The British morning television presenter Eamonn Holmes recently said on air that the media in the United Kingdom did not know for sure that 5G does not cause Covid-19.
Telecom masts in Great Britain have been the target of several attacks by people as a conspiracy theory claiming that the 5G signal causes Covid-19 has spread across the country. Multiple British media outlets has reported on the story and denied the theories.
‘’What I don’t accept is mainstream media immediately slapping that down as not true when they don’t know it’s not true,’’ Eamonn Holmes said on Monday, April 13 on the morning programme ‘’This Morning’’ which he presents on ITV.
Because of the theories, the British telecommunications company BT experienced 22 of its masts attacked over the Easter holiday whilst Vodafone had had 20 masts attacked according to Reuters.
Claim: Was Eamonn Holmes correct in saying that the British mainstream media did not know that the conspiracy theories regarding 5G and Covid-19 were false, when they reported them as being false?
Are the theories untrue?
A premise for fact-checking Eamonn Holmes’ claim is that the conspiracy theories are untrue.
According to the theories, the symptoms of Covid-19 are caused by electromagnetic radiation and not by a virus. An obvious problem with this theory is that 5G antennas are not present in, for example, Iran, which by April 22 had almost 85,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 according to Johns Hopkins University.
Other theories claim that 5G might suppress the immune system and that viruses can communicate through radio waves. An independent UK fact-checking charity called Full Fact has debunked these theories saying that “there is no evidence that 5G WiFi networks are linked to the new coronavirus’’ also referring to the fact that Covid-19 is present in countries that don’t have 5G antennas.
The new 5G masts do use a higher frequency than the older generations of masts, but the maximum levels of electromagnetic radiation from them are still approximately 66 times lower than the international safety limits meaning that the signals are not dangerous or harmful.
Instead, coronavirus is believed to have been transferred from bats to humans potentially via an intermediate species. Sky News has reported that spike proteins and molecules on the outside of the virus are strong evidence that the virus evolved organically according to scientists.
X-ray images and CT scans also show how Covid-19 patients’ lungs fill with a sticky mucus leaving no space behind for air.
How did the media report?
The day after making his claim, Eamonn Holmes wanted to clarify his comments saying that his intention was to highlight that “many people are rightly concerned and are looking for answers, and that’s simply what I was trying to impart yesterday.”
The attacks on 5G masts have been widely covered by the British media. And now that we know that the theories are untrue, the question then is whether the media knew this when they did their reporting, which Eamonn Holmes claimed that they did not.
On April 14 just past midnight, the tabloid newspaper The Sun published a story about the chief executive of the telecommunications company BT Philip Jansen calling the attacks senseless. As mentioned earlier, the BT company had more than 20 masts attacked during Easter and according to this article, the total number was over 30.
To back the BT boss, The Sun quoted The World Health Organisation (WHO) saying that “Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. Covid-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. Covid-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose.”
The paper also quoted National Medical Director of NHS England Stephen Powis saying that the theories were “utter rubbish.’’
Sky News used the same quotes in an article where they also referred to multiple British professors saying that the theories were wrong. One of them, Brendan Wren, professor of microbial pathogenesis at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that a connection between the masts and the virus would be “both a physical and biological impossibility.”
The Guardian also reported on the case with many articles referring to the theories as false. Like other media, they quote Stephen Powis and refer to Full Fact. In addition to this, they also quote Dr Eric van Rongen, the chair of The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection, saying about 5G, that “the guidelines have been developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops and an extensive public consultation process.’’
Regardless of what Eamonn Holmes says that he actually meant with his claim, there is a lot of evidence that the spread of Covid-19 is not linked to 5G. The British media knew this when they reported about the attacks on the antennas. This fact check has presented some of this evidence, and all of the sources used are either British media or sources that British media have referred to. All of the sources are considered highly creditable and trustworthy.
The media used these sources as evidence that the conspiracy theory was wrong before Eamonn Holmes’ said that they did not know that the theory was wrong. Therefore, his claim is false.