As George Santos faces multiple investigations for campaign fraud, he is now using his ill-gotten seat to advance vaccine lies. The Republican House representative has introduced a bill that would delay the administration of vaccines, and he’s chosen to name it after rapper Nicki Minaj.
The “Medical Information Nuanced Accountability Judgement Act,” or MINAJ Act, would “prohibit any Federal Government from imposing any mandate requiring an individual to receive a vaccine that has not been authorized for marketing for at least ten years.”
“Medical Freedom is an absolute right,” said Santos 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. If a public health emergency has been declared, then the federal agency looking to impose the mandate must submit a report to Congress and highlight the intent as well as the research behind the vaccine.”
Like most of what comes out of Santos’s mouth, the picture he paints of vaccine deployment is not accurate. Regardless of public health emergency status, vaccines already undergo years of research and clinical trials before being made available to the public. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccines, scientists had also been researching coronavirus vaccines for years before the pandemic started.
So why name the bill after Nicki Minaj? In 2021, the rapper made headlines when she shared her own vaccine skepticism on Twitter. On September 13, she wrote, “They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one.”
She followed up with a third-hand story she’d heard about her cousin’s friend’s swollen testicles that was mocked up and down the internet. “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen,” she said. “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.”
So it’s not too surprising that the congressman has been inspired by Minaj’s own reckless disregard for the truth.
Shortly after the openly gay Republican was elected to congress, several fabrications about his background came to light. These lies have ranged from the scammy (that he went to Baruch College and worked at Goldman Sachs) to the awful (that his mother died in the 9/11 attacks and employees of his were killed in the Pulse shooting) to the strange (that he once guest starred on Hannah Montana).
In spite of the multiple investigations Santos is facing regarding these claims, the congressman also announced his bid for reelection on Monday.