HHS says spokesman will take a two-month ‘leave of absence’ following apology for conspiracy-laden rant

Michael Caputo, the top spokesman at the Department of Health and Human Services, is taking a two-month leave of absence from his post, the department announced Wednesday, a day after he apologized for a conspiracy theory-laden rant he made against career government scientists in which he accused them of “sedition” and working to undermine President Donald Trump.

“Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing that HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo has decided to take a leave of absence to focus on his health and the well-being of his family. Mr. Caputo will be on leave for the next 60 days,” HHS said in a statement.

Caputo apologized on Tuesday to HHS staff for comments he made Sunday during an extended rant on a Facebook Live video in which he mentioned a series of conspiracy theories, including that there is a “resistance unit” against Trump inside the CDC and that former Vice President Joe Biden will refuse to concede the election should Trump win, leading to political violence.

This story is breaking and will be updated.