Are Conspiracy Theorists Right About 5G Technology Being Tied To Coronavirus?
More than 70 cell phone tower masts have been the targets of arson attacks in the UK since January, due to a conspiracy theory linking 5G cellular technology to COVID-19, according to Business Insider. Luis Alvarez, CEO of Alvarez Technology Group, addressed this theory on a recent episode of “Tech Talk.” Alvarez wants to reassure people that cell phone technology — even new technology like 5G networks — do not cause or exacerbate the spread of coronavirus.
This conspiracy theory originated in January of 2020 when it became apparent that the virus was spreading out of control in Wuhan, China. There are two variations of the theory, as explained by Alvarez.
In one version, the cell phone radiation waves emitted by 5G towers weaken the human immune system, making people more susceptible to COVID-19. In an even less credible conspiracy theory, it’s been claimed that the 5G towers themselves are what causes coronavirus. Neither theory has any scientific or medical evidence to support it. As Business Insider notes, the non-ionizing radiation produced by cell phone radio waves does not the DNA in human or animal cell tissue and therefore does not lead to cancer or other illnesses.
“This is something that needs to be studied,” said Alvarez. “But of course, scientists will tell you wireless cellular waves do not cause any sort of virus in human bodies.”
Alvarez notes that some critics of 5G technology are willing to use these conspiracy theories to block the rollout of 5G in their local communities. The 5G-coronavirus conspiracy theories began picking up steam on social media in March and then went viral in April of 2020. The popularity of spreading the theory coincided with the many arson attacks on 5G towers across the UK.
Some good news about this conspiracy theory is that the vast majority of internet users do not appear to believe it. That’s according to a study published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Researchers at Newcastle University in the UK analyzed a week’s worth of Twitter feeds on the 5G-coronavirus conspiracy theory. Their research concluded that despite the popularity of sharing the theory, “only a handful of users genuinely believed the theory.”
Alvarez noted, “I just hope that people who do think that it’s somehow tied to coronavirus worry more about things like social distancing and the real ways to prevent you from getting coronavirus, as opposed to not using a 5G cell phone.”