The health minister for Trinidad and Tobago said on Wednesday that government officials have “wasted” time “running down [a] false claim” made by Nicki Minaj of swollen testicles possibly being linked to the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Monday afternoon, the rapper lit up the internet when she asserted in a tweet that her “cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen.” Minaj spent that night justifying her own vaccine skepticism, claiming she still needed to do more research despite the vaccines being developed about a year ago.
She said she would not be getting vaccinated in order to attend the Met Gala, where jabs were mandatory. Minaj then lashed out at both fans who tried to send her credible vaccine research and outlets that reported on her tweets. At one point, Tucker Carlson jumped in to defend her.
Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister Dr. Terrence Deyalsingh said on Wednesday that, as far as his ministry was aware after spending much of Tuesday trying to trace the case, there has been “absolutely no reported such side effect or adverse event” matching Minaj’s description.
“But her tweet certainly did not help because people like her are social influencers and they do carry some sway,” he said on Wednesday, according to local outlet CNC3. “So it certainly didn’t help, and will make our job a little harder, which we don't need right now.” Trinidad’s vaccination rate stands at around 32 percent.
The minister joins a growing—even swelling—group of medical professionals debunking Minaj’s account, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta also weighed in, saying that any link between getting vaxxed and inflamed balls “is not a thing.”
There is also no evidence that the vaccine causes male fertility issues.
Minaj has continued to defend her views as the medical consensus on the safety of vaccines has been affirmed and reaffirmed this week.
When U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty commented that Minaj “should be ashamed” for “peddling untruths,” the rapper posted a bizarre audio message to Twitter, mocking Johnson in a fake British accent. “You don’t know much about me,” she declared. “I’m a big, big star in the United States.”