Democrats to probe whether officials meddled with CDC data

Henrietta Strickland
September 15, 2020

By Monday afternoon, the personal Twitter account for Caputo, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the Health and Human Services Department, displayed a message saying "This account doesn't exist".

The investigation centers on the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, which researchers have referred to for the most current and reliable details on the coronavirus.

Caputo and his team have attempted to add caveats to the CDC's findings, including an effort to retroactively change agency reports that they said wrongly inflated the risks of Covid-19 and should have made clear that Americans sickened by the virus may have been infected due to their own behavior, according to the individuals familiar with the situation and emails reviewed by POLITICO.

Although CDC officials have resisted the most widespread demands and continued to publish the reports, they have increasingly allowed Caputo and his staff to review draft reports and even changed some of the wording.

In the Facebook Live video, reported by The New York Times, Caputo warned that left-wing hit squads would engage in armed insurrection after the election and said officials were engaging in "sedition" as they handled the pandemic.

Hayes started his show telling viewers, "The top ranking official at the department in charge of combatting the pandemic... is a risky crank who is undermining science and raving about delusional conspiracy theories".

"There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president", Caputo said, according to the Times, before going on to claim that his own life is at risk.

Mr. Caputo on Sunday complained on Facebook that he was under siege by the media and said that his physical health was in question and his "mental health has definitely failed". He said he didn't like being alone in Washington. "The drills that you've seen are nothing".

Caputo, a longtime vocal Trump loyalist who has no background in health care, told the Times that his family had been "continually threatened" since he joined the administration in April.

In a statement, the department said Caputo is a critical part of Trump's coronavirus response.

"This weighs heavily on us, and we deeply appreciate the friendship and support of President Trump as we address these matters and keep our children safe", he said, according to the Times.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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