Trump mental health official accuses media of overblowing dangers of Covid-19

Grant Boone
September 16, 2020

In the Sunday video, Caputo mentioned a series of conspiracy theories and predicted that Trump will win reelection but that his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, will not concede, which Caputo claimed would lead to political violence.

The session left some staffers with the impression that Caputo would soon step aside as the department's assistant secretary for public affairs, the three people with knowledge of the meeting said, though they cautioned that his fate remained in flux. "Yet HHS officials apparently viewed these scientific reports as opportunities for political manipulation". "The drills that you've seen are nothing".

"You understand that they're going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that's where this is going".

Caputo told his staff he was under stress because of concerns about his physical health and threats to his safety and his family's.

McCance-Katz, who was appointed to SAMHSA by Trump in 2017, acknowledged that children do get severe symptoms from the virus "in rare cases", but said "with a great, great majority of children this is not a serious illness", something Trump has also repeated for months.

Caputo declined to discuss the matter any further in a brief phone interview with CNN later Monday, except to say he made the comments as he was dealing with some of the pressure caused by harassment to himself and his family over the last several days.

Pau Gasol and wife Catherine McDonnell welcome their first child
Gasol was clearly close with Bryant and his family, sharing photos of his wife and Vanessa Bryant and their kids last month.

However, the HHS staffers noted that Caputo's fate has yet to be determined.

Those scientists "haven't gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops" to plot "how they're going to attack Donald Trump", Mr Caputo alleged. Caputo immediately exerted tight control over the public appearances of public health officials and has recently come under scrutiny for successfully demanding access to and revising the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, allegedly adding a Trump-friendly gloss to core health bulletins previously "so thoroughly shielded from political interference that political appointees only saw them just before they were published", the Times reports.

Public health experts have slammed the Trump administration's interferring with the reports, noting that the reports have been a bedrock of global public health work for decades, including one that revealed the existence of HIV in 1981.

"Mr. Caputo has claimed that the president personally put him in charge of his $250 million advertising campaign meant to help America to get back to normal".

Some public-health experts and Democrats are calling for Mr. Caputo's ouster, accusing him of politically pressuring government scientists and citing his social-media behavior to question his fitness for the job.

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