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Trump administration health official Michael Caputo takes leave of absence

Former Donald Trump campaign official Michael Caputo.
Former Donald Trump campaign official Michael Caputo.J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 Trump and warned of shooting in America if Trump were to lose the November election.

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