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Australia Parliament Debunks 5G COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2020, photo, mobile network phone masts are visible in front of St Paul's Cathedral in London.
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2020, photo, mobile network phone masts are visible in front of St Paul's Cathedral in London.

An Australian parliamentary report has debunked a conspiracy theory linking COVID-19 to 5G technology. Anti-lockdown protesters in Australia and beyond have claimed a connection between the new coronavirus and the rollout of the mobile communications standard.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought disparate groups of conspiracy theorists together. Some believe the disease was deliberately spread around the world to force vaccines on to the population as a form of control. Others assert that a Harvard University professor was arrested for creating and selling the coronavirus to China. Still others insist that 5G technology is the true cause of COVID-19. It was a view that was reportedly first promoted in a social media video in March and has been shared widely on the internet.

However, linking the new coronavirus to radio waves simply is not true, according to a report by an Australian parliamentary communications committee. It found that 5G technology was safe. E-communications experts said linking COVID-19 to radio waves “has no basis in science” and is “biologically and physically impossible.” This is a view shared by the World Health Organization and other authorities. They have found that 5G radiation can’t penetrate skin or allow a virus to penetrate skin.

In Australia, New South Wales state health officials have asserted that COVID-19 was not spread through mobile networks or wireless technology but through infected droplets from coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.

Australia’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, has also dismissed a link between 5G networks and the disease.

“There is unfortunately a lot of very silly misinformation out there,” Murphy said. “There is absolutely no evidence about 5G doing anything in the coronavirus space. I have unfortunately received a lot of communication from these conspiracy theorists myself. It is complete nonsense. 5G has got nothing at all to do with coronavirus.”

Academics say that fake news and misinformation seem to be spreading as fast and as far as the virus itself. Uncertainty and fear breed confusion, and, as one expert said, “conspiracy theories offer an emotionally satisfying narrative” if even they are not true.

There have been small protests in Australia by groups angry at lockdown measures, and at the government’s coronavirus mobile phone tracing app. Demonstrators in Melbourne also sought to link an outbreak of the virus at a meat plant to a nearby telephone tower.

Efforts are being made to sort the truth from the misinformation. YouTube has said it will do more to remove content linking 5G technology to COVID-19.