Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh criticized American rapper Nicki Minaj’s claim that a person on the Caribbean island suffered swollen testicles after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine as “false.”
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Minaj sparked international controversy Monday (September 13) when she shared on Twitter that her cousin in Trinidad refuses to get a vaccine because his friend become impotent after being vaccinated.
“My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied,” Minaj wrote.
In a statement on Wednesday, Deyalsingh said, “One of the reasons why we could not respond yesterday in real-time to Miss Minaj is that we had to check and make sure that what she was claiming was either true or false. Unfortunately, we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim.”
Top U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, attributes the contention to the misinformation spread via social media. “I’m not blaming her for anything – but she should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis as except a one-off anecdote, and that’s not what science is all about.”
This pushback compounded with Minaj’s announcement on Twitter that she would not attend the Met Gala due to the event’s vaccine requirement.
“They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. If I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met,” Minaj posted on Monday. “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 grips your head & face. Not that loose one.”
Following this statement, The White House confirmed to Variety on Wednesday that “As we have with others, we offered a call with Nicki Minaj and one of our doctors to answer questions she has about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.”
Though she has continually challenged the idea of a mandate on social media, one Twitter post suggests she will get the vaccine in order to get back on the road for a tour.