Michael Caputo, the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Dept. of Health and Human Services, is weighing a medical leave of absence after calling an emergency meeting with staffers Tuesday. The move comes after the former Vladimir Putin advisor launched a paranoid rant on Facebook live video over the weekend, just days after reports revealed he had forced scientists to doctor sacred fact-based reports about the coronavirus to favor President Donald Trump.
“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,” Politico reports.
“The session left some staffers with the impression that Caputo would soon step aside as the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs,” although he could be reassigned rather than leave the agency. He is also “mulling taking medical leave,” according to a staffer.
He is meeting with HHS Secretary Alex Azar (photo, right, with Caputo) Tuesday afternoon.
Caputo, a “protege” of Trump ally Roger Stone, reportedly apologized to staff for his remarks attacking the agency, but has never apologized for pressuring CDC scientists to tamper with reports critical to the fight against the coronavirus, just so they echo President Trump’s remarks.
Over the weekend Caputo said, “when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” adding: “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.”
“If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”
“You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” he added.
“Remember the Trump supporter who was shot and killed?” Caputo said. “That was a drill.”
He also lamented his “mental health has definitely failed,” complained about “being alone in Washington,” and the “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long,”
Trump-Biden race could hinge on how this one Florida county swings
Betty Jones voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, but the lifelong Republican has her doubts she will do it again this year.
The federal response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed about 200,000 Americans and forced older adults to restrict their activities has her contemplating a leadership change.
It “makes me unsure,” said Jones, 78, of Largo, in Pinellas County, Florida. Before COVID-19, she said, she would have definitely voted for Trump.
Polls show that many people will have the pandemic and its public health and economic consequences on their minds when they cast their votes — whether by mail or in person — this fall. Early in-person voting starts Oct. 19 in most Florida counties, including Pinellas.
Muckraker’s fight to unseal FBI files on Jeffrey Epstein kept alive by judge
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Tuesday kept alive a citizen muckraker’s quest to pry loose for the public’s benefit tens of thousands of FBI documents about disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, including his time as a government informant.Self-styled public information crusader Angela Clemente sued in May, seeking to force the FBI to release the documents on the grounds that Epstein is now dead, albeit under mysterious circumstances, and that there is an overarching public interest in releasing documents. The Justice Department, representing the FBI, is fighting the effort.In a status hearing... (more…)
Mark David Chapman says he was seeking ‘glory’ when he murdered John Lennon
ALBANY, N.Y. — John Lennon’s killer said he was seeking “glory” when he shot the Beatles star in cold blood 40 years ago but now thinks he deserved the death penalty for his “despicable act,” according to a transcript of his most recent parole hearing obtained by the Daily News.Mark David Chapman, who shot Lennon four times outside of his Upper West Side apartment building on Dec. 8, 1980, was denied parole for the 11th time last month.During his appearance before the State Parole Board, Chapman expressed remorse for his actions that night, saying he killed the famed songwriter because he was ... (more…)