craig similarly tweeted, “So far we’ve had no problem whatsoever.”- @realDonaldTrump on his rallies. A reminder. Herman Cain died from Covid after attending a rally.”

Herman Cain
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the “Cain’s Revolution on the Hill” Tax Day Rally at the U.S. Capitol April 16, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The tweets pointing out Cain’s death and its possible connection to Trump’s rally in Tulsa continued to pour in. “Trump: “we’ve had no problems whatsoever” with people getting covid at our rallies Herman Cain: Herman Cain’s zombie twitter: “Wait, I…” tweeted actress and director Aisha Tyler.

Another Twitter user wrote, “Did Donald Trump really say they’ve had no problems with COVID related to his rallies? Did I dream up Herman Cain’s death? These black republicans be out here c00ning for Massah and they don’t give a sh*t about your ass.”

While it is largely believed Cain, who was not wearing a mask, contracted the virus at Trump’s rally, both a Cain representative and the White House have tried to downplay the connection.

“I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling the past week,” said Dan Calabrese, the editor of Cain’s website. “I don’t think there’s any way to trace this to one specific contact that caused the infection. We’ll never know.”

What’s more, local health officials in Tulsa said in July that Trump’s rally and protests that took place there around the same time “more than likely” contributed to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the city.

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