Rapper Nicki Minaj told her 22.6 million followers she had “been suspended from Twitter” for posts telling people to get the COVID-19 vaccine when they are ready, reported Salon.
“They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. 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,” Minaj tweeted on Monday.
She later posted about her cousin’s friend in Trinidad and Tobago that supposedly got the vaccine and became impotent and had swollen testicles. She warned her followers to make a decision about getting the vaccine for themselves.
“So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with [your] decision, not bullied,” Minaj advised.
Minaj retweeted a segment from Tucker Carlson Tonight on Tuesday, where the host defended her actions and explained the media didn’t like Minaj’s tweets because they “make their livings bullying people.”
Minaj claimed she was suspended from Twitter in an Instagram live on Wednesday. She said she was not spreading false information about the vaccine, but was simply asking questions, wrote Salon.
“So many of your favorite artists feel this way, but they’re afraid to speak up, and I can’t blame them,” Minaj said on Instagram.
Carlson defended Minaj further on his Wednesday night show, after her Instagram live post, arguing that Minaj was raising two very important points.
“If you allow people to force you to take drugs you don’t want, you’re done. They own you. You’re no longer free,” Carlson said. “The second point that she’s made quite a bit today, is that you have a Constitutional right, a moral right, a God-given right to ask simple questions and expect answers.”
Aside from the backlash Minaj received about individual autonomy, Trinidad and Tobago claimed that there are actually no reports of the COVID-19 vaccine side effects that Minaj reported in her tweet, The Guardian reported.
“There is absolutely no reported side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad … and none that we know of anywhere in the world,” Trinidad and Tobago health minister Terrence Deyalsingh said in a press conference.
A Twitter spokesperson disputed that Minaj had been banned from the platform, telling Vulture, “Twitter did not take any enforcement action on the account.”