Published: Wed, September 16, 2020
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Ex-NY GOP strategist Michael Caputo apologizes for Facebook tirade

Ex-NY GOP strategist Michael Caputo apologizes for Facebook tirade

Michael Caputo, a former member of the 2016 Trump Campaign and the Acting Head of the Department of Health and Human Services, is apparently stepping down from his position to focus on his mental health, according to several of his staffers.

In the Facebook Live video, reported by The New York Times, Caputo warned that left-wing hit squads would engage in armed insurrection after the election and said officials were engaging in "sedition" as they handled the pandemic.

The session left some staffers with the impression that Caputo would soon step aside as the department's assistant secretary for public affairs, the three people with knowledge of the meeting said, though they cautioned that his fate remained in flux.

"When Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin", Mr Caputo said. "The drills that you've seen are nothing". "If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentleman - because it's going to be hard to get".

He suggested he might even resign due to ongoing physical ailments and the stress caused by death threats against him and his family.

Besides claiming officials in the CDC were working against the president, Mr Caupto also said his family's safety was at risk.

According to Politico, Caputo and Alexander complained about a report that explained children can transmit the coronavirus and Alexander asked the CDC to alter it or pull it down, saying the report could impact school reopening and hurt Trump politically.

In addition, Democrats on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, seeking to interview Caputo and other top HHS officials "regarding efforts by the Trump Administration to block the publication of accurate scientific reports related to the coronavirus crisis".

Those scientists "haven't gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops" to plot "how they're going to attack Donald Trump", Mr Caputo alleged.

Although he has no background in health care, Mr Caputo was installed at HHS in April to impose a tighter grip on the public information about Covid-19 that was more in line with Mr Trump's public statements. Caputo immediately exerted tight control over the public appearances of public health officials and has recently come under scrutiny for successfully demanding access to and revising the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, allegedly adding a Trump-friendly gloss to core health bulletins previously "so thoroughly shielded from political interference that political appointees only saw them just before they were published", the Times reports.

During the video on Sunday, Caputo said he expected to stay in his position because the President supported him.

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