HHS official Michael Caputo takes leave of absence 

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HHS communications official Michael Caputo is taking a leave of absence days after he blasted CDC scientists during a Facebook Live video, according to NBC News. 

HHS said Mr. Caputo, the agency's assistant secretary for public affairs, will be on leave for the next 60 days "to focus on his health and the well-being of his family."

During a Facebook Live video Sept. 13 on his personal page, Mr. Caputo criticized scientists at the CDC for pushing "rotten science" and claimed they were putting political beliefs before science.

"There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president," Mr. Caputo said.

Mr. Caputo's Facebook page and his Twitter account both appear to have been deleted on Monday, NBC News reports. 

His Facebook Live video came two days after Politico reported that politically appointed communications aides at HHS requested the right to review and seek changes to CDC's scientific reports for healthcare professionals. The publication reviewed internal emails and spoke to three people familiar with the matter, who characterized the actions of Mr. Caputo and his team "as an attempt to intimidate the reports' authors and water down their communications to health professionals."

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