Herman Cain, the former pizza mogul and brief frontrunner in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, has died of COVID-19. It is not known for sure where he contracted the virus, but he came down with symptoms nine days after attending President Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa on June 20, and posted a picture online of himself there in a group of people without masks.
In other news, Bill Montgomery, the 80-year-old co-founder of the conservative student group Turning Point USA, has also died of COVID-19. It has not been reported where he might have come down with the virus, but the other founder of TPUSA, Charlie Kirk, has repeatedly spread misinformation about the pandemic in general and masks in particular. On Kirk's podcast last weekend, he stated he refuses to wear a mask, and falsely suggested that doing so might make you sicker. The official TPUSA Twitter account deleted a tweet mocking mask-wearing after Montgomery's death.
The whole conservative movement has been trying to deny, downplay, and disregard this pandemic from the start. The resulting collateral damage now includes several prominent figures in their own ranks. But even that might not be enough to convince them to shift direction — 66-year-old Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Tex.) recently tested positive, but he suggested on TV that it might have been from wearing a mask.