What is the truth behind the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory? | Culture ClashComments
“Anyone who says it isn’t harmful isn’t telling the truth.”
Barrie Trower is a conspiracy theorist and says 5G is to blame for the rapid spread of COVID-19. He believes it degrades the immune system and that the dangers are being covered up by powerful forces in the global telecommunications industry.
Three months ago, Barrie was part of a tiny minority with these extreme and unfounded views. But all of that changed when COVID-19 spread and the world locked down.
Celebrities, with vast followings, started suggesting there could be truth to these unfounded claims by sharing the conspiracy theory into the mainstream.
Since then telecoms engineers have been spat at, threatened and chased down the streets. Phone masts have been set alight across Europe, threatening to cut off vital communications at a time of international emergency.
But what exactly are the claims that are fueling these conspiracies? And why are they dangerous nonsense?
First, there’s the claim that 5G has caused the virus. We can get rid of this right away.
Watch: The truth behind the 5G conspiracy theory
Scientists confirm that COVID-19 is transmitted via respiratory droplets, and they are quick to point out that you cannot transmit droplets through 5G waves.
Perhaps the most prevalent of all the theories is the suggestion that 5G degrades the immune system, and that this has helped spread COVID-19.
Firstly, many of the hardest-hit countries currently have no 5G infrastructure. Iran has over 114,000 confirmed cases - and no 5G masts.
Secondly, the theory that 5G is dangerous to the immune system is exactly the same claim we saw when 2G, 3G, 4G and WiFi were all launched.
5G waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum and it is true that higher frequency radiation at the end of this spectrum does pose dangers.
That’s because these high-frequency waves are “ionising”, meaning they can cause internal damage to our bodies if exposure is too great.
Take X-Rays as an example. These penetrate the body and are used for medical imaging, so a patient’s exposure must be limited.
5G is in a band of low-frequency waves, like WiFi, that are “non-ionising”. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence has shown that non-ionising radiation does not cause internal damage to our cells.
So if we listen to the science, the simple fact is that 5G cannot be behind the pandemic, either by spreading the virus or by degrading our immune response.