Trump Health Appointee Touts Conspiracies, Makes False Accusations During Facebook Live Event; U.S. House Democrats Launch Investigation Into Reports Of Political Interference In CDC Publications

New York Times: Trump Health Aide Pushes Bizarre Conspiracies and Warns of Armed Revolt
“The top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus made outlandish and false accusations on Sunday that career government scientists were engaging in ‘sedition’ in their handling of the pandemic and that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election. Michael R. Caputo, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of harboring a ‘resistance unit’ determined to undermine President Trump, even if that opposition bolsters the Covid-19 death toll…” (LaFraniere, 9/14).

POLITICO: Democrats launch probe into Trump officials’ Covid-report tampering
“House Democrats are launching an investigation into how Trump appointees have pressured officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change or delay scientific reports on coronavirus, citing POLITICO reporting that found political interference in the publishing process. ‘During the pandemic, experts have relied on these reports to determine how the virus spreads and who is at greatest risk,’ Rep. Jim Clyburn, chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and his Democratic colleagues write in a letter shared first with POLITICO. ‘Yet HHS officials apparently viewed these scientific reports as opportunities for political manipulation.’ … The Democrats’ investigation focuses on the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, the agency’s long-running series of scientific articles that researchers have looked to for the most current and reliable information on the coronavirus. POLITICO reported on Friday that Health and Human Services public affairs chief Michael Caputo and his scientific adviser Paul Alexander have pressured CDC officials to change the reports, in some cases retroactively, to align with President Donald Trump’s more optimistic message about the outbreak…” (Diamond, 9/14).

Additional coverage on Caputo’s comments during a live Facebook event is available from The Hill and Washington Post.

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