WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration health official accused of political meddling in the government’s coronanvirus response is taking a 60-day leave of absence.

The Department of Health and Human Services says in a statement that Michael Caputo is taking the time to focus on his health and family. The Trump appointee is the department's top spokesman. He apologized on Wednesday to his staff for a Facebook video in which he reportedly said scientists battling the coronavirus are conspiring against President Donald Trump and warned of shooting in America if Trump were to lose the November election.

Caputo also was accused of trying to muzzle a scientific weekly from an HHS agency.

(Story written by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR/AP)