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Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty
On Monday, the 38-year-old rapper revealed that she would not be attending the Met Gala and then shared her thoughts about the requirement to be vaccinated (as recommended by public health officials) in order to attend this year's event.
"If I get vaccinated it won't for the Met. It'll be once I feel I've done enough research," Minaj tweeted. "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."
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Minaj followed up the tweet by sharing a story about a family member's friend who she claimed "became impotent" after getting vaccinated.
"My cousin in Trinidad won't get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen," she wrote. "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."
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) September 13, 2021
Minaj also said Monday that she had contracted COVID-19 while working on a music video shoot, telling a follower that she recommends vaccination for those who need it for their jobs — noting that she'll probably get the vaccine herself in order to go on tour.
McCain, 36, later chimed in, quoting Minaj's story about her cousin's friend and tweeting, "That's entirely enough internet for today," before the singer responded to the conservative commentator with "eat s---."
McCain then responded, criticizing what she called Minaj's "irresponsible" tweets about the vaccine and its alleged side effects when the musician has such a large platform — 22.6 million Twitter followers.
"You have an enormous platform and have just spread unimaginable vaccine hesitancy to your fans," McCain wrote. "Not only is it deeply irresponsible, it is very sad. I hope you talk to doctors and scientists like @ashishkjha like I did eventually. People are still dying from covid."
That’s entirely enough internet for today. https://t.co/emqltXR5Z5
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) September 13, 2021
And in another tweet, she wrote, "I didn't have a famous rapper losing her mind at me for not being an anti vaxxer on twitter on my 2021 bingo card, but here we are."
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Minaj faced backlash following her comments on the vaccine, resulting in additional heated Twitter responses to both MSNBC's Joy Reid and former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.
You have an enormous platform and have just spread unimaginable vaccine hesitancy to your fans.
Not only is it deeply irresponsible, it is very sad.
I hope you talk to doctors and scientists like @ashishkjha like I did eventually. People are still dying from covid.#TeamCardi https://t.co/JMiJVNpBBA
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) September 14, 2021
In response to Minaj's claims, public health expert Dr. Leana Wen told PEOPLE that impotency is not a known side effect of any of the COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.
"It is just not true that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is associated with infertility in either males or females," said Wen, who is an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University.
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Nicki Minaj
"In fact, we know that there are actually consequences, if somebody gets COVID-19, in terms of the impact on the male reproductive system," Wen added. "There have been studies that have linked scrotal discomfort and low sperm count to having COVID-19. In addition, there has been an association between scrotal swelling and congestion to having COVID-19. So, to emphasize, these are not associated with the vaccine but with the disease."
Wen told PEOPLE that Minaj, as well as anyone who contracts COVID-19 before receiving the vaccine, can get their first dose as soon as their symptoms subside.
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