Nicki Minaj caused an international scandal thanks to the “Bed of Lies” rapper tweeting misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. For the last several days, people from around the world weighed in on what has become known as #BallGate.
While Nicki Minaj did state that she would likely get the vaccine in preparation for her going on tour in the future, a series of tweets from the Trinidad and Tobago-born recording artist appeared to suggest she was vaccine-hesitant. One particular social media post went über-viral.
“My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied,” tweeted Minaj on Monday.
Nicki Minaj was widely condemned for suggesting impotence and enlarged genitalia were side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. MSNBC political commentator Joy Reid, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other public figures spoke out against the 38-year-old entertainer essentially telling her 22 million Twitter followers to be skeptical of getting vaccinated.
Even the Minister of Health for Trinidad and Tobago had to inform his nation that there have not been any reported incidents of swollen testicles caused by the vaccine. Terrence Deyalsingh also made an appearance on The Daily Show to address the matter.
“We are confident that we have brought WHO-approved vaccines to Trinidad and Tobago. And with those million doses, we have administered to date, there have only been five cases of adverse events, all reported to WHO. None of them includes testicular swelling,” Terrence Deyalsingh told The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah.
Deyalsingh later added, “My message to the Trinidad and Tobago diaspora, anywhere that you are, is that vaccines are safe, vaccines are effective… The message to the Caribbean diaspora is spread the word to get vaccinated to save your life so we can get back to our Caribbean way of life.”
According to reports, the majority of people in the United States that are currently being hospitalized and killed by COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Research has found that unvaccinated people are eleven times more likely to die from COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people.