Sep 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House invites call with Nicki Minaj to discuss COVID vaccine

Rapper Nicki Minaj is seen leaving the Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 runway show during New York Fashion Week on February 12, 2020 in New York City.

Rapper Nicki Minaj is seen leaving the Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 runway show during New York Fashion Week on Feb. 12, 2020, in New York City. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Nicki Minaj questioned the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine this week on Twitter, prompting an offer from the White House for a call with a doctor to discuss the safety of the vaccine, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Thursday.

Driving the news: Minaj on Monday wrote on Twitter that she would not attend the Met Gala because she had not received the COVID vaccine, which was a requirement to attend the event.

  • "They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met," Minaj wrote in the tweet.
  • Minaj then drew widespread attention over a subsequent tweet that included false information about the side effects of the vaccine, writing that her "cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent."
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper that "there’s no evidence that [male fertility problems] happen, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen."

Following the internet uproar over Minaj's tweets with misinformation about the vaccine's side effects, the White House offered a call with Minaj to explain the safety of the vaccine.

  • "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," a White House official said in a statement.

Psaki on Thursday said officials had proposed "a very early stage call" about the efficacy of the vaccine.

  • "This is pretty standard and something we do all the time. It was a very early stage call at a staff level, staff-to-staff, and ... we weren't even at the point of discussing the mechanisms or the format or anything along those lines, it was simply an offer to have a conversation, and an early-stage call"
  • "We work with a range of partners to communicate the efficacy and the safety of the vaccine," Psaki said.
  • "We know there might be more effective voices, we don't always know how effective working in partnership with celebrities may or may not be, but sometimes it is a tool that we can use," Psaki said.
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