Top HHS official apologizes for incendiary remarks accusing colleagues of ‘sedition’

HHS Spokesman Michael Caputo: People Should 'Buy Ammunition'

Michael Caputo, the top spokesman at the Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed to NPR Tuesday that he made comments during a Facebook Live event on Sunday that have attracted attention and concern - but he said that some of the comments had been taken out of context.

He described "shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long", and "then ran through a series of conspiracy theories, culminating in a prediction that Mr. Trump will win re-election but his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will refuse to concede".

House Democrats are launching a probe into how Trump appointees have pressured officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to alter or delay scientific reports on the coronavirus, Politico reported on Monday.

Caputo told his staff he was under stress because of concerns about his physical health and threats to his safety and his family's. He has been with the Trump administration as the top communications official at HHS since April.

HHS public affairs chief Michael Caputo and his scientific adviser Paul Alexander pressured CDC officials to alter the reports, even retroactively, so that they would be in agreement with President Donald Trump's more optimistic message about the pandemic, according to Politico.

"If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it's going to be hard to get".

Caputo said in a statement to CNN on Monday that in the time since he has joined the administration, "my family and I have been continually threatened and in and out of criminal court dealing with harassment prosecutions".

"I don't want to talk about death anymore", he said in the video, adding: "You're not waking up every morning and talking about dead Americans".

Caputo is a longtime political operative who worked on Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

At HHS, he has sought to either change, hold, or outright kill weekly reports from the CDC that he believes have undercut the president's messaging about the virus.

The panel is requesting interviews with seven officials from the CDC and the Department of Health, including Mr Caputo.

The president has provided no proof for his claims.

"Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd".

For a time, Caputo lived in Moscow, and did work for former Russian President Boris Yeltsen. If a vaccine candidate is deemed ineffective, doses will be destroyed.

The Food and Drug Administration is now testing six vaccine candidates for their effectiveness, including three that are already being tested on humans.

Trump has also implied that there's no legitimate way for him to lose the November election and that the only way he'll lose is if it's "rigged" against him. "So can misinformation", said Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee ranking member Patty Murray of Washington.



Other news