Promoting Conspiracy Theories Is Part of the Job For HHS Spokesman Michael Caputo – By Peter Montgomery (Right Wing Watch) / Sept 16 2020
Update: The Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that Michael Caputo would be taking medical leave for 60 days, while Paul Alexander, a controversial aide, will be leaving permanently, the Washington Post reported Wednesday afternoon.
Michael Caputo, described by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a “critical, integral part of the president’s coronavirus response,” posted a Facebook Live video Sunday in which he lashed out at scientists, reporters, and Democrats, claiming that political opponents of President Donald Trump are training “hit squads” to forestall a second Trump term. “You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” Caputo said. Yahoo News posted a copy of Caputo’s Facebook video Tuesday.
Caputo theorized that “the shooting will begin” when Trump “refuses to stand down at the inauguration,” and he urged listeners to “buy ammunition,” warning that “it’s going to be hard to get.”
Caputo’s willingness to promote dangerously inflammatory conspiracy theories may be why the former Trump campaign official was hired by HHS as the HHS assistant secretary for public affairs in the first place, despite having no background in health care. Among his credentials for taking a central federal communications role during the COVID-19 pandemic were his relationship with a pro-Trump propaganda outlet, a record of making racist anti-Chinese comments and promoting right-wing conspiracy theories, and a friendship with Trump associate and far-right political operative Roger Stone, whom Caputo called his “big brother” in an email interview with Right Wing Watch.