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Author Topic: Coronavirus and 5G Link [Certified Nuisance and Fake News]  (Read 2868 times)

Offline ainat

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Coronavirus and 5G Link [Certified Nuisance and Fake News]
« on: April 05, 2020, 02:49:53 PM »
Coronavirus: Scientists brand 5G claims 'complete rubbish'
By Rachel Schraer & Eleanor Lawrie Reality Check | 5 April 2020

Conspiracy theories claiming 5G technology helps transmit coronavirus have been condemned by the scientific community.

Videos have been shared on social media showing mobile phone masts on fire in Birmingham and Merseyside - along with the claims.

The posts have been shared on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram - including by verified accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers.

But scientists say the idea of a connection between Covid-19 and 5G is "complete rubbish" and biologically impossible.

The conspiracy theories have been branded "the worst kind of fake news" by NHS England Medical Director Stephen Powis.
Conspiracy theory

Many of those sharing the post are pushing a conspiracy theory falsely claiming that 5G - which is used in mobile phone networks and relies on signals carried by radio waves - is somehow responsible for coronavirus.

These theories appear to have first emerged via Facebook posts in late January, around the same time the first cases were recorded in the US.

They appear to fall broadly in to two camps:
  • One claims 5G can suppress the immune system, thus making people more susceptible to catching the virus.
  • The other suggests the virus can somehow be transmitted through the use of 5G technology.

Both these notions are "complete rubbish," says Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading.

"The idea that 5G lowers your immune system doesn't stand up to scrutiny," Dr Clarke says.

"Your immune system can be dipped by all sorts of thing - by being tired one day, or not having a good diet. Those fluctuations aren't huge but can make you more susceptible to catching viruses.

"Radio waves can disrupt your physiology as they heat you up, meaning your immune system can't function. But 5G radio waves are tiny and they are nowhere near strong enough to affect the immune system. There have been lots of studies on this."

It would also be impossible for 5G to transmit the virus, Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol, adds.

"The present epidemic is caused by a virus that is passed from one infected person to another. We know this is true. We even have the virus growing in our lab, obtained from a person with the illness. Viruses and electromagnetic waves that make mobile phones and internet connections work are different things. As different as chalk and cheese," he says.

It's also important to note another major flaw with the conspiracy theories - coronavirus is spreading in UK cities where 5G has yet to be deployed, and in countries like Iran that have yet to roll out the technology.

There were plenty of scare stories about 5G circulating before the coronavirus outbreak which Reality Check has already looked into, such as this piece: Does 5G pose health risks?

Earlier this year, a long-running study from the watchdog the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) rebutted these claims, saying there was no evidence that mobile networks cause cancer or other illnesses.

But if anything, the misinformation seems to have escalated.

Trade body Mobile UK has said false rumours and theories linking 5G and coronavirus were "concerning," while the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has reiterated there is "absolutely no credible evidence for the link".

Viruses invade human or animal cells and use them to reproduce, which is what causes infection. Viruses cannot live very long outside a living thing, so they have to find a way in - usually via droplets of liquid from coughs or sneezes.

Genome sequencing of this coronavirus suggests it jumped from animals to humans - and then began to pass from human to human.



Offline ainat

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Re: Coronavirus and 5G Link [Certified Nuisance and Fake News]
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2020, 02:51:30 PM »
5G is not accelerating the spread of the new coronavirus
31st Mar 2020 | By Kate Lewis

Claim: 5G WiFi networks could be responsible for the rapid spread of the new coronavirus.
Conclusion: This is not true. There is no evidence that 5G WiFi networks are linked to the new coronavirus.

“Fears 5G wifi networks could be acting as 'accelerator' for disease”, Daily Star, 26 March 2020

The Daily Star has reported on “a new conspiracy theory” surrounding the new coronavirus: that 5G networks could be responsible for the rapid spread of the virus.

As we have written before, there is no evidence to suggest that 5G has anything to do with Covid-19—the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

The headline quoted above has now been changed by the Daily Star to read “Coronavirus: Activists in bizarre claim 5G could be acting as 'accelerator' for disease” and includes a statement by the UK government to say there is "no convincing evidence that 5G is dangerous".

The article refers to two theories to support the claim that 5G accelerates the new coronavirus. Firstly that 5G might suppress the immune system and, secondly,  that viruses can communicate through radio waves. Neither of these theories is backed up by evidence. The new coronavirus is also affecting countries and regions where no 5G is present.
There is no evidence that 5G networks are harmful to health

Like the previous generations of wireless network technology (4G, 3G and 2G), 5G mobile data is transmitted over radio waves. Other types of technology that use radio waves include smart meters, TV and radio transmitters, and radar and satellite communications.

Radio waves are a small part of a wider electromagnetic spectrum of waves, which all emit energy called electromagnetic radiation. Radio waves are found at the low-frequency end of the spectrum and—alongside microwaves, visible light and heat—only produce non-ionising radiation. This means that these waves cannot damage the DNA inside cells, which is how waves with higher frequencies (such as x-rays, gamma rays and ultraviolet light) are thought to cause cancer.

To improve the speed and capacity of our wireless technology, 5G uses a higher frequency of radio waves compared to its older generations. The frequency of this new wireless technology remains very low: the maximum levels of electromagnetic radiation measured by Ofcom were about 66 times smaller than the safety limits set by international guidelines.

Public Health England states that “the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health.”
The two theories given to support the 5G claim in the article are flawed

The Daily Star quotes an “activist and philosophy lecturer at the Isle of Wight College” saying that electromagnetic radiation from 5G suppresses the immune system, helping the virus to thrive. As mentioned above, the level of radiation from 5G is far below levels of electromagnetic radiation thought to cause damage to cells in the human body.

The second theory appears to be that “viruses "talk to each other" when making decisions about infecting a host”. This is not true. The Daily Star article links to a 2011 research paper which suggested that bacteria may produce electromagnetic signals to communicate with other bacteria. This hypothesis is disputed, and refers to bacteria and not viruses like the new coronavirus.

The new coronavirus is also spreading in places without 5G networks. There are many parts of the UK that do not have 5G coverage yet, but are still affected by the virus (for example, Milton Keynes and Portsmouth). There are no 5G networks at all in Iran, yet this country has been severely affected by Covid-19 (at the time of writing, Iran had the sixth-highest number of reported Covid-19 cases and fourth-highest number of deaths of 177 countries and regions in the world).
What is known about the spread of the new coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation says that every person with the virus infects, on average, between two and two and a half other people.

The new coronavirus is spread from person to person mainly through small droplets that people with Covid-19 sneeze, cough or exhale. The droplets can live on surfaces for many hours, meaning that the virus can be transmitted without direct contact with someone who is infected. There is some evidence to suggest that the virus may also be transmitted in the air, although the WHO warns that evidence from research conducted under “normal human cough conditions” is needed to show this.

For up to date information on how to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, see the advice issued by the NHS.



Offline ainat

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Re: Coronavirus and 5G Link [Certified Nuisance and Fake News]
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2020, 06:04:13 PM »
Call for social media platforms to act on 5G mast conspiracy theory
After a spate of fires, the government is stepping in to halt the spread of linking coronavirus to the mobile network
Harriet Sherwood @harrietsherwood | Sun 5 Apr 2020 08.11 BST

The government is to hold talks with social media platforms after mobile phone masts in Birmingham, Merseyside and Belfast were set on fire amid a widely shared conspiracy theory linking 5G networks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Broadband engineers have also faced physical and verbal threats by people who believe that radiation from 5G masts causes health risks and lowers people’s immune systems.

The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, revealed he had received threats after he dismissed the theory as “bizarre”.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove branded the conspiracy theories “dangerous nonsense”.

And the NHS director, Stephen Powis, added: “The 5G story is complete and utter rubbish. It is nonsense – the worst kind of fake news.

“The reality is that the mobile phone networks are absolutely critical to all of us, particularly in a time when we are asking people to stay at home and not see relatives and friends.

    The 5G theory is absolute, utter rubbish and I can’t condemn it in terms stronger than that.
    Stephen Powis, NHS director

“But, in particular, those are also the phone networks used by our emergency services and our health workers and I am absolutely outraged, absolutely disgusted, that people would be taking action against the very infrastructure that we need to respond to this health emergency.

“It is absolute, utter rubbish and I can’t condemn it in terms stronger than that.”

Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, is to hold talks with platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Twitter “to hammer this message home”, the source said.

Celebrities including the singer Anne-Marie, have helped spread the theory on social media. Amanda Holden, a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, shared a link to an online petition claiming the symptoms of Covid-19 were caused by residing near a 5G mast. The petition has now been removed.

Emergency services were called out to deal with blazes at masts in Sparkhill, Birmingham, and on the Antrim Road in north Belfast last Thursday, and at Melling, Merseyside, last Friday.

Videos of the arson attacks were posted on social media.