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16 Dec, 2021 03:46

Fauci boss prompts ‘deep fake’ speculation with bizarre Covid stunt

Fauci boss prompts ‘deep fake’ speculation with bizarre Covid stunt

Outgoing US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins raised eyebrows after performing a Covid-19-themed cover of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ at a farewell event this week.

After the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) thanked Collins for his service in a town hall on Tuesday, the NIH director pulled out a guitar and microphone and announced he would be performing a “grand finale” for Americans who “have been going through this pandemic and trying to imagine how it’s going to feel when we’re finally past that.”

Collins – who has served as director and as Dr. Anthony Fauci’s boss since 2009 – then broke out into song, singing, “Somewhere past the pandemic, when we’re free. There’s a life I remember, full of activity.”

“Somewhere past the pandemic, masks will come off. No more need for a nose swab every time we cough,” he continued.

Some social media users questioned whether the performance was an AI-generated deep fake video, alerting fact-checkers, which, however, affirmed that the stunt did in fact take place.

It wasn’t the first time that Collins was caught belting out a coronavirus-themed song, having previously recorded himself singing a parody of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ titled ‘Poof, coronavirus’.

Collins announced in October that he would be stepping down from his role by the end of the year, after serving three US presidents over 12 years – the longest reign of any presidentially-appointed NIH director.

In a statement at the time, Collins said it had been “an incredible privilege to lead this great agency for more than a decade,” adding that the decision “to step down was a difficult one.”

“I fundamentally believe, however, that no single person should serve in the position too long, and that it’s time to bring in a new scientist to lead the NIH into the future.”