Conspiracy theorists vandalised a number of 5G masts over the Easter weekend, amid concerns they were helping to spread Coronavirus.
Twenty masts were attacked after theories began circulating online that claimed the new 5G masts were accelerating the spread of COVID-19. Now, the scientific community has been forced to debunk the claims in the strongest possible terms, calling the conspiracy theories “complete rubbish”.
Though attacks on 5G masts are nothing new, it’s thought this latest spate can be attributed to the conspiracy theories gaining traction on social media – spreading across notable, verified and popular accounts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. These theories would typically make one of two claims: that 5G technology can somehow transmit the virus physically through the air, or that 5G suppresses the immune system, leaving people more susceptible to falling ill.
These theories were even given credence from a somewhat unlikely source, when TV presenter Eamonn Holmes claimed that scientists are wrong to debunk them “when they don’t know it’s not true”.
In response, scientists have asserted that they know full well these claims are untrue – as they’re biologically impossible.
Among those speaking out was NHS England Medical Director Stephen Powis, who called it “the worst kind of fake news.”
Professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol, Adam Finn, went one step further. He told the BBC that the virus is, categorically, passed from person to person. “We know this is true” he said, as there are samples of the virus currently stored in his lab able to be tested.
Professor Finn added that viruses and electromagnetic waves are entirely separate things; “as different as chalk and cheese.”
Others have noted the lack of correlation between areas with 5G connectivity and confirmed Coronavirus cases. Towns and cities where masts have yet to be erected still have Coronavirus victims. So do entire countries, such as Iran.
As yet there appears to be no let up in the number of
conspiracy theories circulating online. However, Ofcom has said it’s
investigating the claims made by Eamonn Holmes “as a matter of urgency.”