The top spokesman at the Department of Health and Human Services will take a two-month medical leave after apologizing for pushing conspiracy theories about government scientists during a Facebook video, CNN reports.
"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,” the department said in a statement.
Caputo said he would undergo "necessary screenings for a lymphatic issue discovered last week."
Leave comes after conspiracy theory rant:
The leave came after Caputo ranted in a Facebook video that CDC officials were plotting against President Donald Trump.
"These people cannot, cannot allow America to get better. Nor can they allow America to hear good news. It must be all bad news from now until the election. Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, that's sedition," Caputo said in the video.
"They are sacrificing lives in order to defeat Donald Trump. Ladies and gentlemen, that's sedition. It's also ... you know, call it what you want, but when they let somebody get sick and die, there's one word for that," he continued.
He added that "partisan Democrats, the conjugal media, and the scientists, the deep state scientists want America sick through November. They cannot afford for us to have any good news before November because they are already losing."
Caputo apologized to staffers on Tuesday for drawing negative attention to the administration, though he apparently cast himself as the victim in his apology even as he expressed regret for portraying HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a bad light.
"I've learned so much in friendship with the doctors of the President's Coronavirus Task Force. Sometimes we disagree, but we work in unity to defeat the virus and we care for one another," Caputo said Wednesday. "I want to thank Dr. Tony Fauci for conferring with my personal physician as we get the health care I long needed, and yet neglected, through the pandemic."