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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Nicki Minaj’s vaccine-skeptic comments criticised, rebutted online

In a widely shared tweet, Minaj wrote that her cousin's friend 'became impotent' after taking the coronavirus vaccine.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 15, 2021 5:30:52 pm
Nicki MinajRapper Nicki Minaj said she skipped the Met Gala as she is yet to be vaccinated. (File)

Musician Nicki Minaj faced criticism for her comments on Twitter suggesting that the coronavirus vaccine could cause impotence, with top epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci commenting that Minaj should think twice before sharing information “that really has no basis.”

In a widely shared tweet, Minaj wrote that her cousin’s friend became impotent after taking the coronavirus vaccine.

“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,” she wrote in a tweet.

Minaj, who was born in Trinidad, did not specify details of the vaccine or provide any evidence to back her claim. Trinidad and Tobago currently offers coronavirus vaccines by BioNTech Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Oxford AstraZeneca and Sinopharm BBIBP to its citizens on a voluntary basis.

The rapper, who has over 22 million followers on Twitter, also said that she skipped the Met Gala as she is yet to be vaccinated. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, popularly known as the Met gala, was held last week in adherence to COVID protocol, including mandatory vaccination, negative COVID tests and mask mandate.

“They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t 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 grips your head & face. Not that loose one,” she tweeted.

She later said that while she is currently unvaccinated, she is likely to get a vaccine “eventually”.

No evidence

Her comments were criticised by health professionals, including White House’s chief medical adviser Dr. Fauci, who said that there is no evidence that the coronavirus vaccines cause reproductive issues.

“The only way we know to counter mis- and disinformation is to provide a lot of correct information,” Dr. Fauci told CNN. “[These kinds of claims] may be innocent on her part: I’m not blaming her for anything, but she should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis except a one-off anecdote.”

According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, side-effects of COVID jab include pain, redness and swelling on the arm where you got shot, and general fatigue including tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea. Impotence is not mentioned as one of the side effects. The CDC says on its website that no long-term side effects have been detected due to the vaccines.

Minaj’s comments gain significance in the backdrop of a larger trend of vaccine hesitancy amid spiralling delta variant infections. Last week, US President Joe Biden announced a sweeping vaccine mandate, telling unvaccinated Americans that “your refusal has cost all of us.”

Though vaccines are free and widely available, only 62% of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Over 654,000 people have died of coronavirus in the US till date, and deaths and hospitalisations have been rising sharply after a brief respite.

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