While Nicki Minaj exercises her right to free speech (which, again, is not a blanket protection against being ridiculed over said speech), her fans are exercising their right to assembly, as Atlanta’s Tori Cooper of CBS46 reports. Cooper has posted a video on Twitter from outside the Center For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta depicting a crowd holding signs, marching, and chanting in an apparent protest of the agency’s vaccination recommendations. Among other slogans, they can be heard shouting, “Nicki Minaj told the truth to me, Fauci lied to me.”
@NICKIMINAJ told the truth to me, Fauci lied to me” Protesters are approaching cars leaving the @CDCgov in ATL.Claiming the CDC is lying about the vaccine& @NICKIMINAJ is telling the truth. More on COVID-19 misinformation & locals protesting the vaccine. @cbs46 pic.twitter.com/6DwNo6ffbn
— Tori Cooper (@toricoooper) September 15, 2021
I made this joke before, but it bears repeating: Yikes, indeed.
Nicki Minaj has become an unlikely avatar of the anti-vax movement supported by right-wing pundits and internet forum conspiracy theorists since tweeting on Monday, “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.” That tweet was accompanied by one in which she referenced a cousin in Trinidad who told her about a friend who suffered an adverse reaction from the vaccine: Swollen testes and impotence. Since then, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (which is a completely separate organization from the CDC, by the way) and Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, debunked the story, reminding the public that there’s no mechanistic reason for the vaccine to have such an effect.
Trinidad’s Health Minister Dr. Terrence Deyalsingh went one step further, holding a press conference to denounce the story as a tall tale after taking stock of hospital admissions and finding no one suffering from such symptoms. Meanwhile, television hosts like Stephen Colbert lampooned the anecdote for its middle-school-dating-rumor-style sourcing and the apparent hilarity of blaming obvious STD symptoms on COVID-19 vaccine side effects rather than owning up to infidelity. However, despite the obvious funny factor of the backlash against Nicki Minaj, the protest at the CDC, though anemic it may be, highlights just how unfunny Nicki’s misuse of her platform really is.