Rapper Nicki Minaj has been criticised by Trinidad and Tobago’s health minister over a tweet in which she said her cousin’s friend in the country had been made impotent by a Covid vaccine.
Terrence Dyalsingh said on Wednesday that the “false” post had wasted his department’s time.
The tweet also claimed the friend had swollen testicles.
It has caused backlash from health experts around the world who are concerned about vaccine disinformation.
Minaj made the comments on Monday to her 22 million followers.
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
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 13, 2021
Mr Deyalsingh said his department hasn’t seen a single recorded incident of testicles becoming swollen because of the vaccine in Trinidad and Tobago or “anywhere else in the world”.
He said that his team had spent all of Tuesday checking to “make sure that what she was claiming was either true or false”.
“Unfortunately we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim,” he said.
The tweet was also criticised by England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty who said Minaj should be “ashamed”.
“There are a number of myths that fly around, some of which are just clearly ridiculous and some of which are clearly designed just to scare,” he said. “That happens to be one of them. That is untrue”.
US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said the rapper should ” be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis”.
Earlier this week, Minaj said she had decided not to get vaccinated for the Met Gala and would get vaccinated when she had done enough research.