Fact Check: 5G Technology NOT Believed To Have Caused Coronavirus

Fact Check

  • by: Ryan Cooper
Fact Check: 5G Technology NOT Believed To Have Caused Coronavirus False Info!

Did 5G, the fifth-generation wireless technology, cause the novel coronavirus? No, that's not true: These bizarre assertions go against everything we know about how viruses are spread. A viral video making the rounds confuses historical events, while ignoring others, to make a sweeping claim that is not backed up by evidence.

The claim appeared in a post published on YouTube by Parents For Healthcare Rights on March 12, 2020, titled "Coronavirus Caused By 5G?" (archived here). It opened:

Dr. Thomas Cowan, M.D. hypothesizes that Coronavirus may be history repeating itself and caused by 5G. Shot at the Health And Human Rights Summit in Tucson, Arizona on March 12, 2020. Camera, sound and editing by Joshua Coleman.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Coronavirus Caused By 5G?

Dr. Thomas Cowan, M.D. hypothesizes that Coronavirus may be history repeating itself and caused by 5G. Shot at the Health And Human Rights Summit in Tucson, Arizona on March 12, 2020. Camera, sound and editing by Joshua Coleman.

The video is also being shared on Facebook, where it has generated about 6,000 views as of March 18, 2020.

It features Dr. Thomas Cowan, M.D., who is a holistic physician based in San Francisco. In it, the medical doctor is trying to pin the novel coronavirus - and its subsequent spread around the world - on 5G wireless technology.

Towards the end of the video, Cowan said:

There has been a dramatic and quantum leap in the last six months with the electrification of the earth. And I'm sure a lot of you know what that is. It's called 5G, where they now have 20,000 radiation emitting satellites just like the radiation emitting thing in your pocket and on your wrist and that you use all the time. That is not compatible with health.

In an article for PCMag titled, "No, 5G Is Not Causing Coronavirus (Or Anything Else)," author Sascha Segan debunked what he called this "completely insane video." He observed:

COVID-19 is spreading in places that do not have 5G. Japan, one of the virus hotspots, does not currently have 5G. Iran, another major hotspot, does not have 5G. Malaysia, another hotspot, does not have 5G. And so on. There is no correlation between increased spread and the presence of 5G. Italy has 5G and the virus went wild; Iran does not, and the virus went wild.

Earlier in the video, Cowan tried to tie historical pandemics to electrification milestones. He said:

Every pandemic in the last 150 years, there was a quantum leap in the electrification of the earth. In 1918, late fall of 1917, there was the introduction of radio waves around the world. Whenever you expose any biological system to a new electromagnetic field, you poison it, you kill some, and the rest go into a kind of suspended animation so that, interestingly, they live a little bit longer and sicker.

In doing so, Cowan attempted to link radio waves to the 1918 influenza pandemic, also known as the "Spanish flu." However, he incorrectly identified the year for the introduction of radio waves. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the discovery dates back to 1885.

Also, Cowan's version of history ignores other, more deadly pandemics, including Justinian's plague (540-590), which is believed to have killed as many as 100 million people. He also has no explanation for the Black Death, which is blamed for about 25 million deaths in Europe (1347-1351). Both of these historical events happened well before electrification.

To be sure, he said he was referencing the last 150 years. But his theory conveniently ignores far more deadly pandemics that occurred before the discovery of power. He also wrongly identified the timeline for radio waves, and he offered no explanation for the spread of the novel coronavirus in countries that do not have 5G technology.

There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the novel coronavirus. Here are some other fact checks by Lead Stories:

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  Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Read more about or contact Ryan Cooper

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