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New spokesman at HHS made offensive comments about Chinese people in since-deleted tweets

New spokesman at HHS made offensive comments about Chinese people in since-deleted tweets
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The new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesman, Michael Caputo, allegedly deleted offensive tweets about Chinese people before starting at HHS at last week.

According to a Thursday report from CNN's investigate unit K-File, Caputo deleted nearly his entire Twitter history before April 12. The former Trump campaign aide started his new job on April 15.

CNN said it was able to review more than 1,300 since-deleted tweets using the Internet Archive's Way Back Machine.

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Many of the tweets pertained to the coronavirus.

In one tweet from early March, Caputo responded to a conspiracy theory that suggests U.S. troops brought the coronavirus to China. 

"Millions of Chinese suck the blood out of rabid bats as an appetizer and eat the ass out of anteaters," he tweeted.

He responded to another user by saying “Don't you have a bat to eat?"

Some public health officials have indicated that the coronavirus may have originated from a wet market in central China, and bats as well as pangolins have been linked by some researchers as possible carriers of the virus.

On Thursday, Caputo said he will now be "tweeting in my official capacity," from a different Twitter account.

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HHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The news follows a report that HHS Secretary Alex Azar appointed a top aide, Brian Harrison, to oversee the department's daily efforts against the virus, despite Harrison having little public health experience outside of one year at HHS in 2006 as Azar's "confidential assistant" while Azar was deputy secretary.