One of Us Is Crazy

Yesterday I wrote about Michael Caputo, the Republican operative with no science background who has been editing CDC reports to make Trump look better. Well, there’s more.

Michael Caputo, 58, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, said without evidence that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump.

Mr. Caputo, who has faced criticism for leading efforts to warp C.D.C. weekly bulletins to fit Mr. Trump’s pandemic narrative, suggested that he personally could be in danger.

“You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” Mr. Caputo, a Trump loyalist installed by the White House in April, told followers in a video he hosted live on his personal Facebook page. Mr. Caputo has 5,000 Facebook friends, and the video has been viewed more than 850 times. It has been shared by 44 followers.

This attack of paranoia appears to have been brought on by the news reports of Caputo’s political editing of the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports.

Those reports, deemed “the holiest of the holy” by one former top health official for their international respect and importance, have traditionally been so shielded from political interference that political appointees see them only just before they are published.

Mr. Caputo on Sunday complained on Facebook that he was under siege by the media and said that his physical health was in question and his “mental health has definitely failed.”

I can’t argue with that last part.

“I don’t like being alone in Washington,” he said, describing “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.” He then ran through a series of conspiracy theories, culminating in a prediction that Mr. Trump will win re-election but his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will refuse to concede.

“And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.” He added: “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”

Funny; most people I know are worried that when Biden loses Trump won’t leave the White House, and caravans of armed white guys wearing MAGA hats will be doing the shooting. So which side is crazy?

But do keep in mind, this is the guy who is controlling what we learn from the CDC.

Greg Sargent:

Everyone is understandably aghast at all this. But how far afield is it from what we hear regularly from that guy who happens to be the president of the United States?

In an important respect, Caputo’s rantings are just a more lurid version of what President Trump himself says constantly — that the political opposition to Trump is at its core fundamentally illegitimate and, indeed, that there is no legitimate way for Trump to be removed from power.

Mary Pappenfuss at Huffpost dug up some more background on Caputo.

Caputo, who lived in Russia for six years, was an adviser to Boris Yeltsin from 1995 to 1999 and helped him get elected as president. He also served as an adviser to a subsidiary of the state-owned energy company Gazprom, and reportedly helped shore up Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reputation.

Caputo’s Kremlin ties were so concerning that he became a target of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He was questioned but was not charged with any offenses. He also testified before the House Intelligence Committee that he had no contact with Russians while serving on the Trump campaign.

Caputo has attempted to scrub his links to Russia in his Wikipedia bio — and insisted in an interview that his work doesn’t make him a “Putin stooge.” He told his hometown newspaper, The Buffalo News, that “at the time, Putin wasn’t such a bad guy.

Caputo also has many ties to Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, Pappenfuss writes. Did I mention that Caputo is controlling information about the covid pandemic coming out of the CDC?

The Biden team is getting ready.

series of high profile, former Obama administration officials and two former solicitors general have joined the Biden campaign to work on his “special litigation” unit, essentially a task force designed to protect the election. The move comes as President Trump increasingly signals he not only won’t accept election results that don’t keep him in the White House, but also fans baseless voter fraud flames as vote-by-mail is expanded to protect Americans from COVID-19 spread. The news comes just as Trump over the weekend had a tweet flagged for misinformation when he tweeted encouraging voters to vote twice — both via mail and in-person — which is illegal.

Oh, legal shmegal. We’re talking about Trump, who recently held an illegal indoor rally in Nevada, in front of a tightly packed and mostly maskless crowd, where he boasted of his support for law and order and his deft handling of the pandemic. Interfacing with reality ain’t Trump’s strong suit, either.

Stuff to Read

Philip Bump, WaPo, The egregious gaslighting around Trump’s handling of the pandemic

Greg Sargent,  7 ways Trump and his cabal are using government to corrupt the election

Fred Kaplan, Slate, Trump’s Rage Is Worse Than You Heard

10 thoughts on “One of Us Is Crazy

  1. when Biden loses Trump won’t leave the White House needs correction to 'when Biden wins'…

    Many of us are probably crazy!  We just have not reached the bat-shit crazy level of Caputo and tRump.

  2. Captain Queeg, from “The Caine Mutiny”: …Ah, but the strawberries, that’s, that’s where I had them, they laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the ward room icebox did exist..

    I read: Roger Stone said that Trump should invoke martial law if loses the election. These nutcases are the height of right wing self-righteousness and delusion.

  3. Trump is intentionally raising the anxiety level. Evidently he thinks it will work to his benefit..and it very well could. But, to my way of thinking, it should increase the odds that right thinking people come to the conclusion that we've got to get rid of this nut job. He's really made it clear that he is a danger to our country. If we don't stop him at the upcoming election it will be game over and it will be a free for all for corruption.

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  4. So, they put this weasel, this paranoid whack-a-doodle with a martyr complex, Caputo, in charge of of the CDC reports?!?

    I am just sitting here, watching my country dissolve.

    And I'm just sitting here, because there's nothing physically I can do anymore to try to "CONSERVE" our system – faulty and unjust as it may be.  The alternative is unthinkable.

    I can't march, knock on doors.  I can't help organise protest actions, or write statements, etc…

    I'm sorry.  Aging is very overrated.

    But back to that worm, Caputo. 

    The CDC is cinsidered the best source for all sorts of health related information: All over the world!

    And so Covid-Donnie decided it needed the tRUMP Touch, which renders everything he touches to shit!

    What, there wasn't enough sand in the gears of government?  You hadda throw in boulders?!?!?!?

    I lived through just a bit of the rise, but the bulk of my life has been during the fall, of what will be called "The Rise and Fall of the American Empire.

    We have 49 days, starting tomorrow!  And I can still dial!!!

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    • Yeah, he should find a constructive activity. Like baking an apple pie or scrapbooking. Maybe read a book, take up needle point, or even a jigsaw puzzle. Staring at the ceiling for hours on end is an open invitation for paranoia and loneliness to find residence in your mind. There's truth to the old expression.. Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

  5. Oh poor me!  I'm scared to be alone with myself.   I might be crazy, and sometimes I am.  It's too hard to live in this world!

    Isn't this what the arts are for?  Or are they too "liberal"

    Thanks Maha, for all your hard work.  You are an artist of the web.

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