Michael Caputo is taking a leave of absence from his top spokesperson job at the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
That move follows his Sept. 13 Facebook Live rant in which he lambasted career government scientists, alleged there is a “resistance unit" to Donald Trump housed within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and predicted political violence in the event the president wins re-election and Joe Biden fails to concede.
"Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing that HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael 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," HHS said in a statement.
Caputo said he's undergoing "necessary screenings for a lymphatic issue discovered last week," according to his statement. Health concerns contributed to his "stress level, along with the increasisng number of violent threats leveled at me and my family."
He apologized on Sept. 16 to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and staffers for his Facebook tirade.
Trump installed Caputo, a political operative and author of "The Ukraine Hoax: How Decades of Corruption in the Former Soviet Republic Led to Trump's Phony Impeachment," in the assistant secretary of health for public affairs, to control the messaging of HHS.
Ryan Murphy, whom Caputo replaced as chief spokesperson, is returning to that position.