A conspiracy theory linking the novel coronavirus with 5G technology is spreading across social media and celebrities fueling it. 

It’s false. It’s unfounded. Don’t believe it, even if your favorite celebrities are telling you to believe them. 

5G technology is the next generation of cellular technology that will enable us with faster access to the internet. The rollout and widespread adoption of the technology happened the same year that COVID-19 appeared in China and conspiracy theorists were quick to link the two. Correlation does not mean causation.

Usually, people dismiss conspiracy theories. But, in the face of a new deadly virus that has claimed more than 100,000 people globally and a deep lack of understanding about how this disease spreads, this conspiracy gained plausibility and validity.

The roots of this specific conspiracy may stem back to a doctor who earlier this year who claimed in a Belgian newspaper that 5G was dangerous and might be linked to coronavirus. 

There was no evidence and no data of a causal link. Furthermore, no one else from the science or tech communities have validated this claim. 

Instead, celebrities with mass social media followings have picked up the story and pushed the rumors out to millions of their followers. 

Celebrities sell us another lie

Boxer Amir Khan, singer Anne-Marie, actor Woody Harrelson, former singer Keri Hilson, Goop contributor Habib Sadeghi, and TV personality Amanda Holden are all celebrities who have posted (and in some cases deleted) the unfounded claim.

People believe celebrities and influencers enough to purchase the skin creams, body shapers, and weight loss they push out daily. Their opinions hold weight, which is why they have a responsibility to vet what the “information” they disseminate.

Burning cell phone towers will not stop the spread of COVID-19

Fear and ignorance create a breeding ground for lies and unfortunately, people will act on them. 

Now, dozens of phone towers have been torched or vandalized across the United Kingdom as citizens take matters into their own hands. Ironically, they only damaged  3G and 4G equipment because the rollout of 5G technology has been slow.

Nonetheless, communications companies are worried about the safety of their workers who have been confronted while just trying to maintain infrastructure. The British government is trying to push back on the baseless claims fueling this deviant behavior. Perhaps they and other governments need to correct the misinformation floating about the world wide web.

Singer M.I.A. railed against the construction of 5G networks amid the coronavirus outbreak claiming that she was feeling ill with the symptoms that match “5G symptoms” and threatening to break stay at home orders if the construction of towers didn’t cease.

TRUTH: 5G technology does not spread COVID-19

FEMA’s Coronavirus Rumor Control center says:

Fact: A worldwide online conspiracy theory has attempted to link 5G cell phone technology as being one of the causes of the coronavirus. Many cell towers outside of the U.S. have been set on fire as a result.  5G technology does NOT cause coronavirus.   

Don’t believe the U.S. government? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) — I know they face some issues currently — has said of 5G: 

To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies.

An independent international body, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) explained that there is no evidence that electromagnetic fields cause health effects such as cancer, electrohypersensitivity, infertility or anything else.

Reuters provides more fact-checking evidence about what we do know of COVID-19 here.

The bottom line is that cell phone towers and 5G technology do not spread this disease.

Some people may have apprehensions or misgivings about technology, but right now access to the internet is a critical lifeline to the health, safety, security, and education of Americans. 

Doctors and mental health professionals can examine and treat patients without risking exposure.

People with autoimmune diseases, who cannot leave their homes, rely on technology to get groceries and essential items delivered to their doorsteps.

Students can continue their education from home through digital learning.

That’s why it’s critical that we ensure not another person falls prey to a baseless claim against this technology.