Dr Fauci gives Nicki Minaj’s ‘vaccine testicles’ conspiracy ‘a resounding no’

Nicki Minaj at the Met Gala in 2019 and Anthony Fauci at a White House press briefing

Anthony Fauci has hit back at Nicki Minaj’s claim that COVID-19 vaccines can cause swollen testicles.

Fauci, who serves as chief medical advisor to Joe Biden, has been at the front of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic – so it was only natural that he was grilled on bizarre comments made by Minaj.

Writing on Twitter on Monday (13 September), Nicki Minaj told fans that she wouldn’t be attending the Met Gala because guests were required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The rapper clarified that she has not yet gotten vaccinated, adding that she won’t be doing so until she has “done enough research”.

Things only got weirder from there – she went on to tweet: “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it and became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding.”

Naturally, Fauci was asked to weigh in by CNN presenter Jake Tapper. When quizzed on whether there was any evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause swelling in the testicles, Fauci said it was “a resounding no”.

“There’s no evidence that it happens nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen,” Fauci said.

When asked what can be done to counter misinformation about vaccines, Fauci acknowledged that it’s a “very difficult” job.

“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 and 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 except as a one off anecdote.

“That’s not what science is all about.”

Fauci’s intervention came amidst a wave of backlash against Nicki Minaj for her comments. British chief medical officer Chris Whitty and prime minister Boris Johnson criticised her, with Whitty saying she should be “ashamed” of spreading misinformation.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the situation couldn’t get any weirder – but somehow, it did. Minaj subsequently posted a voice recording on Twitter which saw her mocking their response in a hammed up English accent.

She has also hit back at other high-profile critics, including Piers Morgan and BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.