• Sat. Oct 16th, 2021

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White House says it offered Nicki Minaj a phone call, not visit

The White House says it offered Nicki Minaj a phone call with medical experts, not a visit, after the Grammy-nominated rapper said Wednesday she was invited to the White House after she posted inaccurate claims about the Covid vaccine.

A White House official told NBC News that a call was “offered” to Minaj to discuss questions about “the safety and effectiveness” of the Covid vaccine after she posted several tweets earlier this week, which led to Twitter temporarily suspending her account.

“As we have with others, we offered a call with Nicki Minaj and one of our doctors to answer questions she has about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine,” the White House official said.

Minaj said earlier Wednesday that she had been “invited” to the White House and indicated she was going.

The rapper on Instagram late Wednesday insisted a visit had been offered. She said she replied that she’d rather not have to travel and suggested something like an Instagram Live but a visit was never taken off the table.

“Do y’all think that I would go on the Internet and lie about being invited to the … White House?” she said.

Minaj made the erroneous statements in a series of tweets this week explaining why she skipped this year’s Met Gala. In one post, the rapper, who said she tested positive for Covid herself, told fans that she didn’t want to put her baby at risk. Minaj and her husband, Kenneth Petty, welcomed their first child together last year.

“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,” she wrote in one tweet.

In a third tweet, the rapper shared a story about her cousin’s friend in Trinidad who got the vaccine “& became impotent.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on its most updated information page on vaccinations that there is “currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, also debunked the claim during an interview Tuesday on CNN.

“There’s no evidence that it happens, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen,” he said. “So the answer to your question is no.”

He added, “There’s a lot of misinformation, mostly on social media, and the only way we know to counter mis- and disinformation is to provide a lot of correct information,” he said. “And to essentially debunk these kinds of claims, which may be innocent on her part. I’m not blaming her for anything but she should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis.”

Phil Helsel contributed.