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Does 5G Cause Coronavirus? The Truth Behind This COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory

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Does 5G Cause Coronavirus? The Truth Behind The COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory

With how quickly the coronavirus has spread across the world — and how much we still don't know about it — people are coming up with theories about where it came from. But one of the latest has become particularly harmful, especially since it's not true.

Many people believe that COVID-19 is either being caused or spread by 5G, and this line of thinking has led to some pretty dangerous consequences, especially in the United Kingdom.

But does 5G cause coronavirus? Let's debunk this particular COVID-19 conspiracy theory. 

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People think 5G is making coronavirus spread even faster.

This relatively new conspiracy theory stems from the idea that 5G could be making the spread of coronavirus pick up speed, based on a Facebook post that claimed that Wuhan was the first city to use 5G (and also happened to be the city where the coronavirus began). However, that's not necessarily true; 5G was rolled out in several different areas at the same time, already making the ice this theory stands on pretty thin. At the same time, the since-deleted Facebook post also claimed that coronavirus may be fake to cover up the fact that 5G is actually having harmful impacts on people — yet another theory with no scientific evidence behind it. 

In the UK, people have been burning phone masts.

Those who take this conspiracy theory seriously have reportedly been acting on it in pretty dangerous ways in the UK. People have set fire to phone masts in Birmingham, Liverpool, and Melling, and not only has that damaged the equipment but it's also damaged the infrastructure on which the UK's telecom companies run. Police are currently investigating the situation. 

Some celebrities, like Woody Harrelson, have shared this theory.


A post shared by Woody Harrelson (@woodyharrelson) on Apr 1, 2020 at 11:05am PDT

This conspiracy theory is already getting a lot of attention, especially after Woody Harrelson shared an Instagram post about it last week.

"Alot of my friends have been talking about the negative effects of 5G," he wrote. "My friend camilla [sent] this to me today and though I haven’t fully vetted it I find it very interesting." 

Rapper MIA has also been tweeting about the theory and her own take on it, writing, "I don't think it's related except for timing. The timing is orchestrated by them. Not Us. I don't think 5G gives you COVID19. I think it can confuse or slow the body down in healing process as body is learning to cope with new signals wavelength s frequency etc @ same time as Cov."

The UK has released a statement on the situation. 

In response to the theory and the arson that has resulted from it, UK's telecom companies joined together to release a statement about the situation.

"Sadly, we have experienced cases of vandals setting fire to mobile masts, disrupting critical infrastructure and spreading false information suggesting a connection between 5G and the COVID-19 pandemic," said the statement. "There is no scientific evidence of any link between 5G and coronavirus. Fact. Stopping this is critical to keeping your communities connected. Not only are these claims baseless, they are harmful for the people and businesses that rely on the continuity of our services. They have also led to the abuse of our engineers and, in some cases, prevented essential network maintenance taking place." 

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YouTube is now removing videos related to the theory from the site.

In a statement of their own, YouTube said they're committed to keeping dangerous theories about COVID-19 off of their platform.

"We have clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment, and we quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us," the statement said.

So does 5G cause coronavirus? This theory is untrue. 

There's no evidence behind this particular theory that would lend any credibility to it, so you can feel safe continuing to use 5G networks and devices. Right now, the best way to avoid coronavirus is by staying home and practicing good hygiene, and rest assured that using your phone while self-isolating won't increase your chances of contracting the virus. 

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.