The Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Michael Caputo is taking a 60 day leave of absence "to focus on his health and the well-being of his family," the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
Driving the news: Caputo baselessly accused career scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday of gathering a "resistance unit" for "sedition" against President Trump, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. He apologized to staff on Tuesday, according to Politico.
- Caputo's leave of absence comes on the tails of a House investigation into allegations that he and other political appointees pressured CDC officials "to block the publication of accurate scientific reports" on the coronavirus.
Flashback: Caputo said in a Facebook livestream on Tuesday that he feels his "mental health has definitely failed" in part due to critical media coverage, and sounded "anguished" over the coronavirus death toll, per the Times.
This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.