HHS spokesman Michael Caputo claims he received death threats during a Facebook live session

Michael Caputo, a spokesman for Heath & Human Services, who has been accused of trying to turn up weekly scientific reports about coronoviruses, confirmed a New York Times report on Monday that he accused government scientists of hurting President Trump He was accused of preventing effective COVID-19 treatment for delivery, a claim for which he provided no evidence. But in a 45-minute phone conversation with CBS News, Caputo said the Times article was not a reference to some of his comments.

At one point during a Facebook Live session, in which Caputo commented, he said that “there are hit squads all over the country” to prevent a second term for Mr. Trump. When he said, “You understand that they are me Going to kill – unfortunately, I think this is where he is going, “Caputo claimed as he was driving near his house in real time by a person shouting,” You’re a dead person. , Caputo. ”

Caputo explained to CBS News that he was shooting live video on his front porch in Buffalo, New York, so the man who threatened him knew he was at home. He said his 6-year-old and 8-year-old daughters are also in the porch, and they were very upset, he said. Caputo said he has filed a report with the East Aurora Police Department indicating the timeframe of the episode.

Caputo also told Facebook viewers that it had been difficult for him to deal with the virus, and he confirmed to CBS News that he said his “mental health had definitely failed.” But he told CBS News that he believed a word “fail” was too strong, and that “challenge” was probably more accurate. He said his mental health is “strong”.

But Caputo said that apart from working on the coronovirus, dealing with threats and harassment against him and his family, a toll has been taken on him, saying that it is very difficult to talk about constant death and despair .

However, he said he does not plan to take time off and is still working in his role as assistant secretary of public affairs.

According to The New York Times report, Capto made several unfounded claims during the session, stating, “There are scientists who work for this government, who don’t want America to do well. They did this Also claimed that the Center for Disease Control Scientists “have not gotten out of their sweat, except for meetings at coffee shops” about how they are going to attack Donald Trump. ”

House Democrats are investigating allegations that Caputo and his team have tried to retrospectively change CDC reports, claiming that they wrongly increased the risk of coronovirus and tried to prevent the release of others Has, one of which discusses how doctors were prescribing hydroxychloroquine, avoided by an antimalarial drug. President Trump as a treatment for coronovirus.

Politico reported that the report on hydroxychloroquine was published last week. The Food and Drug Administration in June revoked an emergency authorization to use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients.

HHS wrote in a statement to CBS News endorsing Capto, “Mr. Capto is an important, integral part of the president’s coronovirus response, leading the public message as Americans defeat public health information to defeat the COVID-19 epidemic.” is required.”

Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.