A new COVID conspiracy theory is making the rounds, the theory is linking the ongoing global pandemic with the rollout of 5G communications networks. Where did this theory originate, and what is the “evidence” offered by believers?
COVID-19, better known as the Coronavirus, is a respiratory disease that has spread to over 100 countries and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). But if you spend more than five minutes online, you’ll find someone shouting that 5G is the real cause of people’s illnesses.
What is 5G, and Can It Cause a Virus?
5G represents the fifth-generation of the wireless telecom technology that smartphones and other devices use for communication and connecting to the internet. As with 4G LTE, 3G, and everything before it, the wireless network is transmitted over radio waves, a non-harmful part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Most claims you will read online stems from the fact that radio waves are technically radiation. Although that word tends to be viewed as negative, not all radiation is bad. As radio is non-ionizing and does not excite electrons and knock them out of orbit, 5G can’t cause DNA damage, cause cancer, or develop Coronavirus. Every study that claims otherwise has been proven false and inaccurate.
What Are the 5G Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories?
As mentioned, conspiracy theories around 5G and other new technologies aren’t new. Unfortunately, people don’t seem to remember that others online made the same claims about Wi-Fi, 4G, and other radio waves as they are now about 5G.
Look no further than most Facebook comment. You will find many that include claims that they found information online that “proves” that the respiratory illness that many with Coronavirus are suffering from is caused by being around 5G.
The theories that involve multiple maps that claim to show a correlation between 5G development and the rise of Coronavirus cases are the easiest to disprove.
In the example below, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and others decided to deploy 5G in major cities with large populations. Doing so allows the carriers to reach as many customers as possible before moving to the countryside where the community is more spread out.
What else do major cities have? International airports and larger populations per square mile. We already know that the Coronavirus started overseas and made its way stateside because of travelers that were previously infected. Once the virus is in the city, it is very easy to transmit it to others throughout the area accidentally.
What does the science say?
Given that radiofrequency emissions operate at the non-ionizing end of the electromagnetic spectrum, there is “no known mechanism” by which emissions at these frequencies could damage DNA and cause cancer, according to the US National Cancer Institute (NCI). Bear in mind that we also have a lot of real-world data: billions of people have been using cell phones and WIFI for many years now with no increase in cancer rates.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees: “There is no consistent or credible scientific evidence of health problems caused by the exposure to radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones.” 5G will use frequencies that are already covered in the current federal guidelines, so it does not raise any new safety concerns, in the opinion of regulatory agencies in the United States.
If you want more data, the NCI has produced long fact sheets both on cell phones and cancer risk and electromagnetic fields and cancer. There is one very well-proven health danger arising from cell phones: increased traffic accidents resulting from people talking or texting while driving.