ajid Javid has blasted Nicki Minaj for spreading “untruths” over the coronavirus vaccine.
The health secretary spoke out against the singer on Wednesday morning after she tweeted that the wedding of a “cousin’s friend” in Trinidad was called off because his testicles swelled up after a jab.
Mr Javid was asked about Minaj’s “baseless” tweet and whether it should be deleted by social media companies.
He told Sky News: “I don’t want to draw attention to such ridiculous tweets.
“People that are in the public eye whether they are a celebrity or a politician or whoever they are should be very careful with their language and certainly shouldn’t be spreading untruths.”
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he added: “Certainly when it comes to something as lifesaving as vaccines – in this country there are 112,000 fewer deaths we estimate because of our vaccine programme – they should be really careful about what they say and not spread untruths.”
Good Morning Britain anchor Richard Madeley labelled the rapper “an idiot” for her “ridiculous” vaccine tweet.
Commenting on the show on Tuesday, he said: “What an idiot, she has no comprehension that that ridiculous tweet actually does do real damage.”
Minaj appeared to backtrack on Twitter on Tuesday morning following a mock video posted by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Played over the artist’s Super Bass music video, its lyrics joke: “I said excuse me the plight of this man should be told to my 20 plus million fans.”
Retweeting the clip, Minaj wrote: “I never cited that as a reason I didn’t get vaccinated. The lie is so funny/entertaining though.”
It came after a bizarre war of words broke out between Minaj and Boris Johnson on Tuesday.
Mr Johnson said he was “not as familiar with the work” of the rapper while Professor Chris Whitty called the star “ridiculous” in a Downing Street conference after she suggested a link between Covid vaccines and impotence in a tweet on Monday.
The pop star fired back with a mocking video where she put on a comedic British accent addressing the Prime Minister.
She said sarcastically in a video message: “Yes, hello Prime Minister, Boris, it’s Nicki Minaj – I was just calling to tell you that you were so amazing on the news this morning. And I’m actually British. I was born there. I went to university there. I went to Oxford.
“I went to school with Margaret Thatcher. And she told me so many nice things about you. I’d love to send you my portfolio of my work, since you don’t know much about me, I’m a big, big star in the United States.”
She added in writing: “Send this to the Prime Minister and let him know they lied on me. I forgive him. No one else. Only him.”
Furore was ignited at a Downing Street conference when a journalist asked the PM and England’s chief medical advisor about Minaj’s vaccine tweet.
The rapper had told her 22million followers on Monday: “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. 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.”
In response, England’s chief medical advisor shot down the celebrity’s claims as “untrue” and he said it was clearly designed to “scare” people on Tuesday.
The professor said the rapper should be “ashamed” of herself for “peddling untruths” on social media.
He told a Downing Street conference on Tuesday: “There are a number of myths that fly around … some of which are just clearly ridiculous and some of which are clearly designed just to scare. That happens to be one of them. That is untrue.
“There are a group of people with strange beliefs and that’s fine, and they make their own choices. People are adults they are allowed to make their own choices.
“But there are also people who go around trying to discourage other people from taking a vaccine which could be life-saving or prevent them from having life-changing injuries to themselves.
“And many of those people, I regret to say, I think know that they are peddling untruths but they still do it. In my view, they should be ashamed.”
By repeating the myths in public, the professor warned it “just gives them credence which they don’t need”.
Mr Johnson used the opportunity to celebrate the work of a GP in Bexley called Nikki Kanani.
He added: “I’m not as familiar with the work of Nicki Minaj as I probably should be but I am familiar with Nikki Kanani, superstar GP of Bexley.
“She will tell you that vaccines are wonderful and everybody should get them. So I prefer to listen to Nikki Kanani.”