June 3, 2024 - 7:30pm

→ Anthony Fauci takes the stand

Anthony Fauci is defending his name before Congress today in response to allegations that he covered up the US government’s role in funding gain-of-function research in China that’s potentially linked to the outbreak of covid.

“Under my leadership, we were well positioned to respond to Covid-19,” the former director of the NIAID claimed in his opening remarks, touting his involvement with the response to HIV/AIDS. “The accusation being circulated that I influenced the scientists to change their minds [about lab leak] by bribing them with millions of dollars in grant money is absolutely false, and simply preposterous.”

The lab leak theory, once labelled racist misinformation, appears to be gaining traction even among Democrats, some of whom joined the GOP in questioning Fauci and his colleagues in recent weeks. It comes after unearthed emails revealed an explicit effort to delete emails to protect Fauci. A lab leak vibe shift appears to be well underway. 

→ Donald J. Trump: poster-in-chief

He may have spurned Elon Musk’s X, but Donald Trump has joined a new social media platform: TikTok.

The former president, himself the owner of social media site Truth Social, quickly racked up 3.7 million followers on the platform — that’s more than ten times the followers of Joe Biden, who joined in February, for those keeping score. Trump’s first TikTok is a video of himself walking around a UFC fight, complete with roaring crowds and a Joe Rogan cameo.

@realdonaldtrump Launching my TikTok at @UFC ♬ original sound – President Donald J Trump

For the original poster behind instant classics like “covfefe”, “many such cases” and “fake news”, it’s only natural that he’d soar on Gen Z’s preferred social media outlet. His previous efforts to ban the app have been forgiven and forgotten. 

→ Nayib Bukele: sci-fi aristocrat

Speaking of social media starlets, El Salvador’s Nayib Bukele made a splash on X over the weekend with his dramatic new threads.

The long, high-collared coat with gold embroidery evoked memories of Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín, though some were reminded instead of Michael Jackson, or some sort of intergalactic aristocrat or imperial leader of space.

Bukele broke out the special outfit for his inauguration, an event attended by the who’s-who of the American Right, including Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump Jr. El Salvador welcomes its new imperial overlord