#Ballgate: Trinidad and Tobago health minister blasts Nicki Minaj for Covid-19 vaccine story
Terrence Deyalsingh said the Caribbean country had found no evidence of a patient with such side effects and officials had "wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim."
Minaj, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, sparked a global backlash after tweeting she knew of someone whose testicles became swollen after getting the vaccine. She said he became impotent.
Deyalsingh joined the long list of politicians and health experts dismissing the claims.
He told a press conference on Wednesday: "As we stand now, there is absolutely no reported side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad... and none that we know of anywhere in the world."
He said officials "take all these claims seriously" but "unfortunately, we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim."
The tweet read around the world
Minaj had tweeted: "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."
Her comments came while discussing a requirement at the Met Gala for all attendees to be fully vaccinated.
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, was among those criticizing Minaj for the comments.
He said such claims were "clearly ridiculous" and were "designed just to scare."
Whitty added people who were deliberately "peddling untruths" about the vaccines should be "ashamed."
Top Covid advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN Minaj "should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis."
But the rapper showed no signs of backing down and posted an Instagram video in which she railed about being "suspended" from Twitter – a spokesperson for the platform denied this – and accusing critics of trying to take her down.
Minaj also said she had been invited to the White House to discuss her concerns about the vaccine and angrily shot back when it was revealed that the offer was only for a phone call.
All in all, the Insta-rant lasted for over 14 minutes and took particular aim at Black public figures who have gone on TV to slam the star for vaccine misinformation.
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire & agefotostock