Gay Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has introduced a bill to limit federal vaccine requirements that could prevent the military from requiring the COVID-19 vaccine again.
And he named it after Nicki Minaj.
H.R. 2631 – the Medical Information Nuanced Accountability Judgement (MINAJ) Act – would ban the government from requiring anyone to get “a vaccine that has not been authorized for marketing for at least ten years unless a public health emergency is declared.”
If there is a public health emergency – like COVID-19 is – then federal departments must submit reports to Congress and give Congress three months to “review” the report, delaying the mandate even if there is a declared public health emergency.
The bill’s name is a reference to Minaj’s infamous tweets about how the COVID-19 vaccine supposedly made her cousin’s friend’s testicles swell.
“My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent,” she wrote in 2021. “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.”
Minaj was widely mocked for her claim; testicular swelling is not a known side effect of any of the COVID-19 vaccines, but it is a known symptom of some sexually transmitted infections, as well as testicular cancer and injuries to the groin.
She also refused to attend the Met Gala that year because of its vaccine requirement. Since the Metropolitan Museum of Art isn’t a federal agency or department, Santos’s law wouldn’t have helped her attend.
“Medical Freedom is an absolute right,” Santos said in a statement. “I urge my colleagues to join me in this mission to block tyrannical and draconian measures from being utilized by the Federal Government.”
Opposing vaccine mandates – and often the COVID-19 vaccines themselves and even other vaccines – has become a policy position associated with the right in the U.S. Many prominent conservatives opposed the military’s vaccine requirement for COVID-19, despite the numerous other vaccines required for service members.
In January, Santos gave up his committee assignments because of all the accusations of lying, stealing, campaign finance misdeeds, and fraud against him. With the extra time on his hands, he has become the first-term congressmember to speak the most on the House floor since the beginning of the year.
Also, the The MINAJ Act is one of seven bills that Santos just filed. It has no cosponsors and has been assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.