White House clarifies why Nicki Minaj was invited to discuss vaccine safety

Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

She also touched on multiple facets of the viral controversy — from her bizarre alliance with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, alleged betrayal by MSNBC's Joy Reid, involvement of the Trinidad health ministry and social media activism.

Minaj's responses also moved from Twitter — where the 38-year-old has more than 22 million followers — to Instagram, where she has a much larger following of 157 million, after she claimed Twitter locked her account late Wednesday. (A Twitter spokesperson disputed that, telling The Times that the platform "did not take any enforcement action" on her account.)

"Y'all gotta stop pretending to love people with backbones," she wrote in an Instagram Story late Wednesday. "If Malcolm X were here, he'd be asking questions & most of y'all that holler 'black lives matter' & 'protect black women' would be telling him to shut-UP & fall in line. Y'all say these ppl's names but embody the spirit of a coward."

In her video, Minaj said that her management and publicist were on the phone call with Biden administration officials, who she said invited her to the White House to speak with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

The rap star, who skipped the Met Gala earlier this week and said she recently contracted COVID-19, said she told them she'd rather not travel and would prefer to do some sort of livestream.

"And they said they're open to me choosing a platform to do [an Instagram] live. But they had never taken that off the table for me to come to the White House," she said in Wednesday's video.


She also opted to have a public conversation about it because "it would not feel genuine if it was something that I discussed with them only, privately, because then it would come off disingenuous to my fans because it would sound like I was kinda, like, selling them the vaccine. And everyone agreed."

Psaki made no mention Thursday of the high-profile doctors Minaj name-checked.

The rapper noted that some officials told her management and publicist that they weren't happy about her tweeting about the White House, but insisted she wouldn't make something like that up and slammed those who went on Twitter to "try to make a fool" of her.

Minaj's publicist did not immediately respond to The Times' request for comment Thursday.


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