Herman Cain Twitter account says Covid-19 'not as deadly' as warned, weeks after he dies of virus

Tweet was based on misleading interpretation of CDC data

Liam James
Monday 31 August 2020 17:01 BST
Herman Cain gives inspiring speech to students in 2017

The twitter account of Herman Cain posted that Covid-19 was "not as deadly" as made out, just weeks after the one-time Republican presidential candidate died from the virus.

The prominent conservative businessman died in July as a result of the virus after spending weeks in critical condition.

Cain's twitter account has continued to post several times a day after his death, most commonly to share articles from the dubious Western Journal, one of which provided the basis for Monday's coronavirus claim.

"It looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be," the tweet read, linking to a Western Journal article on a recent data release from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC release recorded that in 6 per cent of US coronavirus deaths, Covid-19 was the only factor. This fact has been jumped on by American virus sceptics, who have reported the converse 94 per cent figure to suggest that the virus was inconsequential in these deaths despite it being listed as a cause alongside additional health conditions.

The Western Journal was found in a New York Times investigation last year found to have been blacklisted by Apple News, the tech giant's news aggregator, after producing stories promoting "views overwhelmingly rejected by the scientific community". The site had earlier been blacklisted by Google News for what were considered deceptive business practices.

The site's founder Floyd Brown has a long history of peddling conspiracy theories, including one infamous attack ad from the 2008 election campaign that questioned whether then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim and claimed that Hungarian-American financier George Soros was "planning to sack the US economy, make himself billions richer, and put Obama in the White House marching to his mad tune".

Cain's daughter Melanie Cain Gallo, announced after the businessman's death that his social media team and family members would continue to run his twitter account.

“We've decided here at Cain HQ that we will go on using this platform to share the information and ideas he believed in. He often talked about the site going on once he was ready to step away from it. We had hoped he could enjoy reading it in his retirement, but he made it clear he wanted to go on,” Ms Gallo said.

The Cain Gang, as the account is named, made headlines earlier in August after suggesting Joe Biden's presidential bid was going to be "completely nuts" on the day that Kamala Harris was announced as the Democratic candidate's running mate.

"The Cain Gang consists of different writers who have their own opinions. We all lean right, but we're also individuals. Each piece reflects the opinions of that writer. That's how Herman wanted it to work," the account posted after several news outlets picked up on the tweet.

Herman Cain was a leading businessman who rose to prominence when he launched a campaign for the Republican presidential candidacy in 2012. He remains posthumous-chair of Black Voices for Trump, a grassroots campaign organisation.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in