No, 5G Does Not Spread Coronavirus

Conspiracy theories claiming 5G technology helps transmit coronavirus have been condemned by the scientific community. Conspiracy theories over a link between the roll out of 5G and the spread of coronavirus have been spread primarily through social media networks. 
 
A variety of groups exist on Facebook and Nextdoor, where thousands of members repeat false and misleading claims that 5G is supposedly harmful. 
 
One theory claims that the novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan because the Chinese city had recently been rolling out 5G. It’s now supposedly spread to other cities that are also using 5G. A video, removed by the site after the Guardian newspaper  flagged it, featured a man claiming to be a former executive at a UK mobile network falsely stating that coronavirus tests were actually used to spread the virus, and that the pandemic was created to hide deaths from the mobile technology.
 
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.
The UK government has said ‘there is absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus’. Experts have similarly slammed the theories, saying that viruses and the network’s electromagnetic waves are ‘as different as chalk and cheese’.
 
The false stories neglect to mention that a highly contagious virus would naturally spread more in densely populated cities with access to 5G, and that the coronavirus pandemic has hit counties like Iran and Japan where 5G isn’t in use yet.
 
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 groups:
  • One claims 5G can suppress the immune system, thus making people more susceptible to catching the virus. 
  • Another suggests the virus can somehow be transmitted through the use of 5G technology.
"The idea that 5G lowers your immune system doesn't stand up to scrutiny..... 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." says Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading.
 
While very strong radio waves can cause heating, 5G is nowhere near strong enough to heat people up enough to have any meaningful effect. In fact, radio waves involved in 5G and other mobile phone technology sit on the low frequency end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Less powerful than visible light, they are not strong enough to damage cells - unlike radiation at the higher frequency end of the spectrum which includes the sun's rays and medical x-rays.
 
It would also be impossible for 5G to transmit the virus according to Prof. Adam Finn at the University of Bristol, who said 
"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," 
 
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.
 
BBC:      The Verge:        Guardian:      Metro
 
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