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September 15, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Calls for Resignation of HHS Assistant Secretary Caputo after Investigation finds Officials Tampered with CDC Reports on COVID-19

(Washington, DC) – Over the weekend, Politico published the results of an investigation that found that political officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have routinely altered bulletins produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the risks of COVID-19 for political purposes. The New York Times reported that on Sunday one of these officials, Assistant Secretary Michael Caputo, also accused CDC scientists of “sedition” and encouraged his Facebook followers to “buy ammunition.” 

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) made the following statement. 

“I am appalled that political officials at HHS have altered and suppressed critical health reports from the CDC. They have yet again run roughshod over the most fundamental principles of scientific integrity. COVID-19 continues to take over 1,000 American lives every single day, but these appointees are playing politics and putting more people at risk in the process. Secretary Azar must put a stop to this political interference immediately and allow CDC’s scientists to do their jobs.

“Furthermore, Assistant Secretary Michael Caputo’s recent statements are dangerous and disqualifying. I call for his immediate resignation. If he refuses to resign, Secretary Azar must remove him. We must have zero tolerance for conspiracy theories in the federal government’s pandemic response and zero tolerance for a government employee encouraging any form of physical violence.”

“The Committee on Science, Space, & Technology takes seriously any abuses of scientific integrity in the federal government. Individuals with information about specific violations of scientific integrity are encouraged to reach out anonymously to the Committee via the  Committee Whistleblower Page.”