Vandals in China and the U.K. destroy cell towers after theories link 5G to COVID-19
With all of the confusion over the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak in terms of treatment, there also are a number of different stories that try to explain how we got to where we are right now: in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Some say it came from one man in China who ate an infected bat purchased from a market in Wuhan. Others believe that coronavirus was created in a lab and designed for biological warfare by the Chinese or the North Koreans. And there is another group that firmly believes COVID-19 spread quickly because of radiation from 5G signals.
The New York Post reports that some celebrities, such as actor Woody Harrelson, are trying to promote the theory that 5G networks and cell towers are responsible for the spread of the disease. Harrelson posted on his Instagram page a report by Professor Martin Pall from Washington State University.That's right, these people claim that the next generation of wireless connectivity is responsible for the current crisis that people all around the world face.
U.K. carriers release a joint statement calling the conspiracy theories "baseless"
Pall wrote that Wuhan was China's first "smart city" and was the first province in China to have 5G service. The professor isn't saying that 5G caused the coronavirus, but that radiation linked to it exacerbated "the viral replication or the spread or lethality of the disease." Pall goes on to note that the number of 5G base stations in Wuhan were to rise from 31 at the end of 2018 to 10,000 at the end of last year. The base stations were place inside street lamps starting last October and large numbers of these antenna were installed during the last 2 1/2 months of the year. The professor notes that the severity of the epidemic increased as the number of 5G antenna in Wuhan "skyrocketed."
Woody Harrelson promotes conspiracy theories linking the coronavirus to 5G wireless signals
Another celebrity, singer M.I.A., disseminated a tweet in which she wrote "I don't think 5G gives you COVID-19. I think it can confuse or slow the body down in healing process as (the) body is learning to cope with new signals wavelengths frequency etc."
U.K. Cabinet Minister Michael Gove calls this "dangerous nonsense" and U.K. national medical director Professor Stephen Powis called the theory "absolute and utter rubbish." Dr. Michael Head of the University of Southampton told a newspaper in Britain, "Conspiracy theorists are a public health danger who once read a Facebook page. The celebrities fanning the flames of these conspiracy theorists should be ashamed." Harrelson, for his part, admits that "I haven’t fully vetted it."
Several U.K. carriers including BT Group's EE, Telefonica's O2, Vodafone (VOD) and Three released a joint statement that said, "Not only are these claims baseless, they are harmful for the people and businesses that rely on the continuity of our services. They have also led to the abuse of our engineers and, in some cases, prevented essential network maintenance taking place."
This morning, YouTube and other social media sites announced that they are banning content that spreads the 5G conspiracy theories. As a result of these theories, vandals have set fires at some 5G towers in the U.K. located at Birmingham, Liverpool, and Belfast. An Instagram video showing people in China destroying a cell tower has been viewed over 300,000 times. According to CNN, YouTube called videos about this theory "borderline content" which means that they don't necessarily violate any rules. However, a YouTube spokesman said that the videos would be removed from search results.
Facebook said today that it is starting to take aggressive action to "remove false claims which link COVID-19 to 5G technology." A Twitter spokesman also released a statement saying, "We will continue to take action on accounts that violate our rules, including content in relation to unverifiable claims which incite social unrest, widespread panic or large-scale disorder."