Nicki Minaj entered the coronavirus vaccine debate Monday by citing a bizarre case of swollen testicles as one of the reasons she still hasn’t gotten her shot — a claim that sparked fury on social media over its complete lack of scientific evidence.
The “Anaconda” singer posted a series of tweets suggesting she was still researching the safety and efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines after choosing not to attend the Met Gala in New York. The event required all guests to be vaccinated.
But Minaj, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, raised eyebrows after telling her 22 million Twitter followers that she knows of a vaccine recipient who is now suffering from erectile dysfunction.
“My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent,” she wrote. “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.”
The Trinidadian rapper did not offer any evidence for her claim — likely because none exists, scientists would say. Experts have long debunked claims that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility issues, saying the two have no connection and that people should not assume any correlation just because of the timing of a diagnosis.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, said swollen testicles, or orchitis, is also “not a thing” when it comes to vaccines.
“I have no doubt that this is something that has happened to this individual and also have no doubt, really, that it’s not related to the vaccine,” he said Tuesday on “New Day.”
“When you have 32% of the country of Trinidad vaccinated, you’re going to have people who have concomitant issues that have nothing to do with the vaccine,” he said.
As for fertility issues, experts insist there’s no evidence linking the COVID-19 vaccine to people’s reproductive system.
“There is absolutely no evidence, and no theoretical reason, that any of the vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men,” the British Fertility Society and Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists said in a February statement.