Take it seriously, folks!

The death of one-time Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain ought to be a wake-up call to those who think the COVID-19 pandemic is some sort of “hoax” cooked up by Democrats to harm Donald Trump’s re-election effort.

Same for the infection of Rep. Louie Gohmert. Or perhaps the positive test registered by Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien.

Let’s shut the hell up with the conspiracy nonsense, shall we?

Cain’s death is particularly poignant in this regard: He attended that Tulsa, Okla., rally where the sparse crowd piled into the arena, most of whom were not wearing masks or maintaining social distance. Cain was one of them.

Then he got sick. Now he is dead.

The Godfather’s Pizza mogul ran for president in 2012, touting his economic wizardry and assorted cures for what he said ailed the U.S. economy. He now will be known, arguably forever, as one of Donald Trump’s staunch minions who didn’t heed the warnings of medical professionals to take measures to protect himself and others from the killer virus.

Yet, there remains that cabal of goofballs who insist the pandemic is a made-up matter. It ain’t real, they say. They contend it’s part of some Deep State plot to deny Donald Trump a second term as president.

Those who foment that lie are full of sh**. They know it and so should the rest of us.

Herman Cain’s death is a sad but profound reminder that the best medical and scientific minds in the world are trying like the dickens to find a cure for this menace.

As a friend of mine in Amarillo — who, along with her husband has recovered from a positive COVID-19 test — has told me, she is in “take no prisoners mode” with regard to the conspiracy theorists. She vows to shut down anyone who refuses to take this killer seriously.

So will I.

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