Bonkers federal podcast downplays COVID-19, blasts health restrictions

 Former Trump campaign official Michael Caputo arrives at the Hart Senate Office building to be interviewed by Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, on May 1, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / Former Trump
campaign official Michael Caputo arrives at the Hart Senate Office
building to be interviewed by Senate Intelligence Committee
staffers, on May 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. (credit:
GettyMark Wilson
)

In a stunning podcast released by the Department of Health and
Human Services, two top officials at the department repeatedly
downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic, railed against mitigation
efforts, called closures of in-person schooling “nonsense,” and
said US journalists do not “[give] a damn about public health
information.”

The podcast,
released on the HHS website September 11
, is part of a series
hosted by Michael Caputo, who currently holds the title of HHS
assistant secretary of public affairs. Though Caputo has no
background in health care, the White House installed him in the
department in April—a move reportedly made to
assert more White House control over HHS Secretary Alex Azar
.
Caputo is a longtime Trump loyalist and former campaign official.
He got his start as a protégé of Roger Stone and later worked as
a Moscow-based advisor to Boris Yeltsin and did public relations
work for Vladimir Putin.

Learning curve

Caputo has most recently made headlines for working to
interfere with and alter scientific reports
on COVID-19
prepared by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. The meddling was intended to make reports more in line
with messaging from Trump, who has
admitted to downplaying the pandemic
. Caputo also raised
eyebrows with a Facebook
live video, reported by The New York Times Monday
, in which,
without evidence, he accused government scientists of engaging in
“sedition” and claimed that the CDC is harboring a
“resistance unit.” He also spoke of long “shadows” in his
DC apartment and said left-wing “hit-squads” were preparing for
armed insurrection after the election.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Bonkers federal podcast downplays COVID-19, blasts health
restrictions