President Donald Trump deserves an "A+" on how he has handled the economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy told CNN Thursday night.
Appearing on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Ruddy defended the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus and its effect on the nation.
"I think he's done a good job. First of all, let's give him credit. A+ for handling the economic response. We faced a near economic collapse," Ruddy said. "He has signed off on three and, now, soon to be four, bipartisan stimulus bills that are in the trillions of dollars to keep this economy going, keep the country going."
Ruddy and host Chris Cuomo sparred on some of Trump's messaging around wearing masks and his overall leadership, but Ruddy said Trump has been consistent in advocating for the health of the American people while receiving "conflicting" medical advice.
"I know we are in a deeply divisive political period in this country, but I think we should work together," Ruddy said. "The president's been working with Congress on the economic response. The health response has been very important. We are getting a lot of conflicting advice on what people should do or shouldn't do. I think the president's been generally supportive of the conventional approach on this.
"But he is open to listening to other points of view as well, which I think is good."
He added, "He's not responsible for the virus, I think we all agree."
When Cuomo accused Trump of being opposed to wearing masks and suggesting to Americans that they are not necessary, Ruddy disagreed.
"The president has said he supports the use of masks, he supports social distancing. He backed many of the lockdowns all over the country," Ruddy said.
"I'm not saying everything he's done is perfect, but I think he's done a pretty darn good job with the economic response, which has been bipartisan. He's done a pretty good job with the medical response."
Ruddy said that Dr. Anthony Fauci has not been consistent in his messaging, noting that this past January, he said the coronavirus would not be a major problem for Americans and later advised against mask-wearing.
Ruddy also weighed in on the death of former Republican presidential candidate and Newsmax TV contributor Herman Cain, who died Thursday morning at age 74 after a battle with the coronavirus.
"Herman would not want Americans to be sorry about his death. He loved America. He loved this country. He contributed to the very bitter end to this country and making it great and keeping it great," Ruddy said.
"He was on borrowed time. He had stage 4 cancer in 2006. He survived it. He beat it. And I think that was part of the thing he was traveling all over the country. He thought he was invincible and he wasn't invincible.
"He was a force of nature, great American, and we will miss him."
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