Dr. Anthony Fauci has weighed in on the controversy Nicki Minaj is calling #BallGate. The nation's top infectious disease expert, asked during a CNN interview Tuesday whether COVID vaccines could cause infertility, said the answer is a "resounding no," CBS reports. Minaj caused an uproar this week when she tweeted to her 22.6 million followers that her cousin in Trinidad wasn't getting vaccinated because it had made his friend impotent. "His testicles became swollen," the rapper said. "His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding."
Fauci said there is no evidence that COVID vaccines cause impotence, "nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen." He said there's "a lot of misinformation, mostly on social media" and the only way to counter it "is to provide a lot of correct information," Fauci said. "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 except a one-off anecdote." In other tweets Monday, Minaj said she isn't against vaccines but won't get the COVID shot until she feels she has "done enough research."
At a press conference Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Dr. Chris Whitty, the UK's chief medical officer, addressed Minaj's claims, with Whitty saying people who spread "ridiculous" untruths should be ashamed. Minaj responded with a message to Johnson, using what Politico calls the "worst British accent since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins."
The health minister of Trinidad and Tobago also spoke out on the testicles tweet, NBC reports. At a press briefing Wednesday, Terrence Deyalsingh said officials had expended "a lot of time and energy" trying to track down the cousin's friend to see if her claim was true. "So far, it has not proven to be true in Trinidad or ... anywhere else in the world," he said. (Read more Anthony Fauci stories.)