Newsmax CEO: Biden ‘should be applauded’ for vaccine efforts
Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy penned an editorial on the conservative network’s website on Tuesday praising President Biden for how he has handled the coronavirus pandemic and urging Americans to get vaccinated against the virus.
“Six months into his administration, President Joe Biden should be applauded for making a huge dent in the COVID pandemic,” Ruddy wrote. “He inherited an effective vaccine from President Donald Trump, took it into his arms, and ran with it.”
Ruddy noted Biden’s relatively steady approval numbers during the pandemic, despite what he called “a bitter election and a polarizing political environment.”
“I heard that in the early days of the administration, Biden himself was on a call discussing the rollout of the vaccine with some at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others, wanting delays in the rollout,” Ruddy wrote of Biden’s effort to hit the ground running with an aggressive vaccine rollout program. “Biden himself would have none of it. He took charge in the call and said there would be no delay.”
The Newsmax head also applauded Biden for relaxing mask mandates for vaccinated Americans and pushing back on the idea of mandatory vaccinations.
Ruddy is vaccinated himself, he said in Tuesday’s editorial, writing, “The bottom line: The vaccines are safe and effective.”
The network chief executive’s endorsement comes just days after at least one host on the network questioned the necessity of vaccines, prompting the company to issue a statement in favor of inoculation and distancing itself from the host’s assertions.
“At Newsmax, we have strongly advocated for the public to be vaccinated. The many medical experts who have appeared on our network have been near unanimous in support of the vaccine,” Ruddy said. “I myself have gotten the Pfizer vaccine. There’s no question in my mind, countless lives would have been saved if the vaccine was available earlier.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday the Biden administration has regularly been in touch with Fox News and other networks about their coverage of the pandemic.
“We’ve been in touch with every network and many, many media outlets about coverage of COVID-19 to make sure people have accurate information, to voice concerns when we have them, and I think you all know we’re never shy when we have an issue with a story,” Psaki said, noting the administration understands “the importance of reaching Fox’s audience about the COVID-19 vaccines and their benefits.”
On Monday, several prominent hosts on Fox News, the top-rated cable news network in the country, pleaded with viewers to get vaccinated and dismissed conspiracy theories about side effects or safety.
“Please take COVID seriously,” prime-time host Sean Hannity said. “I can’t say it enough. Enough people have died. We don’t need any more death.”
Conservative media allies of former President Trump have been quick to credit him and his administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which oversaw the creation and distribution of the coronavirus vaccines during the initial weeks of the national roll out process.
Ruddy echoed that sentiment.
“Biden could have distanced himself from the vaccine since his political nemesis had been key for its creation,” he concluded. “Instead, Biden unravels Trump’s achievements in those areas at his political peril. For the moment, we as Americans can applaud President Biden’s success with the vaccine rollout. It is saving countless lives — and that is a good thing.”