- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A top aide at the Department of Health and Human Services is reportedly considering medical leave after becoming embroiled in controversies that involve political influence over scientific reports and bizarre comments on Facebook Live.

Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary of health for public affairs, apologized to fellow staff on Tuesday for the negative attention, citing the toll of physical health problems and death threats against his family, according to Politico.

The New York Times also reported the 58-year-old is considering medical leave.

Mr. Caputo, who was appointed to his position in April, is facing intense criticism after warned of armed insurrection after the elected and claimed there is a “resistance unit” within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He made the comments in a Facebook video over the weekend.

Also, congressional Democrats are probing whether he tried to get scientific CDC reports to comport with President Trump’s political messaging.

Mr. Caputo has said the interactions between the HHS public affairs office and the CDC were part of a regular scientific review by his scientific adviser, Paul Alexander.

Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, told Health Secretary Alex Azar to fire Mr. Caputo on Monday but Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer went a step further Tuesday, telling Mr. Azar to resign.

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