When rapper Nicki Minaj announced on Twitter that she had tested positive for COVID-19, she hinted that she was also experiencing vaccine hesitancy. She claimed her fellow rapper Drake also got COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.
“so chile,” she punctuated her tweet with, underscoring her apparent reluctance to also get vaccinated.
But then Minaj, 38, took it a few steps further in subsequent tweets that all but made clear her stance against the COVID-19 vaccine; something that she hammered home by sharing a horrific story about a vaccinated family friend that straddled the lines of being a full-fledged anti-vaxxer complete with a vicious conspiracy theory, to boot.
Minaj suggested that a story she said her cousin told her about his vaccinated friend in Trinidad helped sway her against being vaccinated.
She tweeted without proof that her cousin’s friend became “impotent” and suffered “swollen testicles” as a result of getting vaccinated. Minaj added that her cousin’s friend was engaged to be married but the wedding was called off by the bride-to-be purportedly because of her fiance’s physical condition that was allegedly because he got vaccinated.
Minaj advised her 22.6 million followers to not be “bullied” into getting vaccinated.
“So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision,” she tweeted.
The revelation that Minaj is likely an anti-vaxxer came as it was reported that she would not be attending the annual MET Gala in New York City because the event required all guests to be fully vaccinated. Minaj also canceled her appearance at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards ceremony in Brooklyn, although no reason was given at the time.
To be sure, neither the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) nor any other credible public health authority has said that impotence or swollen genitals are a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine. The most common side effects from the vaccine are pain, redness and swelling in the arm where the shot was administered. Vaccinated individuals may also experience tiredness, a headache, muscle pain, chills and/or fever and/or nausea, according to the CDC, a government agency.
Decidedly absent from that list is anything having to do with reproductive organs.
Even as people on Twitter pushed back with facts, Minaj seemed resolute in her opinion.
Perhaps even more troubling was how Minaj’s message was being warmly greeted by her fans.
The only other similar report of the vaccine causing impotence came from a politician in India who is convinced that his government’s mission to vaccinate people in the country “might cause harm to people.”
Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of the country’s Samajwadi political party, reportedly urged his constituents to “stay away from the Covid vaccine” because it “can make you impotent.”
Minaj’s comments will likely be used as political propaganda by similar-minded anti-vaxxers here in the U.S. and possibly around the world as a way to justify their opposition to the vaccine despite a new study finding that the unvaccinated are more than 11 times more likely to die than those who have gotten both doses.