It is inconceivable that the discourse around Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s balls has reached the government of not one, but two countries, but this is presumably the case because humanity is finally being forced to pay for our various misdeeds. After Minaj tweeted on Monday night about this friend who supposedly says his balls swelled up after getting the covid vaccine, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Health felt he needed to clarify that no, testicular swelling is not a known side effect of the covid-19 vaccine, so if everyone could please just get vaccinated and move right along, that would be lovely, thanks.
During a press conference Wednesday, Terrence Deyalsingh said he would have made a public statement sooner, but his ministry was doing its due diligence by investigating each one of Minaj’s (false) claims so they could debunk them.
“Unfortunately, we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim,” an exasperated but slightly bemused Deyalsingh said. “As we stand now, there is absolutely no reported such side effects of testicular swelling in Trinidad or anywhere else in the world.”
I’m glad that the minister of health has shut this rumor down but I’m less glad that we had to talk about this in the first place?
Minaj felt the need to offer up this almost certainly fabricated anecdote as a way to justify an early tweet of hers explaining why she wouldn’t be attending the Met Gala. Anyone attending the event was required to be vaccinated, and Minaj hasn’t gotten her shot yet because she is still doing her own “research.” She then added to this that she heard that Drake got covid even though he got his shot.
Minaj is “working on” her own research, for the record, and I’m sure the team of scientists that she’s tapped to take care of this project are doing what they can, but until she’s received the results of what I’m sure is a scientifically sound investigation, she shan’t be getting vaccinated. If this wasn’t enough for one day, Minaj found it necessary to share that someone she knew (who I’m sure is real!) experienced some issues with his balls as a result of the vaccine. That’s why we are where we are now: in hell.
While Minaj’s reasons for skepticism may be somewhat novel, vaccine hesitancy and misinformation—both of which continue to hang in the atmosphere much like droplets of the virus itself—is not. Minaj spreading a rumor about her Trinidadian cousin’s best friend’s balls and their purported engorgement certainly isn’t helping anything, and it’s irresponsible for her to use her massive platform to continue to spout these unfounded claims to her followers.
A smarter use of her time might be acknowledging vaccine hesitancy in communities that have very valid reasons to distrust the government, but of course expecting that from Minaj at this juncture is a fool’s errand. The best the rest of us can do is to stay on the lookout for vaccine misinformation and do what we can to convince people of the truth. Additionally, if you or someone you know has been vaccinated and their balls are swelling, follow the advice of Steve Martin in The Jerk: see a doctor and get rid of it.