White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world
Psaki says White House offered 'early stage call' to Nicki Minaj
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that while Nicki Minaj has not been invited to meet with officials to discuss COVID-19 vaccine information, the administration has offered to "have a conversation and an early stage call."
"We offered a call with Nicki Minaj on one of our doctors to answer questions she had about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine," Psaki said during a press briefing, adding that it was "pretty standard" and something the White Does does "all the time."
The White House outreach to Minaj was an "early stage call at a staff level," Psaki said. She said it was unclear whether a visit would take place.
"We're not even at the point of discussing - I should say at this point - the mechanisms or the format or anything along those lines. It was simply an offer to have a conversation, and an early stage call," Psaki said.
Minaj on Wednesday said she had been invited to the White House, calling it "a step in the right direction" and that she planned on asking questions on behalf of "[people] who have been made fun of for simply being human."
Earlier this week, Minaj sparked a firestorm on social media when she revealed that she had contracted COVID-19 and was not yet on board with getting vaccinated. One reason she cited was a story from her cousin of their friend getting vaccinated and experiencing testicular swelling and impotence, eliciting mockery and incredulity from many online commenters.
Minaj later acknowledged she would more than likely get vaccinated eventually, noting how many workers are required by their employers to get the shot. The rap star said she was "sure" she would get vaccinated to begin touring again.
When asked Thursday what sort of responsibility a public figure with a large following like Minaj has when speaking about vaccines, Psaki said the administration hopes that someone like Minaj would project "accurate information."
"We also recognize that people have questions out there. They have questions they want to have answered by their doctors. We have doctors who can answer questions," said Psaki. "I would say that if we believed that everybody who had skepticism about the vaccine wasn't someone we should engage with or talk to, we wouldn't have made the progress we've made."