Top HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo called an emergency staff meeting on Tuesday to apologize for leveling a series of false accusations on Facebook Live over the weekend, according to three people with knowledge of the meeting.
Caputo told staffers that his remarks — which included unfounded allegations the Centers for Disease Control was harboring a “resistance unit” — reflected poorly on HHS’ communications office. He also blamed his recent behavior on a combination of physical health issues and the toll of fielding death threats against his family.
Caputo was at the center of a series of reports on political meddling with the department’s Covid-19 response, including POLITICO reports that he and top adviser Paul Alexander tried to influence key CDC scientific bulletins.
I remember meeting Michael Caputo, Trump’s health spokesman, who just deleted his Twitter account after suggesting reporters be tear-gassed. This was 2017 inside Trump’s DC hotel. He told me about a Ukrainian murder, the mob, his skull ring, and Russiahttps://t.co/IDWb12VQVI
— Max Abelson (@maxabelson) September 14, 2020
“And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” [Trump official Michael Caputo] said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing… If you carry guns, buy ammunition,… because it’s going to be hard to get.” OMGhttps://t.co/Fnvm9ZqIec
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 14, 2020