On Monday, rapper Nicki Minaj sparked outrage by saying she wanted to do more “research” before taking the COVID-19 vaccine and then making a weird assertion about the vaccine’s negative effects.
Minaj received major backlash after she said that she wasn’t ready to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because she was concerned about its safety.
“They want you to get vaccinated for the Met,” she wrote. “If I get vaccinated it won’t be for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grip your head and face.”
Minaj then posted a bizarre story about the virus she says she heard about from her cousin in Trinidad, where she was born.
“My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it and became impotent,” she wrote. “His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it and make sure you’re comfortable with your decision, not bullied.”
Medical experts have declared that claims linking immunizations to infertility are unfounded.
“There are stories out there on the Internet about how vaccination can lead to infertility. There’s absolutely nothing to that,” Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told The Washington Post earlier this year.
“There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention underscored in advice back in August.
Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend tripping over his swollen balls at the Met Gala pic.twitter.com/uR7gH4nv6i
— Keith (@ShrillockHolmes) September 13, 2021
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Some pregnant women, as well as groups such as Black and Hispanic adults, who have historically faced health disparities, have expressed skepticism about vaccines. Vaccine apprehension, according to experts, increases the risk of the virus mutating and prolongs the pandemic.
Joy-Ann Reid, an MSNBC host, reacted to Minaj’s tweets by stating that they may increase apprehension in the Black community. “For you to use your platform to encourage our community to not protect themselves and save their lives …” she said, “as a fan, I am so sad that you did that.”
Nicki Minaj’s publicist right now pic.twitter.com/uKpULworNG
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 13, 2021
Minaj responded to the critics calling it a “false narrative.” She then encouraged her fans to “just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied.”
Some Black respondents said they were influenced by their knowledge of the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study — a secret experiment conducted by the US government from 1932 to 1972 to study the deadly venereal disease without treatment — in a survey last year. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, only about 4 in 10 Black Americans (43 percent) had received a vaccine dose as of Sept. 7. White adults, on the other hand, continue to make up the majority of unvaccinated adults (57 percent).
"I got an STD before my wedding day causing my balls to expand exponentially. Luckily for me, my friend's cousin is Nicki Minaj and he got her to tell the world it was actually a vaccine side-effect, thus sparing my blushes" pic.twitter.com/M7gL01hh9h
— Michael S (@ScanlanWithAnA) September 14, 2021
On social media, misinformation about the vaccine has been amplified. Minaj, like other celebrities, has millions of online followers, including a devoted fandom known as Barbz and a sizable platform in the United States, where only about half of the population has received all of their vaccinations.
There has been no conclusive evidence that the COVID-19 vaccination causes enlarged testicles.