On Monday, singer Nicki Minaj shared helpless claims about Covid-19 vaccines and testes on Twitter. But was his claim on the ball or was it really lacking in hard evidence?
Here is his tweet about his cousin in Trinidad:
Make him his cousin’s friend in Trinidad. As you can see, she indicated that her “cousin in Trinidad will not receive the vaccine because her friend received it and has become powerless. His testicles became swollen.
She continued with “her friend was a few weeks away from getting married, now the girl has called off the wedding. So just pray over it and make sure you’re comfortable with your decision, not intimidated. “
First of all, the typical wedding vow is “until death do you part” and not “until your testicles swell”. So, you must be wondering if this would have been the best marital union. Being fired before a marriage in this way is not the best sign that the marriage may have lasted. Second, a tweet like this really needs more follow-up details. After all, if your friend ever says “then my testicles got swollen,” your next answer probably won’t be, “oh, okay. Well, good to see you. Good day.”
Instead, if you’re claiming thousands, if not millions, of people that Covid-19 vaccines can cause impotence and swollen testicles, more accompanying information really is needed. For example, what do you mean by impotent and swollen testicles? How was this verified? Swelling of the testicles is not the same as a big spot on the forehead or something more obvious. It is not common to hear someone say, “Well, it was obvious at the party that his testicles were swollen.” Hearing something like this makes you wonder: (a) what kind of party was it and (b) what exactly were you doing at that party?
So, at the end of the day, the big question is whether a real doctor actually diagnosed the swelling and impotence and determined that they were in fact due to the Covid-19 vaccine? After all, it can be difficult to come to a consensus on what laymen may see as helplessness. The occasional flop isn’t the same as a constant inability to raise Arizona, or whatever name you’ve given your genitals. Likewise, what people might call swelling of the testicles or scrotum could range from “I have big balls and I can’t lie” to something really abnormal.
Plus, even with a medically diagnosed scrotal swelling, there are many different things that can cause it. For example, swelling can occur when you receive a kick in balls. Granted, you tend to remember when someone played “football” on you. When your doctor asks you ‘have you kicked your balls in the ball’ you don’t tend to say, ‘you know, doctor, I don’t remember that very well. Define “kicked in the balls”. I remember the risotto and the hot dogs for dinner.
There are, however, other less obvious causes. These include other types of trauma, various infections, fluid buildup, hernias, abnormally enlarged veins, and testicular cancer. It is not necessarily because something happened around the time of the vaccination that the Covid-19 vaccine caused it.
Remember, hearing a story about someone is not the same as doing research. A story partially told and not verified by medical experts does not constitute true scientific proof. There is a real vas deferens between the two.
In July I covered for Forbes Unsubstantiated claims on social media that Covid-19 vaccines could cause “mass male infertility” and that “all men who have been vaccinated are indeed infertile.” At the same time, I explained how a study published as a research letter in JAMA found no difference in sperm concentration, sperm count, sperm motility and semen volume in men before and after vaccination against Covid-19.
So far, more than 178 million people have been fully immunized in the United States alone. And a good proportion of these people have balls, literally and not figuratively. Yet how many official reports have there been of testicular swelling and impotence from the Covid-19 vaccine? An official report is a report that has been verified by at least one medical expert, a report where there are clear records of what happened.
Also, even if a verified case of testicular swelling were to emerge at some point, keep the relative risk level in mind. One in tens of millions would have a very, very low rating. Every day you eat, take, and do things that are much riskier. For example, it is likely that you have used the toilet recently. (By the way, if you haven’t, you might want to see a doctor.) Did you know that people have been killed by the toilet? Would that make you throw away anything that uses the toilet?
Meanwhile, while I was covering for Forbes in May, there were impotent official medical reports of erectile dysfunction from Covid-19. Yes, there is evidence in the groin that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can reach your testicles. For example, Anirban Maitra, MBBS, professor of pathology at MD Anderson Cancer Center tweeted the following:
So your risk of having testicular problems may be much greater with Covid-19 than with a vaccine that can protect you from Covid-19.
Remember, Minaj is a rapper, singer, and songwriter. She is neither a doctor nor a scientist. If you search for “Nicki Minaj” in PubMed, you get a single publication called “Plastic Surgery and Music: Examining Plastic Surgery References in Hit Songs”, and it was not written by her.
However, Fox News host Tucker Carlson decided to feature on his show what Minaj mentioned, her tweet and not the testicles, which is to say:
It’s one thing to have questions about the Covid-19 vaccine or any product for that matter. It’s reasonable to want to talk to a real doctor about any concerns you might have or stories you might have heard. However, sharing on social media or otherwise spreading an unverified claim about Covid-19 vaccines to millions of followers is a whole different story. This can have real harmful consequences. Suppose a person avoids getting the vaccine as a result and ends up dying from Covid-19 when all of this could have been avoided by getting the vaccine.
If your cousin’s friend, your nephew’s teacher enemy, your stepsister’s uncle’s chiropractor, or anyone for that matter has suffered from testicular swelling and impotence afterwards the Covid-19 vaccine, tell that person to see a doctor and notify the appropriate public health authorities. They can then proceed with the appropriate medical assessment and testing to determine the real cause of the problem.
Many claims about Covid-19 vaccines are, let’s say, a little crazy. On social media there is really a lot of, well you see the picture. So, don’t rush to throw your ball, or someone else’s ball, into the Twitter realm until you have real scientific evidence to back up your claims.