'Right up there with Flat Earth': Football pundit Lineker pans conspiracy theory linking 5G technology to coronavirus pandemic
Gary Lineker isn't usually one to keep his opinions to himself on Twitter and the Match of the Day host has kept up that tradition as he shouted down a coronavirus conspiracy theory linking the pandemic to to the roll-out of 5G.
A subculture has formed online in recent months by internet sleuths who claim that the novel coronavirus, which has forced more than a billion people across the planet into lockdown, isn't actually a spontaneously formed virus but rather a side-effect of the introduction of the fifth generation of wireless communication technology - better known as 5G.
Several theories have been given oxygen on the underbelly of the web suggesting that the symptoms of Covid-19 are actually the results of a form of poisoning related to 5G, a stance which has been rubbished by some scientists as being "complete rubbish" and "biologically impossible."Also on rt.com ‘The worst kind of fake news’: UK government blasts 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories
The theorists, meanwhile, claim that 5G can impact one's immune system and make a person more susceptible to illness while others maintain that the virus can somehow be passed along via radio waves.
"The idea that 5G lowers your immune system doesn't stand up to scrutiny," Dr. Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, said.
"Your immune system can be dipped by all sorts of thing - by being tired one day, or not having a good diet. Those fluctuations aren't huge but can make you more susceptible to catching viruses.
"Radio waves can disrupt your physiology as they heat you up, meaning your immune system can't function. But [the energy levels from] 5G radio waves are tiny and they are nowhere near strong enough to affect the immune system. There have been lots of studies on this."Also on rt.com 'It's man-made to test 5G': Boxer Khan spreads coronavirus conspiracy claims, suggests pandemic could be 'population control' plot
The idea that a virus can be passed from person to person by radio waves was further rubbished by boffins.
"The present epidemic is caused by a virus that is passed from one infected person to another. We know this is true. We even have the virus growing in our lab, obtained from a person with the illness. Viruses and electromagnetic waves that make mobile phones and internet connections work are different things. As different as chalk and cheese," said Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol.
Despite evidence to the contrary, social media has provided something of a soapbox for all sorts of contrasting views and opinions - but one person who seems to have had enough is former England striker Gary Lineker, who compared the conspiracy theory to the (also scientifically disproven) theory of 'Flat Earth'.
This 5G conspiracy theory nonsense is right up there with Flat Earth bonkersness.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 5, 2020
Incredibly, mobile technology providers in the United Kingdom reported several incidents in recent days of their masts being attacked by 5G conspiracy theorists, with fires reported at masts in Birmingham and Liverpool. Vodafone has said they intend to prosecute those responsible to the "full force of the law."