The former McMaster professor who took a job censoring reports produced at the Centre for Disease Control has left the post along with his boss who made wild accusations about armed insurrection this past weekend.
HHS announced the development in a statement, saying that Michael Caputo’s leave would last for the next 60 days in order for him “to focus on his health and the well-being of his family.”
An aide to Caputo, Paul Alexander, is leaving HHS permanently.
Alexander has spent the past few months attempting to interfere with the Centers for Disease Control’s weekly reports on the spread of COVID-19, at Caputo’s behest.
Caputo confirmed his leave in a statement to TPM, attributing it to a medical condition without repeating any allegations about “insurrection.”
Caputo’s leave of absence would have him returning to HHS on Nov. 15, after the election.
The former Roger Stone driver held forth in a bizarre and troubling Facebook live broadcast Sunday in which he said that a “resistance unit” at the CDC was targeting him and his family.
Those unhinged remarks came in the wake of extensive reporting showing that Caputo and Alexander had tried to assert editorial control over the CDC’s weekly epidemiological reports, accusing the disease-fighting agency of using the reports to smear President Trump.
Caputo’s arrival at HHS in April heralded the unprecedented politicization of the country’s response to COVID-19, with President Trump exhorting the country’s public health agencies to take steps that either minimize the true spread of the deadly illness or sacrifice the efficacy of tools to fight the disease at the expense of the needs of his own re-election campaign.