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Trinidad’s health minister says Nicki Minaj’s COVID tweet will make efforts to vaccinate population “a little harder”

By | Published on Thursday 16 September 2021

Nicki Minaj

Trinidad & Tobago’s health minister Terrence Deyalsingh has reprimanded Nicki Minaj for wasting his department’s time and hindering its efforts to convince people in the country to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The rapper claimed earlier this week that it was in that country where receiving a COVID-19 vaccine caused her “cousin’s friend” to become impotent.

Minaj, who was born in Trinidad & Tobago, said earlier this week that she has not yet received her first dose of the vaccine and claimed on Twitter: “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it and became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding”.

Back in Trinidad, the government is currently working hard to convince people to get vaccinated, but currently more than 60% of the population is yet to receive their first dose. At a press conference yesterday, Deyalsingh said that Minaj’s tweet “certainly didn’t help, and will make our job a little harder, which we don’t need right now”.

He added that, due to vaccine skepticism in the country, the government investigates all claims made about vaccinations in order to ensure that they are fully debunked. As a result, he went on, “we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim”.

“We have to research [such claims], because suppose it was true – we don’t want to be accused of just ignoring it”, he went on. “But we spent a lot of time yesterday trying to track it down. So far, it has not proven to be true in Trinidad or … anywhere else in the world, that this is a known side effect or adverse effect of vaccination. But her tweet certainly did not help, because people like her are social influencers and they do carry some sway”.

Previously, the United States’ top medical scientist Dr Anthony Fauci, when asked if there was any truth to Minaj’s claim that COVID vaccines could cause impotence, said that “the answer to that is a resounding ‘no'”. Meanwhile, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Chris Whitty said that Minaj and others who spread “untruths” about vaccines “should be ashamed”.

Minaj, meanwhile, now says that she has been invited to the White House to discuss her questions about COVID vaccines. She tweeted: “The White House has invited me and I think it’s a step in the right direction. Yes, I’m going. I’ll be dressed in all pink like ‘Legally Blonde’ so they know I mean business. I’ll ask questions on behalf of the people who have been made fun of for simply being human”.