Top Republican has virus after Trump rally

Herman Cain was taken to hospital after developing
Herman Cain was taken to hospital after developing "serious" symptoms, his Twitter account says.

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is being treated for COVID-19 after attending a rally in support of US President Donald Trump, according to a statement on Cain's Twitter account.

It was not immediately clear when or where the 74-year-old, who rose to the top of the polls briefly during the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, was infected.

However, he was taken to an Atlanta, Georgia, hospital less than two weeks after he attended a campaign rally for Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The president's campaign team said he did not meet Cain there.

The statement said Cain was taken to hospital after developing "serious" symptoms but was "awake and alert".

The former pizza company executive has been an outspoken backer of the president and was named by the campaign as a co-chair of Black Voices for Trump.

"I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of travelling the past week, including to Arizona where cases are spiking," Dan Calabrese, who has been editor of HermanCain.com, wrote on the website.

"I don't think there's any way to trace this to the one specific contact that caused him to be infected. We'll never know."

Australian Associated Press