- Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Michael Caputo said Tuesday that he may take medical leave.
- The announcement comes after Caputo went on a 26-minute Facebook rant peddling conspiracy theories, warning of an armed insurrection by left-wing groups after the election, and saying his "mental health has definitely failed."
- He also predicted that Trump will win the election, Joe Biden will not concede, and when Trump "refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin."
- Caputo's remarks were in many ways a more extreme version of comments the president himself has made about COVID-19 and the election.
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Michael Caputo, the spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services, told employees in an "emergency call" on Tuesday that he may take medical leave soon, Politico reported.
Caputo made the reported announcement after going on a long Facebook rant in which he peddled conspiracy theories and warned that his "mental health has definitely failed."
He also indicated in the Facebook live video that he's been suffering from emotional distress while being away from his wife and working in Washington, DC.
In his 26-minute Facebook post, first reported by The New York Times, Caputo described seeing "shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long." He went on to say that the US's mounting COVID-19 death toll has affected him, telling viewers, "You are not waking up every morning and talking about dead Americans."
Caputo also baselessly accused scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of plotting "how they're going to attack Donald Trump next. These are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president."
Trump will win the November general election, but Biden, the Democratic nominee, will refuse to concede, Caputo said, adding that when Trump "refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin."
"There are hit squads being trained all over this country" to spark an armed revolution against a second Trump term, Caputo said, according to The Times. "You understand that they're going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that's where this is going."
Caputo recently came under fire for trying to meddle with the CDC's bulletins, but Politico reported that he told staff in Tuesday's call that he has never actually read any of the bulletins, called the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports.
In many ways, Caputo's conspiracy-filled Facebook rant echoed comments the president has made in the months leading up to the election. He repeatedly claimed the coronavirus pandemic is being overblown by the "fake news" media and Democratic lawmakers.
Trump has also implied that there's no legitimate way for him to lose the November election and that the only way he'll lose is if it's "rigged" against him. At a rally over the weekend that featured a tightly packed group of mostly maskless supporters, Trump said he might try to "negotiate" a third term in office because he's "probably entitled" to it.
In the wake of protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Trump also amplified racist conspiracy theories about an "invasion" of US suburbs by violent groups of "thugs" led by the far-left group antifa.
In one August tweet, Trump claimed the "suburban housewife" will vote for him because "they want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood."
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