Trinidad And Tobago’s Health Minister Says Officials ‘Wasted Time’ Doing Damage Control After Nicki Minaj's Tweets
The health minister said officials "wasted time" to "run down this false claim."
September 15, 2021 at 11:30 pm
In her tweets explaining why she refused her invitation to this year's Met Gala, the Trinidadian-born rap artist admitted she was not yet vaccinated and would need more information before she felt it was safe to do so. As for why she had her doubts, she cited her cousin from Trinidad and Tobago, who told her an anecdote of a friend who allegedly wound up with swollen testicles after receiving the vaccine.
#BREAKING - Trinidad & Tobago Health Minister Dr. Terrence Deyalsingh responds to swollen testicle claim made by Trinidad-born entertainer @NICKIMINAJ; says there is no such reported case in Trinidad & Tobago (TTT) pic.twitter.com/NNsc9EUTKP— Kevz Politics (@KevzPolitics) September 15, 2021
“We had to check and make sure that what she was claiming was either true or false,” Deyalsingh told the press in a news conference, according to The Daily Beast. “Unfortunately, we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim. As far as we know at this point in time, there has been no such reported either side effect or adverse event.”
He continued, harping on the "wasted time" he and his team used to look into this story.
“What was sad about this is that it wasted our time yesterday trying to track down, because we take all these claims seriously, whether it’s on social media or mainstream media,” he said. “As we stand now, there is absolutely no reported such side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad, or I dare say anywhere. None that we know of anywhere else in the world.”
Deyalsingh cautioned that influencers with the status of someone like Minaj have a responsibility to tweet carefully. Trinidad and Tobago's vaccination numbers are currently fairly low, reports local outlet CNC3. With only 39.2% of the population having accessed the vaccine, the majority of the island remains unvaccinated.
“Her tweet certainly did not help because people like her are social influencers and they do carry some sway,” Deyalsingh said on Wednesday. “So it certainly didn’t help, and will make our job a little harder, which we don’t need right now.”
It's a statement that was echoed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who also dismissed Minaj's claims during an appearance on CNN.
"The answer to that is a resounding no," Fauci said, per Today. "There is no evidence that it happens, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen. So the answer to your question is no."