Top Trump Health Aide Attacks Scientists and Warns of Armed Revolt

“I don’t like being alone in Washington,” he said, describing “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.” He then built a crescendo of conspiracy theories, culminating in a prediction that Mr. Trump will win re-election but his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will refuse to concede.

“And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.” He added: “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”

Mr. Caputo’s installation at the agency was a White House move to assert greater control over Alex M. Azar II, who has been Mr. Trump’s secretary of health and human services since 2018. His job is to coordinate the messaging of an 80,000-person department that functions as the center of the American public health bureaucracy and includes the Food and Drug Administration, the C.D.C. and the National Institutes of Health, which lead the government’s pandemic response.

Mr. Caputo boasted in his Facebook talk that the president had personally put him in charge of a $250 million public service advertising campaign intended to help America to get back to normal.

Despite the criticism of his team’s interference with C.D.C., Mr. Caputo said he expected to remain in his post because Mr. Trump supported him. “I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “I swear to God, as God is my witness, I am not stopping.”

His Facebook presentation comes as Mr. Trump has increasingly singled out federal government scientists as targets, complaining without evidence that they were deliberately trying to subvert his administration’s efforts to fight the pandemic for their own political reasons.

Mr. Caputo echoed those sentiments, saying scientists “deep in the bowels of the C.D.C. have given up science and become political animals.”


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