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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

‘We Killed Herman Cain’: New Book Explains How Trump Team’s Botched Tulsa Rally

Turns out that Trump's Tulsa campaign rally to drum up support for a second term was really a COVID-19 hotspot.

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Herman Cain (C,L) and supporters of US President Donald Trump “Black Voices” listen to him speak during a campaign rally at the BOK Center on June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Herman Cain (C,L) and supporters of US President Donald Trump “Black Voices” listen to him speak during a campaign rally at the BOK Center on June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Photo: Nicholas Kamm (Getty Images)

He should’ve worn a mask.

With his medical history, Herman Cain had to know that the last place he should be was at a crowded rally in Tulsa supporting then-President Trump. But the former president had made everything about the coronavirus political so there was Cain, 74, having already battled cancer, mask-less and unvaccinated shoulder-to-shoulder with other yahoos supporting his boy, who couldn’t sit his rallying ass down despite having already won the presidency.

Jonathan Karl’s new book, Betrayal, spotlights how dangerous it was to hold a rally in the middle of a damn pandemic and how wrong the Trump staffers were about it all. According to an excerpt published in Vanity Fair, the rally was a disaster from the beginning. There were tons of empty seats, which was a bad look for an already struggling president who was seeking reelection, and several Trump staffers tested positive for the coronavirus before the event began—and they worked anyway. It’s believed that this is where Cain caught the coronavirus.

Here’s how Vanity Fair explains the outbreak-monkey-fest:

The night before the rally, Trump campaign staffers who had traveled to Oklahoma partied together at the restaurant bar of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Tulsa. The tight-knit team had not been all together for a rally in months. They were ready to celebrate, drinking together until well past midnight. After the bar closed, some in the group retreated to a staff room in the hotel and raided the minibar—drinking and celebrating well into the morning hours. Nobody bothered to keep their distance or wear masks. As it turned out, the virus wasn’t just spreading across the country—it was also spreading among the Trump campaign staff.

The following morning, staffers woke up hungover from the festivities and skulked downstairs for breakfast in the hotel restaurant. As one of the senior campaign officials described it, they were eating “crappy bagels” when word came that members of the team had tested positive for COVID-19.

“Put your mask on,” one campaign aide told another, hunched over breakfast food. “We have staff popping positive.”

“How many?” they replied.

“We’re already at eight.”

After that, members of the campaign staff in Tulsa frantically tried to retrace their steps from the party the night before, worried they would be next to test positive. “We were all trying to figure out who’s testing positive, because we were all thinking, ‘Oh, shit. Was I near that person last night?’” a senior Trump campaign official told ABC News reporter Will Steakin, who was in Tulsa to cover the rally but fortunately had stayed clear of the hotel bar and the infected Trumpers.

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Many Secret Service members reportedly quarantined after testing positive, but Trump staffers didn’t give a shit. Instead of isolating themselves for 10 days, they drove back to Washington, D.C., in what other staffers called the “COVID-mobile.”

But Trump and his campaign manager Brad Parscale were still bragging about the alleged number of people who were supposed to show up.

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“As you probably have heard, and we’re getting exact numbers out, but we’re either close to or over one million people wanting to go,” Trump told the media. “Nobody has ever heard of numbers like this. I think we’re going to have a great time.”

On the way to the event, Trump told Chris Christie: “This is gonna be great. We are getting back on the road and the campaign back on track.”

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Later, Trump became concerned.

“Is it going to be full?” Trump asked Parscale.

“No, sir. It looks like Beirut in the eighties,” the campaign manager replied, adding, “I’m sorry. I threw everything I could at it,” Vanity Fair reports.

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Trump was pissed; but that wasn’t the end of it. Nine days after the disaster in Tulsa, Cain, who was flown in by Trump’s staff, tested positive for the coronavirus. Photos from the event show an unmasked Cain sitting close to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who also tested positive for COVID after the rally, Rolling Stone reports.

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One of Trump’s senior staff reportedly told ABC News reporter Will Steakin, “We killed Herman Cain.”

Trump didn’t give a shit. When asked if he thought that Cain caught the virus at his rally, Trump claimed, “No, I don’t think so” while knowing that his damn outbreak-monkey-fest was a COVID-19 hotspot.