Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, hospitalised with coronavirus

Cain (above, in 2012) attended Trump's June 2020 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and admitted to an Atlanta-area hospital, according to a statement on Thursday (July 2) on his Twitter feed.

Cain attended last month's Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally for President Donald Trump, supporting his fellow Republican at an event where many attendees crowded close together without wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"Trump Tulsa Rally - I was there! The atmosphere was exciting and inspiring!" Cain wrote on Twitter after the June 20 rally.

He also tweeted a maskless photograph of himself at the rally surrounded by fellow Trump supporters also not wearing masks.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said Cain did not meet with Trump in Tulsa.

He said contact tracing was conducted after the campaign rally but he could not discuss individual cases.

Cain was informed on Monday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

By Wednesday, he had developed symptoms serious enough to require hospitalisation.

At 74, he is part of the age group most at risk for severe Covid-19.

"We are sorry to announce that Herman Cain has tested positive for Covid-19, and is currently receiving treatment in an Atlanta-area hospital," the statement said.

"There is no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr Cain contracted the coronavirus," it said.

"With God's help, we are confident he will make a quick and complete recovery."

Cain posted support for not mandating masks at a July 4 event Trump plans to attend at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

"Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!" he tweeted on Wednesday.

Health experts agree that mask wearing can significantly cut down on the spread of the virus that has killed more than 128,000 Americans.

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