Herman Cain continues to speak from beyond the grave through his Twitter account, with a now-deleted tweet claiming that coronavirus is “not as deadly” as “mainstream media” made it out to be, despite Cain dying from COVID-19 weeks after attending a rally for President Trump—and raising questions about Twitter policies for deceased account holders.
According to screenshots of the tweet, Cain’s account (renamed “The Cain Gang” by his family) wrote on Sunday, “it looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be.”
The tweet also linked to an article from conservative news site Western Journal, which a New York Times investigation found in 2019 was blacklisted from Apple News for containing views rejected by the larger scientific community and Google News for maintaining deceptive business practices.
Cain’s tweet drew backlash and scorn from other social media users, who pointed out the irony in his Twitter account claiming coronavirus is “not as deadly” even though he died from the virus in July.
Cain’s story is “a tragedy in four acts,” according to University College London global politics professor Brian Klaas, who pointed out that Cain tweeted against masks and attended a Trump rally without wearing the protective gear.
Other Twitter users questioned the ethics of Cain’s account still bearing its blue “verified” check mark, which the social media platform uses to signify “that an account of public interest is authentic.”
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment by Forbes on who is allowed to manage a user’s verified account after their death.
Joe Biden. He criticized Trump’s Thursday night acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, which was held on the White House grounds due to the pandemic. Trump “hosted a super spreader event on the South Lawn,” Biden tweeted. The event hosted 1,500 people without a mask requirement, and chairs were spaced just inches apart.
What we don’t know
It’s unclear how long Cain’s Sunday tweet was posted before being deleted.
Cain was a prominent Republican and former presidential candidate on the party ticket. He died from coronavirus on July 30, about a month after attending Trump’s much-maligned Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally. Although the rally was under attended, with about 6,000 people present when the venue could hold 19,000, Tulsa health officials attributed a record spike in area virus cases to the event. Since Cain’s death, his Twitter account has roared back to life, making good on a vow from his family “to share the information and ideas he believed in.” An August 12 tweet from Cain’s account attacking Biden and Kamala Harris was ratioed, meaning the comments outnumbered likes and shares, which suggests the content was disliked.
How a Conservative News Site Thrived on Facebook and Google (New York Times)