Trinidad health minister joins Fauci in debunking Nicki Minaj impotence tweet

The singer went viral for claiming her cousin told her about a friend's bizarre vaccine side effects, and the story just keeps swelling.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
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Both Dr. Anthony Fauci and the health minister for Trinidad and Tobago have now weighed in on that infamous Nicki Minaj tweet. And it's not looking good for Minaj's cousin's story.

On Monday, the singer tweeted about the Met Gala's requirement that attendees must be vaccinated against COVID to attend. Then she shared a truly strange personal anecdote that instantly went viral, for obvious reasons.

"My cousin in Trinidad won't get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent," Minaj tweeted. "His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding."

But whether or not Minaj's cousin's friend really told this story, he didn't develop impotence from receiving the coronavirus vaccine. The vaccines don't cause impotence, though getting the coronavirus can.

First, Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, told Jake Tapper on CNN that the vaccines don't cause "any reproductive issues" in recipients.

"The answer to that, Jake, is a resounding 'No,'" Fauci said. 

Later in the week, Trinidad and Tobago health minister Dr. Terrence Deyalsingh wearily spoke publicly about how the country investigated Minaj's cousin's claim, and found it to be false.

"Unfortunately, we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim," Deyalsingh said in a video shared on Twitter on Wednesday. "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 else in the world."

Minaj herself has been tweeting steadily since the infamous tweet. 

One tweet she sent on Tuesday read, "Omfg. My #cousin who has #TheFriend just texted me telling me to call him. *Bites Nails* Ugh! You idiots!!! If he saw this on the news it's all your fault!!! It was supposed to be a secret. If either of them ask, u ain't heard it from me. Okay? stares @ text."

And after talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel said on his show that he wanted to interview Minaj's cousin's friend, she responded positively. 

"He's willing to talk for the right price," Minaj tweeted. "I'm his manager. Call me, Jimmy."