HHS assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo made the comments in a Facebook Live video on Sunday, The New York Times reported.
“When Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” Caputo said. “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”
He further accused scientists of trying to undermine the Trump administration ahead of the November race against former Vice President Joe Biden.
“There are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president,” he said, adding that the career scientists “haven’t gotten out of their sweatpants except for meetings at coffee shops” to plot “how they’re going to attack Donald Trump.”
The Trump administration has come under severe criticism over its poor response to the covid-19 pandemic.
The HHS assistant secretary went as far as saying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is harboring a “resistance unit” to Trump, claiming that, “there are hit squads being trained all over this country” to mount armed opposition to a second term.”
In a statement, the HHS said he is a “critical, integral part of the President’s coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the covid-19 pandemic.”
The US president has previously suggested that he would not stand down if he loses the race to reelection.