Yes, the above title is real. Rapper Nicki Minaj stirred controversy on Sept. 13, 2021, when she vocalized her skepticism of the COVID-19 vaccine, claiming her cousin's friend had "swollen" testicles because of it, and that she would not attend the Met Gala because of its vaccine requirement. Minaj's opinions surfaced in response to a fan tweeting that her last public appearance was more than year go.
She also said she would not risk her infant’s health:
She also appeared to confirm that she hadn’t received the vaccine because she wanted to do “enough research” first:
More unusually she shared a story of her cousin’s friend in Trinidad, who allegedly got vaccinated, became impotent, and developed swollen testicles. Her tweet, shared from her official account said:
She also appeared to confirm that she had contracted COVID-19 previously:
Minaj received an unlikely ally in the form of Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who read out her tweet on his show and praised it, saying, it “seems sensible.”
Carlson has, in the past, stirred doubt about the efficacy of vaccines. Carlson had also defended the use of fake vaccination cards, saying, “It’s not even close to a serious crime. Buying a fake vaccination card is an act of desperation by decent, law-abiding Americans who have been forced into a corner by tyrants.” Carlson has not publicly disclosed his own vaccination status, though his employer, Fox News, has now mandated that all their employees reveal their status to the company.
MSNBC host Joy Reid criticized Minaj, saying "as a fan" Reid was disappointed that Minaj did not use her platform to advocate for vaccinations. On her cable show, she said, "You have a platform, sister, that is 22 million followers. 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." Minaj responded on Twitter:
Minaj also referenced old homophobic blog posts written by Reid:
Minaj did, however, also appear to encourage people to get vaccinated and added that not getting infected after receiving the vaccine was “the norm.” She also said that people who needed to get vaccinated in order to work should do so: