Fox News host and former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany mocked retiring National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins for his performance of a COVID-19 version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Collins performed the tune, which he titled “Somewhere Past the Pandemic,” accompanying himself on a guitar — and McEnany said on Thursday’s broadcast of “Outnumbered” that she had initially thought it was intended to be a joke.
Director of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins… pic.twitter.com/tUKqkK84td
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) December 14, 2021
Somewhere past the pandemic, masks will come off ♪
♪ No more need for a nose swab every time we cough
“Wow. Yeah, so I think I first saw this clip on ‘Gutfeld!’ last night and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, that is a really good impersonator of Francis Collins, the head of the NIH — and then I woke up and I see ‘America’s Newsroom’ and I see this again and I go, ‘Wait, that wasn’t an impersonator, that was literally the head of The National Institutes of Health,'” McEnany continued. “It doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence in public officials.”
“You know, it reminds me of Fauci, who never met a camera he didn’t like,” McEnany added. “Who, when we were in the White House working on COVID-19, he is posing for In Style magazine poolside — there’s a picture of it — sending emails about how he looks like Brad Pitt and ‘it looked exactly like me’ when Brad Pitt impersonated him on ‘SNL,’ saying that statement ‘made my year.’ These are our public health officials, America. Do you have faith?”
If the comments that circulated on Twitter were any indication, Collin’s performance did not inspire the confidence he might have hoped it would.
“Confidence-inspiring or cringeworthy? My vote: The latter,” physician Steven Phillips tweeted.
Newsmax National Correspondent Mike Carter added, “Here’s the outgoing NIH Director Francis Collins singing ‘Somewhere Past the Pandemic,’ while playing the guitar. Totally normal thing nbd.”
Collins had announced several weeks earlier that he intended to leave his position as the head of the National Institutes of Health — which oversees a number of other organizations including the one headed up by White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The NIH shared some of the accomplishments made under Collins’ leadership in a Wednesday tweet, saying, “Under his leadership, Dr. Collins helped establish several #NIH initiatives to address pressing biomedical research and public health issues. A few of these include the #BRAIN Initiative, @AllOfUsResearch, #nihHEALinitiative, and #AMP. #ThankYouDrCollins.”
Under his leadership, Dr. Collins helped establish several #NIH initiatives to address pressing biomedical research and public health issues. A few of these include the #BRAIN Initiative, @AllOfUsResearch, #nihHEALinitiative, and #AMP. #ThankYouDrCollins
— NIH (@NIH) December 15, 2021
Collins shared his farewell interview video Thursday, adding, “I’m truly grateful for the sendoff I received today from my #NIH family and friends and colleagues from over the years! I couldn’t have had a nicer farewell, thank you all!”
— Francis S. Collins (@NIHDirector) December 16, 2021