Introducing ‘A Grizzly’s Guide to a Healthier Y(OU)’ and debunking THAT Minaj tweet


Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Abdelmessih

Campus Editor and Columnist, Gabrielle Abdelmessih.

Salutations! My name is Gabrielle Abdelmessih. I am a junior majoring in biomedical Sciences and minoring in journalism with the goal of becoming a physician and effective communicator of factual information surrounding science, public health and medicine. Over the past seven months since I began working for The Post, many of my stories have concentrated on those subject areas, which is why I am so excited to share with you that I am starting The Post’s first weekly public health column—“A Grizzly’s Guide to a Healthier Y(OU).”

I’m starting this column in the hopes of improving the health, health literacy and awareness of affordable and accessible healthcare resources of the campus community while also debunking medical misinformation. Now more than ever, the careful communication of public health information is crucial to our wellness. I’d also like to point out that since I’m no Doogie Howser, everything I write will be backed up by experts in healthcare and other credible sources.

We’re going to talk about COVID-19, mental health, healthcare accessibility, sexual health and so much more. If you have a question you’d like answered or a certain topic addressed, email me! My goal is to focus on what would be most helpful to you. With all of that said, let’s jump right in.

In a tweet to her over 22 million followers, rapper Nicki Minaj shared an anecdote about her cousin’s friend in Trinidad who allegedly became impotent and experienced orchitis — the medical term for swollen testicles — after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Nicki Minaj, though not anti-vaccine, has not yet been vaccinated, citing this claim and a desire to do more research as contributing factors in her decision. The viral tweet sparked international conversation about the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility, causing many public health experts to speak up and debunk the rapper’s claims.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and chief medical correspondent for CNN, told “New Day”, “I have no doubt that this [orchitis] is something that has happened to this individual, and also have no doubt really that it’s not related to the vaccine.”

Dr. Gupta also underscored that Minaj’s friend’s cousin’s case of orchitis was an accompanying condition along with his vaccination, not a side-effect of the vaccine.

“You have got 32% of the country of Trinidad vaccinated, you’re going to have people who have concomitant issues with the vaccine that have nothing to do with the vaccine. So, I don’t think that that’s a problem people are going to read about—that vaccine causing orchitis or swollen testicles. That’s not a thing. That’s not something to worry about,” Dr. Gupta said.

He also noted that COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infertility, citing research released by The Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) on the subject.

“You have nearly 200 million who’ve received the shots in the United States, billions of people around the world, this is not an issue,” Dr. Gupta stressed.

Dr. Gupta also mentioned that orchitis can be caused by a lot of things, but not the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I appreciate her [Nicki Minaj] wanting to do the research. It’s out there. I wish her cousin’s friend well, but that’s not related to the vaccine. It may be related to another type of infection that could have been prevented by a vaccine, but not the COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr. Gupta said.