- Trinidad and Tobago’s health minister said that Nicki Minaj’s COVID-19 vaccine claims wasted government resources.
- The health minister said there’s no record of testicular swelling from the vaccine in that country or anywhere else.
- Anti-vaccine activists who claim the CDC is lying to them about the vaccine’s efficacy have seized on Minaj’s story.
Nicki Minaj’s bogus COVID-19 vaccine claims wasted the Trinidad and Tobago health department’s time, according to the country’s health minister.
Terrence Deyalsingh, Trinidad and Tobago’s minister of health, led a COVID-19 update on Wednesday morning where he addressed the rapper’s claims about the vaccine causing testicular swelling.
—Kevz Politics (@KevzPolitics) September 15, 2021
Minaj told a story about her cousin’s friend in Trinidad, who she said became impotent and suffered from swollen testicles as a result of the vaccine, by way of explaining her absence from the Met Gala on Monday. She told her 22 million Twitter followers that she skipped the star-studded event due to its vaccination requirements, and the swollen testicles story quickly circulated online.
But Deyalsingh said there’s no record of the side effects Minaj described in Trinidad and Tobago. He said the rapper’s vaccination tweet wasted valuable government time and resources, as officials tried to find evidence that any such case occurred without success.
“What is sad about this is that it wasted our time yesterday trying to track it down, because we take all of these claims seriously,” Deyalsingh said. “As we stand now there is absolutely no reported such side effect or adverse effect of testicular swelling in Trinidad … and none that we know of anywhere else in the world.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reiterated Deyalsingh and said there’s no evidence that vaccines cause testicular swelling.
Anti-vaccine activists seized on Minaj’s claims
Many anti-vaccine activists claim that COVID-19 vaccines are detrimental to one’s health, despite resounding evidence of their safety and efficacy. Minaj’s claims appear to have bolstered and reinvigorated the anti-vaccination movement’s efforts, leading a group of protestors to picket outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta while chanting Minaj’s name.
—Tori Cooper (@toricoooper) September 15, 2021
The rapper’s vaccination story also drew interest from Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who frequently denies the COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy and took the opportunity Tuesday night to implore Minaj’s cousin’s friend to reach out to him.
“If Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend is watching, or his former fiancée is watching, we want to hear your story,” Carlson said. “We’ll come to Port of Spain to see you.”
With no record of swollen testicles ever presenting as a side effect of the coronavirus vaccine, Carlson’s team may be waiting for a long time.
After being lambasted by the media and social media users for her claims, the rapper said she’d still likely get vaccinated and implored others to do the same.
“I’d def recommend they get the vaccine,” she tweeted. “I’m sure I’ll b vaccinated as well cuz I have to go on tour, etc,” she wrote to a fan.