In January 2020 a French conspiracy website called Les Moutons Enragés, (“The Enraged Sheep”) posted an article titled “First noticed correlation between 5G and a viral or bacterial mutation?!” (“Première corrélation repérée entre la 5G et une Mutation Virale ou Bactérienne ?!”) in which it was suggested that 5G technology is related to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The website’s “About” page (“À propos des articles du blog”), writes: “We can guarantee verified and verifiable information, but we also offer certain articles which are intended to provoke controversy, the confrontation of ideas and articles which can change one’s mind, whether in one direction or the other!”(“Nous avons garanti une info vérifiée et vérifiable, mais nous proposons également certains articles ayant pour but de provoquer la polémique, l’affrontement des idées et des articles permettant de faire évoluer les esprits, que cela soit dans un sens comme dans l’autre!”)
The website was among the first to suggest a connection between Wuhan installing 5G towers and the following Coronavirus pandemic. And three months later, conspiracy theorists were already burning 5G towers in Europe while claiming that they were linked to the virus.
A U.S. official familiar with the issue also stated that “During the covid-19 pandemic, Western Europe has seen increasing attacks against equipment and workers, and these attacks are plots to damage 5G towers often linked to unsupported theories alleging a link between 5G and the virus.”
However, the situation appears to have escalated since then, with new conspiracy theories appearing that claim that the coronavirus vaccines contain 5G mind control chips which are injected into the population, as well as enterprising individuals quick to take advantage of the confusion by marketing products that claim to protect the user from the 5G frequency. Such products include anti-5G underpants, router “cages” and even USB sticks.
“False and unverified claims related to the negative health effects of 5G technology aren’t new, but we’ve observed a convergence of conspiracy theories related to coronavirus and 5G,” stated Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab. “More importantly, we’ve seen increased amplification of these conspiracy theories by figures with significant audience reach at a critical moment when people are constantly looking for the latest information about the ongoing public health crisis.”
For example, in May last year, conspiracy theorists have managed to sell a “5GBioShield” USB stick that promises to protect people from “disturbing frequencies” by using a “wearable holographic nano-layer catalyser”. The USB is being sold on the website for a “modest” price ranging between $340 and $400 while in reality, the 128MB stick costs no more than $6, with the only notable difference being the circular sticker glued to the device.
“We’re not 5G quantum experts but said sticker looks remarkably like one available in sheets from stationery suppliers for less than a penny each,” confirmed Ken Munro, founder of Pen Test Partners, a company that dismantles consumer electronics to detect security vulnerabilities.
Then again, a recent post tweeted by software engineer Mario Fusco, which fueled conspiracy theories and went viral in countries such as Italy and Romania, shows a diagram that claims to be a 5G chip contained by the coronavirus vaccine.
“Here in Italy people started to share this figure claiming that this is the diagram of the 5G chip that has been inserted in the covid vaccine,” he wrote on Twitter on 28 December 2020.
In reality, the attached image contains two blueprints that show the plans for a guitar pedal circuit, the Boss Metal Zone MT-2 guitar pedal to be exact, which would definitely explain the words “MT-2 Gain”, “Treble”, “Footswitch”, and “Bass” written in red in the diagram, as well as the supposed “5G frequency”. One of the reasons for the conspiracy theorists’ certainty seems to be based on some extremely evident image editing that has added “Covid 5G Chip Diagram” and “Confidential” to the diagram.
Fusco went on to jokingly explain that “it is the electric circuit of a guitar pedal and I believe that putting it in the covid vaccine has been an excellent idea.”
“There is no scientific basis for the theory that 5G might compromise the immune system and thus enable people to get sick from Covid-19,” wrote Eric Van Rongen, of the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection in an email for Wahington Post.