While more than 2.3 billion people worldwide have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — and a slew of them are attending Monday's Met Gala — Nicki Minaj is still doing her "research" and responding to a bunch of tweets about it.
The unpredictable "Super Bass" rapper won't be appearing at the glitzy Costume Institute bash this year because guests are required to be vaccinated.
That prompted a bizarre Twitter discussion Monday after the emcee, who welcomed her first child in October 2020, shared her own vaccine hesitancy. (She relented eventually and said that she probably would get vaccinated so she could go on tour. More on that later.)
Minaj, 38, tweeted that she apparently contracted COVID-19 while she was preparing for this year's MTV Video Music Awards, which took place Sunday, and shooting a music video. She said she feared passing it on to her son.
"Do u know what it is not to be able to kiss or hold your tiny baby for over a week? A baby who is only used to his mama?" she tweeted, adding that she "had the exact same symptoms as ppl with the damn vaccine" when she got sick.
She retweeted one of her fans, who said that she shouldn't risk her health for people who "wanna see her dress up and interact with fake celebrities."
The star-studded Met event, which was postponed from its first Monday in May timeline last year due to the pandemic, is underway in New York and requires attendees to show proof of vaccination upon arrival. Attendees also are expected to wear masks indoors except when eating or drinking.
"They want you to get vaccinated for the Met," Minaj tweeted. "[I]f I get vaccinated it won’t [be] for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one."
Minaj didn't seem to voice her opinion for political reasons, as many anti-vaxxers have, but rather because she has an infant and went without nannies during the pandemic.
"Not risking his health to be seen," she wrote.
But then things went off the rails as she interacted with more Twitter users. She shared some friend-of-a-friend anecdotal information about the alleged side effects of the vaccines, writing about her cousin in Trinidad who refused the jab because a friend supposedly became impotent after he was vaccinated and his fiancée wound up calling off their wedding. The replies to that tweet are Twitter at its finest pithiness.
"[J]ust pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied," Minaj wrote.
Even Meghan McCain, the conservative former host of "The View," seemed to have an adverse reaction to that last tweet, adding, "That’s entirely enough internet for today" as she retweeted it.
Still, Minaj sympathized with a follower who told her they had to get vaccinated to work and actually recommended the shot in those cases.
"A lot of countries won’t let ppl work w/o the vaccine. I’d def recommend they get the vaccine. They have to feed their families," the rapper wrote. "I’m sure I’ll b vaccinated as well cuz I have to go on tour, etc."
When a fan asked why she didn't just say that first, Minaj replied: "Cuz I say what I want when I want how I want puddin pop. Internet don’t scare me.”
She then solicited fans' recommendations on vaccines for her Queen Radio show on Apple Music. Twitter no doubt will provide her with plenty of those in the very, very, very near future.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.