Michael Steele, the former chair of the Republican National Committee, on Thursday remembered his friend Herman Cain and issued a pointed reminder about the threat posed by the coronavirus.
Cain, the Tea Party activist who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, was hospitalized earlier this month after testing positive for COVID-19, less than two weeks after being pictured not wearing a face mask during President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Cain died Thursday at the age of 74.
“Look, Herman Cain was a buddy of mine,” Steele told MSNBC’s Joy Reid. “I appreciated every moment I got to spend with him and my heart goes out to him and his family for this loss.”
Steele then spelled out the harsh truth about the contagion that has now killed at least 150,000 people in the United States.
Worldwide, the virus has claimed more than 670,000 lives.
“The reality of it is for those who don’t think this is serious, that those who think this is some made-up China virus that was imported into the country,” said Steele. “You know, live in that bubble and you will die in that bubble. And that’s all that can be said.”
“Folks, we cannot, we cannot stop you from being stupid. We put the information out there,” Steele continued. “We’ve tried to educate and inform. We’ve got the best and brightest scientists in the country that have been summarily dismissed by this administration and particularly this president.”
Steele couldn’t “help your stupidity at this point, that’s your risk, it won’t be mine,” he said. “So, my heart goes out to the fallen who’ve not listened. But at the same time, for those who are, take care. Wear the damn mask.”
Check out Steele’s comments here:
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter