Daily Mail


US pop star says PM and medical chief ‘dissed’ her after she claimed jabs could make men impotent

- By John Stevens Deputy Political Editor

‘Myths designed to scare’

WHEN the worlds of British politics and medicine collide with American rap royalty, the results are likely to be somewhat unpredicta­ble.

Throw anti-vax conspiraci­es into the mix and things turn decidedly surreal.

And that’s just what happened yesterday when Chris Whitty and Boris Johnson took on US rap star Nicki Minaj over her claim that the vaccine can cause impotency.

In a battle of Oxford wits versus New York street smarts, the Prime Minister and the chief medical officer castigated Miss Minaj for the ‘untrue’ and ‘ridiculous’ myth.

The flamboyant chart-topper, 38, immediatel­y hit back in a series of tweets against what she described as a ‘diss’ (show of disrespect) from the men in suits.

Miss Minaj, who has not been vaccinated, had shared an unsubstant­iated story about vaccine side-effects with her 22.6million followers on Twitter on Monday.

She tweeted: ‘My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it and 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 and make sure you’re comfortabl­e with ur decision, not bullied.’

At a Downing Street press conference yesterday, Eton-educated Mr Johnson began the war of words by saying: ‘I’m not as familiar with the works of Nicki Minaj as I probably should be, but I’m familiar with Nikki Kanani, superstar GP of Bexley who has appeared many times before you, who will tell you that vaccines are wonderful and everybody should get them.’

The Latin-quoting PM added: ‘So I prefer to listen to Nikki Kanani.’

Dr Kanani, who has spoken at the Covid press conference­s, is medical director of primary care at NHS England.

Providing intellectu­al back up from the world of academe, Professor Whitty said: ‘There are a number of myths that fly around, some of which are just clearly ridiculous, and some of which are clearly designed just to scare. That happens to be one of them.’

The chief medical officer added that the ‘great majority’ of people want to get vaccinated and added that people who knowingly share vaccine disinforma­tion should be ‘ashamed’.

Minutes later, Miss Minaj tweeted a video of Professor Whitty and Mr Johnson making the comments, writing ambiguousl­y: ‘I love him even tho I guess this was a diss? The accent ugh!’

She then recorded an audio message and tweeted: ‘Send this to the Prime Minister and let him know they lied on me. I forgive him. No-one else. Only him.’ In the recording, Miss Minaj puts on a mock English accent to respond in bizarre fashion to her rivals.

She says: ‘Yes, hello Prime Minister, Boris, it’s Nicki Minaj.

‘I was just calling to tell you that you were so amazing on the news... And I’m actually 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 so many nice things about you.

‘I’d love to send you my portfolio of my work, since you don’t know much about me, I’m a big, big star in the United States.’

Having seemingly exhausted her somewhat haphazard knowledge of Britain, the rapper tweeted to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg to ‘go away dumbo’ after she commented on her messages. Miss Minaj, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, was actually born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in New York City.

Her hits have included Super Bass, Starships and Anaconda and she has collaborat­ed with superstar artists including Madonna, Ariana Grande and Kanye West.

She has been nominated for ten Grammys and won five MTV Video Music Awards.

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