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Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend in Trinidad is impotent, has swollen balls, and his fiance has called off their wedding as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine.
This is according to a viral tweet that the rapper posted Monday evening. Unfortunately, like most stories that begin with the line “my cousin’s friend told me…”, Minaj failed to provide any evidence to support her claim. Instead, she warned her 22 million Twitter followers not to be bullied into getting the vaccine.
Minaj’s tweet was widely mocked and derided on Twitter, but over on the anti-vaxxer and conspiracy message boards there was a lot of confusion, given that Minaj is viewed by that community as part of the hated Hollywood and liberal elite.
“Is this Nicky Minaj for real? I'd be impressed, of course, everyone gets a second chance, but I'm wondering since she's illuminati,” one commentator on the messaging app Telegram wrote.
Another wrote: “When degenerates like Minaj start making sense, you know the world is in a bad way.”
Others welcomed what they viewed as her support of the anti-vax community. “Nicki Minaj just fired off 22 million red pills,” a user called New World Warrior wrote, referring to the process of converting people into conspiracy theorists.
Despite the seemingly obvious misinformation contained in her post, Twitter has decided not to take it down or even apply a label to the tweet directing Minaj’s followers to better information about the vaccines and their side effects.
“The Tweets you referenced are not in violation of the Twitter Rules,” a spokesperson told VICE News.
Minaj’s tweet was likely not censored because, per Twitter’s own rules on COVID misinformation, it doesn’t “advance a claim of fact, expressed in definitive terms” but instead is viewed as a “personal anecdote,” which does not violate Twitter’s policies.
In other tweets Monday, Minaj said she was ultimately very likely to get the vaccine because it would be required for her to tour, but she added that she was doing research first to ensure that the vaccine was safe.
Minaj said the reason she didn’t travel to Monday night’s Met Gala was because the organizers required attendees to be fully vaccinated.
Anti-vaxxers have claimed that COVID-19 vaccines cause impotence and related issues, but those claims have been widely debunked, and the real threat of swollen testicles actually comes from contracting COVID-19 itself.
“It is just not true that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is associated with infertility in either males or females,” Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told People.
“In addition, there has been an association between scrotal swelling and congestion to having COVID-19. So, to emphasize, these are not associated with the vaccine but with the disease.”
But the facts did not stop Minaj’s tweet from being shared widely. As of Tuesday morning it has received 90,000 retweets and 85,000 likes. It also made its way onto Tucker Carlson’s top-rated Fox News show on Monday night, where the host read the tweet aloud and said that Minaj’s advice “seems sensible.”
Carlson made the comments about Minaj’s tweet just moments after he doubled down on his assertion that carrying a fake vaccination card is not a “serious crime.”