Michael Caputo, Who Blamed Rant on Health, Has Cancer

HHS spokesman undergoes surgery and urges Americans to not ignore health during pandemic
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2020 3:59 PM CDT
Michael Caputo, Who Blamed Rant on Health, Has Cancer
Michael Caputo, shown in May, is back home after surgery.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – A Trump administration spokesman who blamed an online outburst—in which he advised Americans to buy ammunition to prepare for the aftermath of the November election—on stress and health problems is battling cancer. A spokesman said Michael Caputo had surgery at the National Cancer Institute, Politico reports, and doctors diagnosed "squamous cell carcinoma, a metastatic head and neck cancer which originated in his throat." Caputo is home in western New York, the spokesman said, after starting a 60-day medical leave last week. Caputo, who is assistant secretary of public affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services, urged people to not put off seeking health care, "especially cancer screenings, during the COVID-19 crisis."

Caputo had been in hot water over his tweets almost since President Trump had him appointed to the HHS job in April, per People. His posts included a video in which he said government scientists are guilty of sedition for conspiring against Trump. Caputo later apologized for the video to HHS staff members and announced his leave last week. In addition, HHS staffers accused Caputo, who has no background in science, and his team of trying to change the content of reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Read more Michael Caputo stories.)

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