Paging Maxine Waters: Dan Calabrese wants you to stop blaming Tulsa rally for Herman Cain's death

Today, during a hearing of the House COVID-19 subcommittee, Rep. Maxine Waters pointed a finger at the Trump Tulsa rally and unequivocally said that it the reason that Herman Cain died of the coronavirus. That is a timely bit of partisan criticism given the fact that just this morning I read comments from Dan Calabrese that there is no reason to assume Cain was infected during the Tulsa rally.

Waters was making a point that because Herman Cain didn’t wear a face mask during the rally, he died. When Cain’s death was announced on Thursday by Calabrese, a friend, and colleague, he mentioned that Cain was relatively healthy though he did have a history of surviving cancer. At age 74, though, he was in the high-risk category. In his post yesterday, Allahpundit mentioned that Cain was Calabrese’s boss at the time of his death.

There is no denying that Cain was someone who didn’t appear to be a regular wearer of face masks. He obviously accepted the risks, he wasn’t a stupid man. So be it. An announcement was made on Cain’s website that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

As we now know, he was hospitalized and sadly, did not survive. When his death was announced, the ugly left went nuts with blasting him, disrespectfully mocking him, for not wearing a mask, and then dying of the virus. Perhaps to the left, personal decisions about one’s health and medical decisions only pertain to abortion. Cain’s Twitter feed has many references to the coronavirus and of breakthroughs in developing a vaccine, as well as supporting the Trump administration. Cain was the co-chair of Black Voices for Trump. He was an active man and Calabrese points out in the interview published Friday in People magazine that he traveled frequently.

Calabrese pushed back on what he calls the overconfident assumption by some that Cain got sick while attending President Donald Trump’s Oklahoma rally last month while not wearing a mask, at an event officials believe is linked to other new infections.

Cain had traveled widely before he got sick, Calabrese says.

“I want people to know he did a lot of traveling that week, he traveled to Vegas, he was gonna go to Arizona and I think his flight got redirected. He was on several flights,” Calabrese says. “The whole conclusion that people are jumping to that he got it at the Tulsa rally — I think that a lot of people are jumping to that conclusion because they want to, but we have no reason to think he got it there as opposed to some of the airplanes he might have been on.”

“There’s people that are running around on Twitter … going, ‘Oh wasn’t he a COVID denier?’ No,” says Calabrese.

As far back as April, Cain spoke approvingly of wearing masks. Calabrese says that Cain understood the threat posed by the virus and sometimes he did wear a face mask. He advocated for mitigation of the coronavirus by using face masks and hand-washing. He was not a coronavirus denier. Calabrese pointed to these partisan times and the politicization of the coronavirus as the reason that so many took the opportunity to take personal shots at Cain upon learning of his death.

“To me, where he got it, it’s kind of neither here nor there. But I wish people would stop trying to turn it into a political angle in that way,” Calabrese, the editor of Cain’s website, tells PEOPLE.

“This is such a partisan age and people get defined by where they stood on the political spectrum and I’m sure a lot of people will define Herman in that way,” Calabrese says. “That was so much not who he was. His favorite thing to do was to help people see a way forward in their lives.”

I couldn’t help but notice the difference in how the left and some others reacted yesterday. There was the televised funeral of Rep. John Lewis. It was a large gathering without social distancing in place. People were seated elbow to elbow. I did see many masks on those in attendance but the virtue-signaling leftists are not perfect themselves. I also couldn’t help but think about all the people who have lost a loved one or a friend to this plague. They were denied the opportunity to tell their loved one goodbye and/or attend that person’s funeral because of the coronavirus. Such a large public display as seen yesterday – part of a six-day celebration of the life of John Lewis – seemed grossly out of place and tone-deaf. The show had to go on, though, because obviously the intention was for it to turn into a Democrat campaign rally. The political references and opinions were frequent and aggressive but none so much as the words delivered by former President Barack Obama. I was having flashbacks of the Paul Wellstone funeral.

Herman Cain and John Lewis led exceptional lives. Both were active in the civil rights movement. Both men were from very humble beginnings and rose to live the American dream. They both served as excellent role models and mentors for young people. However, Cain’s death was treated very differently than that of Lewis. Calabrese is right. The over-politicization of absolutely everything in 2020 is not productive. And, in the case of a successful, decent human being who happened to be both African-American and conservative, it is just disrespectful and destructive.

Hyper-partisan politicians like Maxine Waters try to dehumanize men like Herman Cain by implying he is less than intelligent when it comes to making personal decisions. The only response to that is to question her humanity and how she shows respect for the deceased.