10 things you need to know today: September 16, 2020

The Health and Human Services Department’s top spokesperson, Michael Caputo, apologized on Tuesday to Secretary Alex Azar and his staff for a Facebook rant in which he accused scientists fighting the coronavirus pandemic of “sedition” and warned of looming attacks by left-wing “hit squads.” Caputo reportedly said he regretted embarrassing Azar and HHS. Caputo, a close ally of President Trump, blamed his behavior on the toll of health problems and what he said had been death threats against his family. Caputo also admitted that he had never read any of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports produced on COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though his team repeatedly tried to revise, delay, or scrap them. Caputo is considering taking medical leave, Politico reported, citing three people with knowledge of the situation. [Politico, The New York Times]

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