UK Phone Masts Set Ablaze Over ‘Dangerous’ 5G Coronavirus Conspiracies

LAGOS APRIL 5TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Bogus conspiracy theories linking the global COVID-19 outbreak to the rollout of 5G has lead to phone masts in the UK being set alight.

The BBC reports that cellular towers in Birmingham, Liverpool and Melling in Merseyside were set alight within the last week, with the attacks now being investigated as possible arson.

EE, which saw a 70-foot tower set ablaze during the Birmingham attack, said in a statement that it is still investigating the fire but that it “looks likely at this time” to be the work of arsonists.

“To deliberately take away mobile connectivity at a time when people need it more than ever to stay connected to each other, is a reckless, harmful and dangerous thing to do,” the company said, according to The Guardian.

Though it remains unclear who exactly was behind the attacks, it’s believed to be the work of anti-5G arsonists who believe debunked conspiracy theories linking 5G technology to the spread of COVID-19.

One such theory, which has been spread primarily through social media, falsely claims that the COVID-19 outbreak began in Wuhan because the Chinese city had recently been rolling out 5G, and has since spread to other cities that are also using 5G technology.

Full Fact, the UK’s independent fact-checking nonprofit, has debunked these claims, stating that 5G technology does not pose a risk to humans and pointing out that the coronavirus has spread widely in many countries without any 5G coverage, such as Iran.

“The main implication of the claim — that 5G can impact immune systems — is totally unfounded. There is no evidence linking the new coronavirus to 5G,” Full Fact said.

Elsewhere in England, telecoms engineers are facing verbal abuse and threats of violence from people who believe in the sham theories. One video circulating online shows a woman approach two workers laying cable in a London street, and blamed them for killing families.

“We’re all going to be in hospital on breathing apparatus. It’s because of this wire here,” she said.

Speaking at Saturday’s Downing Street press conference, cabinet secretary Michael Gove said these widely-circulated theories were “dangerous nonsense”, while Professor Steve Powis, national medical director of NHS England, condemned them as “the worst kind of fake news”.

“I’m absolutely outraged, absolutely disgusted, that people would be taking action against the very infrastructure that we need to respond to this health emergency,” he said. “It is absolute and utter rubbish.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, which has responsibility for telecoms policy, put out a statement warning people to stop damaging key infrastructure during a national emergency.

“These are baseless theories, there is absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus,” the spokesperson said. “Threats or violence towards any key worker or damage to mobile phone masts will not be tolerated.”

Forbes

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Posted by on Apr 5 2020. Filed under International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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