The Department of Health and Human Services is shelling out an astonishing $300 million for an ad campaign putting a positive spin on COVID-19, Politico reported. It’s reportedly the brainchild of a controversial HHS official who stepped aside last week after warning supporters of President Donald Trump to buy ammo before the election.
The “defeat despair” ad blitz reportedly plays down the dire consequences of the pandemic and touts Trump’s low-key efforts against COVID-19 even as the U.S. death toll rockets past 200,000, sources told Politico.
The “public awareness” campaign is conveniently set to begin airing before the November election and features HHS officials and Trump-supporting celebrities, such as actor Dennis Quaid and country singer Garth Brooks, Politico reported.
The ad blitz was largely organized by controversial former HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo, Politico reported. He said in a recent Facebook video that the ad campaign was “demanded of me by the president of the United States. Personally.”
Caputo took a medical leave last week after a series of troubling comments in his 26-minute Facebook Live video, and announced Thursday that he had been diagnosed with cancer.
Caputo, who has no medical or scientific background, came under fire earlier this month after Politico first revealed that he and his communications team had harassed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make their COVID-19 reports more optimistic to bring them in line with the president’s statements. Trump himself, however, has admitted he has lied to sugarcoat the disease fallout — so Caputo was pressing scientists to falsify their findings with a positive spin.
Caputo accused CDC scientists in his Facebook video of “sedition” for plotting against Trump with their bad news about the pandemic.
The ad blitz appears to be promoting the same false sense of security amid the pandemic.
Democrats have called for an investigation into the...