Johnson and Whitty clash with Nicki Minaj over ‘ridiculous’ Covid impotence myth

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Boris Johnson and Chris Whitty were involved in a bizarre war of words with rapper Nicki Minaj on Tuesday after she claimed her cousin’s friend was rendered “neuter” after having a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Minaj, 38, made an unfounded claim to her 22 million followers on Twitter – criticizing the prime minister and chief medical officer of England.

The episode began when Minaj said she would not attend Monday’s Met Gala in New York, which required the attendant to be double-jawed. Revealing that she hadn’t been vaccinated yet, Minaj insisted that “if I get vaccinated it won’t be [be] for the mate”.


She continued: “My cousin in Trinidad didn’t get the vaccine because his friend got it and became impotent. His testicles were swollen.”

Impotence is not listed as a possible side effect on the NHS website and there is no evidence that the vaccine causes fertility problems.

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Asked about Minaj claiming her huge online following during a COVID-19 press conference in Downing Street, Prof Whitty said anyone spreading lies about the vaccine “should be ashamed”.

“There are so many myths that fly around … some of which are plainly ridiculous and some of which are clearly designed only to scare,” he said. “It happens to be one of them. It’s untrue.”

The Prime Minister also responded to the comments and said he would love to hear Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS England’s medical director of primary care, “tell you that vaccines are amazing and everyone should get them”.

Moments after the press conference, Minaj responded by tweeting to Mr Johnson: “I love him even though I think it was a disservice? Pronounced uhhh! yass boo!!!”

He later recorded an audio message for the Prime Minister. Pretending an English accent, she said: “Hello Prime Minister, Boris, this is Nicki Minaj – I was calling to tell you you were so amazing on the news this morning. And I’m really British. I was born there. I went to university there. I went to Oxford.

“I went to school with Margaret Thatcher. And she told me a lot of nice things about you.

During the press conference, Prof Whitty also denied claims that a large number of youth were refusing to take the vaccine. “Most people aged 16 to 29 have already had their first vaccine and are getting their second vaccine,” he said.


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