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White House offers to talk to rapper Nicki Minaj after she tweeted unverified vaccine…

Sep 16, 2021
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Nicki Minaj performs a medley of “Majesty,” “Barbie Dreams,” “Ganja Burn,” and “FeFe” at the 2018 Video Music Awards in New York City.
Source – MTV International, CC SA 3.0

Rapper Nicki Minaj caused an uproar this week when she tweeted to her 22.6 million followers that her cousin in Trinidad wasn’t getting vaccinated because it had made his friend impotent. “His testicles became swollen,” the rapper said. “His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, debunked the claim made by Minaj in an interview with CNN on Tuesday when asked if the coronavirus vaccine could cause infertility.

“There’s no evidence that it happens, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen,” he said. “So the answer to your question is no.”

Even the United Kingdom got in on the claim about swollen testicles caused by the vaccine, with  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Dr. Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical officer, addressing Minaj’s claims, with Whitty saying people who spread “ridiculous” untruths should be ashamed.

Nicki Minaj @NICKIMINAJ

And NBC is reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on its most updated information page on vaccinations that there is “currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.”

Fighting the disinformation being spread on social media

According to CBC Canada News, the White House offered Wednesday to connect Nicki Minaj with one of the Biden administration’s doctors to address her questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, and hopefully beat back the erroneous and unproven information showing up in social media.

White House staffers said they have offered such calls with others concerned about the vaccine, part of an aggressive public relations campaign to beat back rampant disinformation about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

Minaj tweeted Wednesday that “the White House has invited me” and “yes, I’m going,” but a White House official said the rapper was simply offered a call.

“The White House has invited me & I think it’s a step in the right direction,” she tweeted. “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 ppl who have been made fun of for simply being human. #BallGate day 3.”

The White House has been struggling all year, trying to counteract resistance to getting the COVID-19 vaccination, particularly among younger and more Republican demographics. False or misleading information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines is a driver of that hesitance.

The Biden administration has referenced a study by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit that studies extremism, that linked a dozen accounts to spreading the majority of vaccine disinformation on Facebook.

The administration has sought out new ways to refute disinformation and reach young vaccine skeptics, inviting teen pop star Olivia Rodrigo to the White House earlier this year to show her support for the shot.

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