Health Secretary urges stars not to spread ‘untruths’ like rapper

His comments came after Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, criticised rapper Nicki Minaj who shared a story on social media about a man who was supposedly made impotent by the jab. At a Downing Street press conference on Tuesday, Prof Whitty said such claims were “clearly ridiculous” and were “designed just to scare”. Mr Javid said the vaccine is saving lives and it was important not to undermine public confidence in the programme.

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Asked about Minaj’s comments, Mr Javid told BBC Breakfast: “I do know who she is but I don’t want to focus on a particular individual. I don’t want to give the oxygen of publicity they are probably craving for by making such comments. Anyone, whether you are a pop celebrity, a footballer or a politician, you should be very careful about your language.

“When it comes to something as life-saving as vaccines – in this country there are 112,000 fewer deaths, we estimate, because of our vaccine programme – they should be really careful about what they say and not spread untruths.”

Prof Whitty had said referring to US star Minaj, 38, that people who were deliberately “peddling untruths” about the vaccines should be “ashamed”.

He added: “People putting out misinformation – just outright lies – clearly, it doesn’t help. I would appeal to [them], please don’t do that.”

He also said social media companies need to stop the spread of misinformation.

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