Photo of Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj did not attend the 2021 Met Gala due to its vaccine requirements. (Image via Instagram/@nickiminaj)

When It Comes to the COVID Vaccine, Nicki Minaj Isn’t ‘Just Asking Questions’

The rapper publicly expressed her opinion and managed to spread misinformation at the same time.

Thoughts x
Photo of Nicki Minaj

The rapper publicly expressed her opinion and managed to spread misinformation at the same time.

After over a year of living virtually, the emergence of the COIVD-19 vaccines seemed like a beacon of light to many people all over the country. Finally, we could be back within proximity of one another — while still following the guidelines set by government officials and the FDA, of course. That includes the Met Gala, one of the biggest events in the fashion world, which is hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. The Met Gala is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. Individual tickets are reportedly priced at a whopping $30,000 each, so attending the event is a true marker of status. The attendees include the biggest names in the entertainment business and pop culture, especially Nicki Minaj. However, viewers noticed that Minaj wasn’t on the carpet at the 2021 comeback gala.

On Sept. 13, the night following the MTV Video Music Awards, Minaj took to Twitter to reveal why she was absent from the award show and would be missing from the Met Gala. In a series of tweets, the Grammy-nominated artist revealed that she had contracted the COVID-19 virus while prepping for the MTV Video Music Awards. The rapper continued to show her aversion toward the vaccine as she explained that fellow rapper Drake allegedly also contracted the virus while being fully vaccinated. Minaj expressed to her 22.9 million Twitter followers that she would not be attending the Met Gala due to the vaccination requirements set in place. Minaj wrote, “They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one.”

Minaj elaborated that she would not get vaccinated solely for an event, and she needed to do more investigation before receiving her immunization for COVID-19. She also added, “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.”

Minaj’s tweets invoked major backlash from fans. One fan replied, “Girl just get the vaccine. It’s safe.”

Some of the other comments Minaj faced were related to her spreading misinformation, as well as adding to the stigma that surrounds the COVID-19 vaccine, despite FDA approval. This matter caused such a rift on social media that the waves reached the White House. Minaj claimed on Instagram live on Sept. 14 that the Biden administration invited her to visit the White House to discuss vaccine safety protocol with Dr. Anthony Fauci. She then added that she declined a visit to the White House due to her recent contraction of the virus. White House officials, however, denied inviting the rapper to the White House. But they did express their openness in holding a conversation with Minaj regarding any worries.

On Sept. 16, the White House brought up the issue again at their press briefing. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House offered Nicki Minaj a call with a doctor to answer any questions she had about the “safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.” Dr. Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the president, gave his professional opinion on Minaj’s assertion that the vaccine could cause swollen testicles. He stated, “There’s no evidence that it happens nor is there any mechanistic reasoning to imagine that it would happen.” Following Dr. Fauci’s statement on the matter, Trinidad’s health minister also debunked all claims that COVID-19 vaccines cause swollen testicles.

Upset by the way the media portrayed the story as well as the backlash she faced in response, Minaj took to Instagram live to express her absolute outrage. Minaj said, “If they assassinate me and assassinate my character, and make me look crazy or stupid. Guess what? No one will ever ask questions again.”

What Minaj fails to realize is that while questions are okay, what she did doesn’t equate to asking a question. She took to her public Twitter account to spread misinformation, whether it was in the form of statements about Drake contracting the virus or the vaccine causing swollen testicles. The vaccine is effective. Does being fully vaccinated mean you’ll never contract the virus ever? No, and no public health official ever said that. Being vaccinated aids your body in building a defense against the virus. This defense helps in case you happen to contract the virus; your symptoms won’t be as extreme because your body will have immunity.

In this stage of the pandemic, the world desperately needs people to get vaccinated so we can reach herd immunity. Comments like the ones made by Minaj are extremely dangerous. With a platform of 22.9 million followers, it’s extremely irresponsible for the rapper to go online ranting about a topic she knows she isn’t educated enough to speak about. Hopefully, in the future, Nicki Minaj and other public figures in her position steer away from misusing their platforms in this manner. Resources and information are just a click away. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

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Asiya Robinson

Rowan University
Writing Arts

Asiya Robinson is a bookworm from Deptford, New Jersey, with dreams of an exhilarating writing career. Whether it’s becoming a novelist or journalist, Asiya plans to pen herself an alluring and prosperous tomorrow.

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