Professor Chris Whitty says rapper Nicki Minaj “should be ashamed” after she tweeted an unsubstantiated story about a man who had a COVID vaccine and then allegedly became impotent.

Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, England’s chief medical officer said: “There are a number of myths that fly around, some of which are just clearly ridiculous and some of which are clearly designed just to scare.

“That happens to be one of them.”

Nicki Minaj attending the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2019 in New York, USA.

Image: Rapper Nicki Minaj claimed her cousin’s friend became impotent after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. File pic

He said there are “people that go around trying to discourage other people from taking a vaccine which could be life-saving or prevent them from having life-changing injuries to themselves”.

“Many of those people I regret to say will know they are pedalling untruths but they still do it,” he said.

“In my view, they should be ashamed.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am not as familiar with the works of Nicki Minaj as I probably should be.

“But I am familiar with Nikki Kanani, a superstar GP of Bexley who has appeared many times before you, who will tell you vaccines are wonderful and everybody should get them.

“That’s why I prefer to listen to Nikki Kanani.”

Tweeting a video of Sky News showing the Downing Street briefing, the rapper reacted to the prime minister’s comments saying: “I love him even tho I guess this was a diss? The accent ugh! Yassss boo!!”.

She then tweeted an audio message to Mr Johnson saying: “Hello Prime Minister Boris, it’s Nicki Minaj. I was just calling to tell you I thought you were so amazing on the news this morning and I am actually British.

“I was born there, I went to university there, I went to Oxford. I went to school with Margaret Thatcher and she told me so many nice things about you.

“I’d love to send you a portfolio of my work since you don’t know much about me. I am a big big star in the United States.”

She later changed her Twitter bio to “rudest little madam” along with a union jack emoji.

The rapper, who was actually born in Trinidad and grew up in New York, claimed in a series of tweets posted earlier that her cousin’s friend suffered swollen testicles and became impotent after getting the jab.

“My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding.

“So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied,” she told fans.

Impotence is not listed as a potential side effect on the NHS website and Minaj was mocked on social media for sharing the story.

My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied

— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 13, 2021

She also revealed that she had recently contracted COVID-19 and has not yet been vaccinated.

Minaj added that she would not be pressured into getting the shot for the Met Gala, which reportedly required guests to be vaccinated.

She later clarified this was not the reason she did not go to the annual event in New York – saying she did not want to travel because of her son.

In one of her tweets, she said it is likely she will be vaccinated at some point, and she would recommend it for anyone who needs it for work.

She told fans on Twitter she was still researching vaccines and encouraged people to be safe.

The star also said her friend and fellow rapper, Drake, caught COVID despite being vaccinated.

An estimated five million Britons who are eligible for a vaccine who have yet to have one, and experts says the best way to avoid future lockdowns is to persuade as many as possible to get a jab.

Asked about the star’s posts, a Twitter spokesperson told Sky News: The tweets referenced are not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the United States has administered a total of 379,527,940 vaccine doses.

The data also suggests the US has recorded a total of 41,241,725 cases of COVID-19 and 662,525 deaths related to the virus.