Singer Nicki Minaj is facing backlash after raising questions about the safety and efficacy of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. In a tweet on Sept. 14, she shared that her cousin in Trinidad refused to be vaccinated as one of his friends who had taken a COVID-19 dose ended up becoming impotent.
“His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding,” the Sept 14. tweet said.
Minaj went on to advise her followers that their decision on whether to be vaccinated or not should solely be their own and not because of any “bullying.” In another tweet, Minaj shared a post by a man who revealed that his father, who had been vaccinated, developed a blood clot in his left eye and turned blind. The father eventually got COVID-19.
The singer also tweeted that she would not be attending the Met Gala in New York City because they have a COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Minaj said that if she did get the jab, it would only be when she had done “enough research.”
MSNBC anchor Joy Reid criticized Minaj, accusing her of putting people in a “position of dying” due to her tweets about COVID-19 vaccines.
“You have a platform, sister, that is 22 million followers. Ok? I have two million followers. You have 22 million followers on Twitter. For you to use your platform to encourage our community to not protect themselves and save their lives, my God, sister, you could do better than that,” Reid said. MInaj accused Reid of spreading a “false narrative” against her.
When President Joe Biden’s chief COVID-19 medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was asked about Minaj’s tweet about “swollen” testicles, he said that the singer should be “thinking twice” about sharing information with “that really has no basis, except as a one-off anecdote.” He stated that there is a lot of “misinformation” about COVID-19 on social media.
On Sept. 15, Trinidad & Tobago Health Minister Dr. Terrence Dayalsingh responded to the swollen testicle claim made by Minaj. “Unfortunately, we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim… As we stand now, there is absolutely no reported such side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad or, I dare say… anywhere else in the world,” Dayalsingh stated.
On Sept. 16, Minaj tweeted that the White House had invited her to discuss the vaccines. “I’ll be dressed in all pink like Legally Blonde so they know I mean business,” Minaj said. The singer added that she will be asking questions on behalf of people who have been made fun of for “simply being human.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that they had only given “an offer to have a conversation” with Minaj. The White House regularly engages with people who have large public platforms, and it is “something we do all the time,” she said.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson sided with Minaj, defending her concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, which Minaj posted a video of on Twitter. Some people criticized the tweet, with one user claiming that Carlson was a “white nationalist.”
Minaj responded in a tweet, “Right. I can’t speak to, agree with, even look at someone from a particular political party. Ppl aren’t human anymore. If you’re black & a Democrat tells u to shove marbles up ur a**, you simply have to. If another party tells u to look out for that bus, stand there & get hit.”
Minaj also posted on Instagram, saying that she was in “Twitter jail,” indicating that she was blocked from the platform. However, Twitter issued a statement saying that they did not take any “enforcement action” against the singer’s account. In one of her Instagram Live videos, Minaj compared the “cancel culture” of Twitter mobs to the censorship imposed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on its citizens and foreigners.
“I remember going to China and they were telling us you know, you cannot speak out against, you know, the people in power, there, etc… Don’t y’all see that we are living now in that time where people will turn their back on you… but people will isolate you if you simply speak and ask a question,” Minaj said in the video.