Nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has responded to a viral tweet from rapper Nicki Minaj who claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine could cause impotency. According to the White House chief medical advisor, there is no evidence that it happens.
Minaj incited controversy Monday after she posted series of tweets on her Twitter Account – which has over 22 million followers – about the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the Met Gala Event.
“They want you to get vaccinated for the Met,” the 38-year-old wrote. “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”
She later explained that she is not attending the gala because of her child and not because of the vaccine requirement. But in another post, the rapper tweet about her cousin’s friend in Trinidad who she claims experienced impotency after getting the vaccine which gained wide response from fans and health officials.
Fauci, in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, when asked if the vaccine could cause reproductive issues both men and women, responded and said, “The answer to that is a resounding no.”
“There’s no evidence that it happens, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen,” he said.
Fauci was on the show to talk about vaccine efforts and was speaking on vaccine uncertainty in Black and Hispanic communities whom he blames on misinformation.
“There’s a lot of misinformation, mostly on social media, and the only way we know to counter mis- and disinformation is to provide a lot of correct information,” Fauci said. “To essentially debunk these kinds of claims, which may be innocent on her part. I’m not blaming her for anything, but she should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also discredited the myth via a memo posted on their website in August. “There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men,” the guidance said.
Minaj continued to affirm that she does not oppose getting the vaccine and will likely to get a shot once she finished more research about it and since she is set to go on a tour.
“I know babe. A lot of countries won’t let ppl work w/o the vaccine,” responding to a fan who claims they got the vaccine. “I’d def recommend they get the vaccine. They have to feed their families. I’m sure I’ll b vaccinated as well cuz I have to go on tour, etc.”
In the United States, more than 75.8% of adults have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, and a total of 179.3 million people are now fully vaccinated, according to CDC.
Although data shows that the African American and Hispanic communities are the less vaccinated group and they are most likely to die from the virus, CDC said.
Fauci and medical leaders are asking help from “trusted messenger” like clergy, teachers and politicians to answer questions about the vaccine that people in their area are asking about in the hopes that this will encourage them to get the vaccine.
“I believe we are making progress,” Fauci said. “We’re not where we want to be with regards to the number of African Americans and Hispanics vaccinated, but we’re doing better than we were before.”
Minaj said in a tweet on Wednesday that she accepted an invitation to go to the White House. “The White House has invited me & I think it’s a step in the right direction,” she tweeted. “Yes, I’m going. I’ll be dressed in all pink like Legally Blonde so they know I mean business. I’ll ask questions on behalf of the ppl who have been made fun of for simply being human. #BallGate day 3.”
White House official said in a statement to CBS News, “As we have with others, we offered a call with Nicki Minaj and one of our doctors to answer questions she has about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.”
Minaj, after Wednesday’s pile of tweets, posted on her Instagram stories that Twitter banned her from tweeting. “I’m in Twitter jail y’all,” Minaj wrote. “They didn’t like what I was saying over there on that block.”
But a Twitter spokesperson told CBC News that Twitter “did not take any enforcement action” on the rapper’s account. The company was known for suspending major figures in the past who were spreading COVID19 misinformation.
As of writing, Minaj’s Twitter account is still active.