End the duopoly

How Michael Caputo learned the dark art of politics

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Michael Caputo, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. Michael Caputo, a Western New York Republican political operative turned top Trump appointee, has made headlines in recent days for his falsehood- and conspiracy-filled Facebook video and ongoing meddling into the work of the traditionally apolitical Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While he subsequently walked back recent remarks suggesting agency scientists were part of a shadowy cabal out to hasten the destruction of the country, the list of his controversial actions during the pandemic hardly end there.

As the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, Caputo is playing a leading role in the Trump administration’s efforts to curb testing for the coronavirus and present the pandemic as being in the country’s rear-view mirror despite its mounting impact nationwide. Beyond aligning official agency reports with Trump’s rhetoric and spreading conspiracy theories about purportedly seditious federal officials, Caputo has also come under fire since taking on the role for sexist and racist remarks .

Yet Caputo has been a magnet for controversy long before Trump summoned him to Washington. If his political mentor and fellow New Yorker Roger Stone is […]

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