- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Michael Caputo faced mounting pressure to resign from his role in the Department of Health and Human Services as more Democrats denounced him Tuesday for recently spreading conspiracy theories.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California joined Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut to become the latest Democrat to demand Mr. Caputo step down as a top HHS spokesman.

Mr. Schiff, one of Trump administration’s toughest critics in Congress, echoed concerns raised by colleagues after The New York Times reported about remarks Mr. Caputo recently made on Facebook.

In a live video, Mr. Caputo claimed “hit squads” are being trained in case President Trump wins reelection and that government scientists “do not want America to get well,” The Times reported.

Mr. Caputo, formally the assistant secretary of public affairs for HHS, “is stifling scientists, spreading insane conspiracies and ranting online,” Mr. Schiff reacted Tuesday on Twitter.

“We need science, not politics. And we need it now,” tweeted Mr. Schiff, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “Michael Caputo should resign.”

Ms. Murray, the ranking member on the Senate Health Committee, similarly called for Mr. Caputo to resign on Twitter the previous day in a series of tweets that cited the Times report.

She said that if HHS Secretary Alex Azar “believes his responsibility is to the American public and not to President Trump,” then he should demand Mr. Caputo immediately resign.

Ms. DeLauro said in her own statement Monday that Mr. Caputo should be fired because of his “blatant attacks on fact and science and peddling of dangerous conspiracy theories.”

HHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr. Caputo vanished from both Facebook and Twitter amid the uproar this week and could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Caputo said in the Facebook video, according to The Times, that “hit squads being trained all over this country” to keep Mr. Trump from serving a second term and claimed his own life is at risk.

“And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” Mr. Caputo said, according to The Times. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.”

He also claimed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a “resistance unit” determined to undermine Mr. Trump, The Times reported.

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