It's not every day that Fox News host Tucker Carlson comes on the air to defend rapper Nicki Minaj and her tweets about swollen testicles.
But Monday was one of those days after Minaj fired off a series of tweets revealing she hasn't been vaccinated against COVID-19 and wouldn't be attending the Met Gala, slamming the event's vaccine requirement. She also tweeted a baseless claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause impotence, insisting this happened to her cousin's friend. "His testicles became swollen," she claimed. "His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding." According to the CDC, there's no evidence that "any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, can cause fertility problems in men or women." Minaj went on to urge followers not to be "bullied" into getting vaccinated.
On his show Monday, Carlson addressed Minaj's tweets, reading her post about her cousin's friend and about not being "bullied" before saying this "seems sensible." He also said that having an opinion on vaccine mandates "is still technically allowed in this country," and the Fox host promised to further report on the "big reaction" to Minaj's tweets on his Tuesday show. During this segment, the Fox News chyron read, "NICKI MINAJ: COUSIN'S TESTICLES BECAME SWOLLEN," although the tweet was actually about her cousin's friend. Carlson has argued against vaccine mandates and has refused to say whether he's been vaccinated himself.
Amid the backlash, Minaj criticized news coverage of her tweets and suggested she "didn't want to travel" to the Met Gala because of "my young child." She also went after MSNBC host Joy Reid, who blasted Minaj on the air for using her platform "to put people in the position of dying from a disease they don't have to die from." Minaj claimed Reid was spreading "a false narrative about a Black woman."