Trump appointee taking medical leave from HHS after accusations of political meddling

Former Trump Campaign official Michael Caputo, center, joined by his attorney Dennis C. Vacco, right, leaves after a three-hour interview by Senate Intelligence Committee staff that is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former Trump Campaign official Michael Caputo, center, joined by his attorney Dennis C. Vacco, right, leaves after a three-hour interview by Senate Intelligence Committee staff that is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Trump administration health official embroiled in a furor over political meddling with the coronavirus response is taking a leave of absence, the government announced Wednesday.

The Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement that Michael Caputo was taking the time “to focus on his health and the well-being of his family.”

Caputo, the department’s top spokesman, apologized on Tuesday to his staff for a Facebook video in which he reportedly said scientists battling the coronavirus are conspiring against President Donald Trump and warned of shooting in America if Trump were to lose the November election.

The Trump appointee also was accused of trying to muzzle a scientific weekly put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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