Health and Human Services official Michael Caputo is taking a leave of absence after he bashed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists and discussed conspiracy theories during a video rant.
Caputo, who in the past has done work for Russian President Vladimir Putin before helping President Donald Trump get elected in 2016, tore into the CDC and health officials in a Facebook Live video over the weekend. He also claimed there is a "resistance unit" within the CDC that's pushing back on Trump and said the U.S. should prepare for an armed revolt after the November election.
According to NBC News, the department said Wednesday that Caputo "has decided to take a leave of absence to focus on his health and the well-being of his family. Mr. Caputo will be on leave for the next 60 days."
Caputo is the assistant secretary of health and human services for public affairs.
Caputo is a Trump loyalist and has been accused of trying to force the CDC to alter its reports about the coronavirus pandemic. He was also caught up in the Russia investigation because of the work he did for the Trump campaign, although he was cleared of any wrongdoing.
In the Facebook Live video, Caputo talked about several conspiracy theories and predicted that Trump will defeat Joe Biden in November, but that Biden will not concede.
"And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin," he said. "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."
On Tuesday, Caputo apologized to HHS staff for his remarks.
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