Nicki Minaj responded critically on Monday night to a number of outlets publishing coverage of her tweets hours earlier on such varied topics as her vaccination status, her attendance at the 2021 Met Gala, and her cousin’s friend’s balls.
Minaj first expressed her hesitancy to get the COVID-19 vaccine in a series of tweets, beginning when she revealed she had contracted the virus before the VMAs, which she then skipped. In a response to a fan who spoke out in defense of her lack of recent public appearances, Minaj said her new baby has been largely the reason behind her choice to stay home and that she isn’t vaccinated. Of people telling her to “‘get vaccinated,’” she wrote, “Drake had just told me he got covid w|THE VACCINE.”
In a subsequent reply to fans sending her research on the vaccine, Minaj noted that she had experienced “the same symptoms as ppl with the damn vaccine,” and the idea that the vaccination prevents more serious symptoms of COVID-19 is “not true.” (It is.)
Minaj then addressed that evening’s Met Gala, which she did not attend. “They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t for [sic] the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research.” She encouraged fans to wear a mask in the same tweet.
She explained that her cousin in Trinidad hadn’t gotten the vaccine because after a friend of his got the jab, his testicles “became swollen” and his fiancée called off their upcoming wedding. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has catalogued a number of potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, including muscle pain, fatigue, and chills, engorged genitals is not on the list.
A few minutes later, she also expressed support for people who are required by their workplace to get the vaccine and said she’s sure she would be vaccinated if she were to go back on tour.
As media coverage of her vaccine-related tweets, particularly the one about her cousin’s friend’s balls, began to circulate, Minaj received support over her tweets from none other than Tucker Carlson, Fox News’ loudest and most prominent vaccine skeptic. Acknowledging that there’s not “much overlap between her audience” and his show, Carlson applauded the rap superstar giving her “opinion on vaccine mandates.”
Carlson read aloud Minaj’s swollen-testicles tweets, in which she also encouraged her fans not to “be bullied” into taking the shots. “Which seems sensible,” Carlson said, adding that he’ll report more on Minaj’s vaccine remarks this week.
Minaj has not responded to Carlson’s comments, but other articles prompted a series of withering responses from the rapper.
In response to The Daily Beast’s coverage, Minaj wrote, “Pls tell me where I said I’m ‘worried about’ anything. Yes. I’m glad you guys get to see how the media REALLY works. I’ll have them contacted along with others.” (The headline of the Beast’s article was later amended to reflect her hesitancy over, rather than outright refusal to get, the vaccine.)
Minaj included the Beast’s story in a roundup of “lies” from “huge news platforms,” including Yahoo News and USA Today. She pushed back on the idea that the vaccination requirement was her reason for skipping Monday night’s Met Gala, saying, “I cited my young child as why I didn't want to travel.”
She laid into MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid for her response to the vaccine tweets, calling her an “uncle tomiana.” “You have a platform, sister, that is 22 million followers,” Reid said, going on to add, “For you to use your platform to put people in the position of dying from a disease they don’t have to die from? Oh, my God. As a fan, as a hip-hop fan, as somebody who was your fan, I am so sad that you did that.”