Opinion Nicki Minaj isn’t anti-vax, exactly. That’s why her vaccine resistance is so concerning.
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"Love her downnnnnnn," wrote Minaj with the hashtag #QueenRih "#RokNRiha #QueenRih #CaribbeanGirlsRunit Love her downnnnnnn #NewYorkS--- #YKTFV," Minaj captioned the post.
For many people, Nicki Minaj’s scene-stealing tweets about why she chose not to attend the Met Gala Monday night were peak comedy.on social media she’d chosen not to attend the haute couture event because of its that attendees be vaccinated against Covid-19. After she explained her hesitancy in a baffling, involving swollen testicles and a canceled wedding, some ignored the more concerning parts of Minaj’s argument in favor of laughing.
While it’s tempting to just focus on the absurdist meme potential of Minaj’s tweets, Minaj’s approach to the vaccine is deeply concerning, both because it reflects a widespread distrust in public policy, health, and science experts and because it presents a cautionary mindset regarding vaccines as a sort of reasonable “middle ground” in the fight between science and anti-vax ideology.
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So far, aboutare at least partially vaccinated against Covid, but many of the rest remain reluctant. As vaccinations become in many workplaces and schools, and people who are reluctant start discussing their anxieties, Minaj’s cautionary, individualistic approach to getting vaccinated might seem relatable and even reasonable. But this is still a highly dangerous approach rooted in misinformation and a concerning distrust of science.
We might think of it as the mainstreaming of “vaccine caution,” and it’s arguably just as dangerous as outright vaccine science denial.
Did Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s fiancée really call off their wedding because he got vaccinated?
On Monday afternoon, Minaj responded to a tweet from a fan lamenting her lack of recent public appearances byshe didn’t want to risk her infant’s health during the pandemic. A few interactions later — including one in which she told her he contracted Covid-19 despite having gotten the vaccine — she , “They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t [be] for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now.”
Meghan McCain Calls Nicki Minaj's Vaccine Tweet 'Deeply Irresponsible' After Rapper Responds to Her
The conservative pundit criticized Minaj’s use of her "enormous platform" hours after the rapper discussed her hesitancy about getting the COVID-19 vaccine RELATED: Doctor Debunks Claim COVID Vaccine Is Linked to Swollen Testicles After Nicki Minaj's Controversial Tweet They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face.
They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one ♥️— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ)
Since it’s combined with the invocation to wear a mask — advice given by experts who’ve endorsed vaccines — Minaj’s wary approach to the vaccine is a bit confusing. However, it’s nothing compared to what she followed it up with. Apparently, a big part of her reluctance to get vaccinated was based in part on the fate of her Trinidadian cousin’s friend’s nuptials:
My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied
White House offers Nicki Minaj call to answer vaccine Qs
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House offered Wednesday to connect Nicki Minaj with one of the Biden administration’s doctors to address her questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, after the Trinidadian-born rapper’s erroneous tweet alleging the vaccine causes impotence went viral. The White House said that they’ve offered such calls with others concerned about the vaccine, part of an aggressive public relations campaign to beat back rampant disinformation about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. Minaj tweeted Wednesday that “the White House has invited me” and “yes, I’m going,” but a White House official said the rapper was simply offered a call.— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ)
Just to spell it out,do not include testicle swelling (although unfounded concerns about have circulated). Without more context about Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s illness, it’s impossible to know more — but it seems highly unlikely his situation had anything to do with Covid-19.
Naturally, this kind of left-field reasoning was widely ridiculed across social media, and Minaj quickly made headlines for peddling coronavirus conspiracies. Yet even as people were lining up to makeand , many of Minaj’s fans were responding supportively — especially to her statement about “doing the research.”
“I read up on all the research for MONTHS before I chose to get it,” one reader, referring to the vaccine. “Everyone has the right to read the information given by the FDA and doctors before they take the shot right?”
This belief underlies Minaj’s argument, and it seems to be one that’s held by many other people with similar levels of mistrust in vaccine science.
Dr. Fauci Says There's 'No Evidence' Supporting Nicki Minaj's Claims That COVID Vaccine Causes Impotency
Dr. Fauci debunked Minaj's viral tweet that suggested the COVID-19 vaccine could cause reproductive issues. Minaj, who has over 22 million Twitter followers, sparked controversy Monday for a series of tweets she posted about the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the Met Gala."They want you to get vaccinated for the Met," the 38-year-old wrote. "If I get vaccinated it won't for the Met. It'll be once I feel I've done enough research. I'm working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face.
Minaj’s insistence on doing her own “research” reflects widespread Covid-19 anxiety
The problem with “doing one’s own research” is that, as Minaj’s tweets reveal, many people — who haven’t spent years researching viruses and vaccines — don’t have the scientific knowledge needed to evaluate vaccine efficacy without the help of experts. A huge part of the effort to curb Covid-related misinformation has been about trying to get people to understand that vaccination “research” isn’t something many people can just sit down and do on their own. Trying to do so may lead the researcher tothat result in a citizen being more poorly informed, not better informed, about the actual health risks of vaccines.
In fact,can be a direct route to begin interacting with and possibly believing in a wide range of , mainly because there is so much misinformation and disinformation about highly complex subjects, .
It doesn’t help that some of that disinformation has come from— including, during the Trump administration, .
What Minaj’s opinions represent, then, isn’t just her individual lack of knowledge giving rise to wariness over the vaccine. Her fear has been bolstered by, as well as general about actually getting vaccinated.
White House to Talk With Minaj About Cousin’s Friend’s Balls
For science, of course.
Minaj’s pushback against pro-vaccine rhetoric isn’t unique to her by any means. Black communities have enduredof being ruthlessly , lied to, and sometimes used in without their knowledge or consent. They’ve been subjected to , all while continually of health epidemics, including Covid-19.
With systemic factors leading toamong Black people last year, and about Covid vaccines continuing to spread, there is substantial mistrust of Covid-19 science among some Black Americans. If Nicki Minaj among that group, can she really be blamed for it?
Well, yes and no — because Minaj’s tweets arguably have a powerful influence over the way her 22 million Twitter followers approach the subject of vaccination. If Minaj’s faith in science and health officials has been undermined, and she’s subsequently encouraging followers to trust their intuition over that of health experts, she’s promoting a distrust of science in general that could have seriously damaging repercussions.
What Minaj seems to be arguing for, however, isn’t outright vaccine rejection. She even, “I’m sure I’ll [be] vaccinated as well cuz I have to go on tour.” Her cautionary, individualistic approach to getting vaccinated, however, might still do damage.
Minaj’s ambivalence is part of a wider problem in conversations around Covid-19 vaccines
Minaj immediately began attempting to soften her harsher statements about the vaccine. Sheher followers which vaccine they’d recommend, and commented that taking the vaccine with no side effects is “ .” She also went on to say she “ ” that people whose jobs or countries mandate vaccination do so, and admitted she’d probably get the vaccine herself. She also that her main reason for skipping out on the Met Gala was to protect her 1-year-old son.
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She thento a couple of her own tweets to argue that she had never expressed opposition to the vaccine. Minaj’s support clearly seems to be aimed at preventing job loss in circumstances where the vaccine is mandatory. The subtext seems to be a reluctant acceptance that workers can’t always be able to choose to go unvaccinated, rather than Minaj enthusiastically supporting vaccination itself.
Minaj’s overall attitude seems to be a kind of wary caution and a “DIY” approach to science. That might reflect a new “wave” of vaccine rhetoric adopted by many people who don’t strictly identify as anti-vax but who are stillto actually get their shot.
Surveys have found thatsay they are unlikely to change their minds and get the vaccine. Others who have not gotten the shot may be “ ” — people who aren’t anti-vax but who are still in a kind of wait-and-see holding pattern.
These holdouts could make a substantial difference in how effective the Covid-19 vaccines can be. The higher the vaccinated population, the more the vaccines canof the disease. Fully vaccinated people can resume living their lives somewhat normally, and their confidence and health may likely help sway even those who’ve firmly decided against the vaccine.
Instead, Minaj’s “middle-of-the-road” approach might become a new avenue for expressing distrust in science while still acquiescing to the necessity of vaccination.
The problem with this is that the efficacy of vaccines never has been, and shouldn’t be, a matter of public debate. With the exception of the original scientific study that began the modern anti-vax movement, which usedto create fear, vaccines have always been part of scientifically established medical practice. They are safe, effective, and necessary for combating the spread of countless viral diseases.
The “do your research and decide what’s right for you” approach that celebrities like Minaj seem to be endorsing is a disingenuous view. It undermines centuries of epidemiology and important work to fight diseases by suggesting that vaccine safety boils down to how you, personally, feel about vaccines. But the question of whether vaccines are safe isn’t up for debate. The answer is simple: yes.
Minaj’s reluctance to say yes is unfortunate — but it’s important to note she’s far from the only celebrity who’sabout vaccine efficacy, , or the vaccine. Minaj’s tweets are particularly significant, however, because they weren’t totally anti-vax — and because they came at a moment when all eyes were on her because of her absence from the Met Gala. Thus, many, many people saw Minaj presenting personal ambivalence as an alternative to promoting and trusting science and being responsible about getting vaccinated.
We may be making “My cousin in Trinidad” jokes for a long while to come. The unfortunate influence of Minaj’s vaccine resistance could last even longer.
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Meanwhile, California's rate of transmission is an average of 94 cases per 100,000, which is considered "substantial" by the CDC. More COVID updates.It is the only state in the country reporting transmission levels considered "substantial" by the CDC, along with the territory Puerto Rico. All other states currently have "high" levels of transmission." High transmission consists of 100 or more cases per 100,000 people in the last week.