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White House offers Nicki Minaj call to answer vaccine Qs

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2018, file photo, Nicki Minaj attends the Oscar de la Renta show during Fashion Week in New York. The White House is offering to connect Minaj with one of the Biden administrations doctors to address her questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The offer comes after the Trinidadian-born rappers erroneous tweet alleging the vaccine causes impotence went viral. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2018, file photo, Nicki Minaj attends the Oscar de la Renta show during Fashion Week in New York. The White House is offering to connect Minaj with one of the Biden administrations doctors to address her questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The offer comes after the Trinidadian-born rappers erroneous tweet alleging the vaccine causes impotence went viral. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File) (2018 Invision)

WASHINGTON – 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, after the Trinidadian-born rapper’s erroneous tweet alleging the vaccine causes impotence went viral.

The White House said that they’ve 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.

Minaj made headlines earlier this week when she noted in a tweet to her more than 22.6 million followers that the Met Gala required attendees to be vaccinated, and that she wouldn’t get the shot until “I feel I’ve done enough research.” She later issued a tweet sharing an unverified story about a cousin’s friend in Trinidad. Minaj asserted the unidentified individual “became impotent” and “his testicles became swollen” after receiving the shot.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, dismissed the claim as misinformation during an interview Tuesday on CNN.

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

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Professional medical organizations serving people of reproductive age, including adolescents, emphasize that there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes a loss of fertility. These organizations also recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people who may consider getting pregnant in the future.”

“Professional societies for male reproduction recommend that men who want to have babies in the future be offered COVID-19 vaccination. There is no evidence that vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause male fertility problems.”

Throughout the year, the White House has struggled to counteract resistance to getting a shot, particularly among younger and more Republican demographics. The administration has pointed in particular to false or misleading information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines as a driver of that hesitance. It 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, earlier this year inviting teen pop star Olivia Rodrigo to the White House to show her support for the shot.


About the Authors:

Veronica Crespo writes for Local10.com and also oversees the Español section of the website. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism and Spanish.