HHS spokesman Caputo diagnosed with cancer

Michael Caputo, the top spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) who recently went on medical leave following an uproar, has been diagnosed with cancer.

According to New York Assemblyman David DiPietro (R), who is acting as the Caputo family spokesman, the HHS official has been diagnosed with "squamous cell carcinoma, a metastatic head and neck cancer which originated in his throat."

"He is now home in Western New York, resting in the loving arms of his family, under the watchful eye of Jesus Christ," DiPietro said in a statement first shared with the Buffalo News.

ADVERTISEMENT

Caputo, who had been in charge of the administration's coronavirus communications strategy, began a 60-day medical leave last week to focus on "his health and the well-being of his family," according to an HHS statement at the time.

His leave followed comments made in a Facebook Live video attacking career scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for being anti-Trump.

In the video, he made a series of false and incendiary accusations about the CDC, which is a part of HHS. 

He claimed without evidence that the CDC was harboring a “resistance unit” opposing President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE and accused government scientists of “sedition."

Caputo was also under fire for reportedly attempting to meddle in weekly reports on the coronavirus pandemic made by CDC scientists.

Caputo later apologized for the Facebook remarks to HHS staff.

A longtime Trump associate, Caputo was installed to manage communications at HHS in April after a series of critical reports about Trump’s handling of the pandemic.