White House Offers Facts on Vaccines to Minaj

Trinidadian's friend's cousin isn't going to Washington just yet
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2021 5:20 PM CDT
White House Offers Facts on Vaccines to Minaj
Nicki Minaj attends the MTV Video Music Awards in 2018. She tweeted that she was bound for Washington, but the White House contradicted that Thursday.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – The Biden administration has offered to have a doctor answer Nicki Minaj's questions about the coronavirus vaccines, but the rapper doesn't seem to have been invited to the White House just yet. Minaj had tweeted Wednesday that she was going to Washington and would "ask questions on behalf of the ppl who have been made fun of for simply being human." The White House contacted Minaj after she posted misinformation about the vaccines, saying her cousin's friend in Trinidad had an unfortunate reaction to the shots. On Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the offer was just for a phone call, the Hill reports.

"It was simply an offer to have a conversation," Psaki told reporters, extended at the staff level, that would include an administration doctor supplying vaccine answers. There's been no discussion of an in-person visit, she said, describing the outreach to Minaj as "pretty standard and something we do all the time," per CNN. Psaki said she was unsure whether the call would take place. She said the administration hopes someone with a large following, as Minaj has, would "project accurate information about the effectiveness of the vaccine, the safety of the vaccine and the availability of the vaccine.”

At the same time, Psaki said, "We also recognize that people have questions out there" that they want doctors to answer. "We have doctors who can answer questions," she said. Among the experts who debunked Minaj's claim about a bad vaccine reaction was Trinidad's minister of health. "There has been no such reported either side effect or adverse event," Terrence Deyalsing said in an online news conference, per the New York Times. "And what was sad about this is that it wasted our time yesterday, trying to track down, because we take all these claims seriously, whether it's on social media or mainstream media." (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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