Healthcare/Biosafety

Does 5G Pose a Threat and Is This Technology Linked to COVID-19?

14 April, 2020

Georgian and foreign media outlets are actively spreading a conspiracy theory claiming 5G technology can spread the coronavirus. The myth supposedly gained traction when a Belgian doctor linked the dangers of 5G technology to COVID-19 during an interview in January 2020.  

Different opinions have already emerged in social networks about 5G allegedly posing a threat to human health as well as its links to COVID-19. On April 7, 2020, a Facebook page “STOP 5G Georgia” was created. As of April 14, the group has more than 5,700 members. The group actively discusses a theory that this technology is harmful to human health and has links to coronavirus. 

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One of the posts published by Facebook page “STOP 5G Georgia” was later reposted by a website siaxleni.com with a headline: “Shortly, this antenna will have so much radiation…no tests will be needed [to clarify] whether we have been infected by Lugar [lab] or not – what a Georgian man writes in social network.” The post was written by Giorgi Metreveli, who claims that due to 5G antennas, it will be possible to identify people infected with COVID-19. He also noted that this frequency is capable to see and control our dreams. 

Other Facebook pages with propagandistic, antiliberal and entertaining content, as well as online editions also write about the links between 5G technology and coronavirus. 

Facebook pages and groups 

Online/print media

STOP  5G Georgia!!! siaxleni.com
კარდჰუ ქართული აზრი
ფოტოები რომლებიც უნდა ნახო მარშალპრესი
Lali Moroshkina ალია
საქართველო უპირველეს ყოვლისა რეპორტიორი
ქართული გვერდი/Georgian Page  
დედაქალაქი  
 
Besides conspiratorial messages, on April 10, an online media outlet qartuli azri.reprtiori.ge published a video manipulation on 5G, about which the Myth Detector wrote on April 6 referring to www.snopes.com. Qartuli Azri posts a video depicting a protest rally in Hong Kong in August 2019, ascribing it to the protests against 5G technology. 

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What do we know about 5G?  

It is worth noting that 5G has been confirmed safe by radiation watchdog. The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has updated its advisory guidelines developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops and an extensive public consultation process. So, the radio frequencies 5G uses in the UK are similar to those that have been used for mobile telephones since 1998. According to expert assessments, there is no scientific evidence to support a link between 5G technology and coronavirus, especially as COVID-19 also spreads in the places where 5G is not yet available. 

A number of online editions have already refuted conspiracy theories about 5G technology and coronavirus. The difference between 5G and previous generations of mobile services (4G, 3G) is that the latter use lower radio frequencies (below the 6 gigahertz range), whereas 5G also uses frequencies in the 30–300 gigahertz range. In the 30-300 gigahertz range, there is not enough energy to break chemical bonds or remove electrons when in contact with human tissue. According to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, even higher levels of human exposure pose no health risks. 

According to Scope, an online journal published by Stanford University School of Medicine, the protein shell of the virus is incapable of hijacking 5G radio signals. This is because radiation and viruses exist in different forms that do not interact. One is a biological phenomenon and the other exists on the electromagnetic spectrum. Thus, 5G radio signals cannot spread the coronavirus. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that there is no evidence to prove that 5G technology causes or intensifies the spread of coronavirus. 

The National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia commented on the issue on April 13, saying that viruses are not transmitted through radio waves/mobile networks and thus, COVID-19 cannot be spread through 5G mobile networks.

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YouTube’s response to disinformation

YouTube has made a decision to delete videos that groundlessly link 5G technology to the spread of COVID-19. The move follows an interview with an American doctor, in which he links low level of the spread of COVID-19 in Africa to the absence of 5G mobile networks there. 


Prepared by Tamar Chkhikvadze
Myth Detector Lab