White House 'Offered a Call' to Nicki Minaj to Answer Questions About Her COVID Vaccine Concerns
Minaj, 38, said on Twitter Wednesday that she had been invited to the White House after she posted controversial tweets earlier this week about vaccine side effects.
"The White House has invited me & I think it's a step in the right direction," she tweeted. "Yes, I'm going. I'll be dressed in all pink like Legally Blonde so they know I mean business. I'll ask questions on behalf of the ppl who have been made fun of for simply being human."
However, despite Minaj's tweet about a meeting, a White House official tells PEOPLE the administration reached out to her for public health education over the phone.
"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 official says.
On Monday, Minaj said she would not be attending the Met Gala because of the event's vaccine requirement to attend.
"They want you to get vaccinated for the Met," she tweeted. "if I get vaccinated it won't [be] 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."
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She 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."
Minaj also said Monday that she had contracted COVID-19 while working on a music video shoot. While telling a follower that she recommends vaccination for those who need it for their jobs, she added that she'll probably get the vaccine herself in order to go on tour.
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.
"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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