Unfortunately, there's little chance you need a reminder of any kind that conspiracy theories of all varieties of fucked-upness have persisted amid the COVID-19 era. Maybe we're due for an intensive breakdown of each and every one of them, complete with theory-specific variations of "this is fucking silly and here's why." Just kidding—let's focus instead on arguably the biggest offender: the 5G theory.
The topic was already broached last month when Keri Hilson and others were among the public figures sharing misleading or downright false information about the slow but sure process of implementing 5G (i.e. the fifth generation of wireless communications tech for cellular data networks) around the world. Often citing mere timing as a smoking gun of sorts, conspiracy theorists started to connect 5G tower builds (and the respective dismantling of older towers used for previous G's) to the rise of the novel coronavirus. As has already been covered, that's a big nope.
Still, these "theories" are persisting. And as GQ's Alex Shultz pointed out in a handy explainer this week, there's actually a trio of 5G-related theories floating about:
- 5G directly causes COVID-19, or at least symptoms. You will often see the phrase “biological weapon” used by this sector of conspiracists, as they believe it’s all part of a “global depopulation” effort in connection with a “New World Order.”
- 5G weakens one's immune system thanks to radiation, with theorists arguing that this leaves people more open to contracting COVID-19. As pointed out in the explainer, this sector of theorists often utilize maps of the U.S. in an effort to link 5G-capable cities with higher COVID-19 numbers.
- 5G isn't connected to COVID-19 (This part's true! yay!) but is being covered by news outlets from the coronavirus conspiracy angle so as to undermine anyone whose non-coronavirus complaints about 5G are purportedly legit. In short, this theory argues it's all a campaign of distraction.
Despite the massive NOPE energy wafting from these theories, they're still getting traction due in part to their amplification by misguided public figures. Per BuzzFeed's Ryan Broderick, false claims specifically stating the virus constituted a biological weapon started circulating in January, approximately. As we've seen, that theory ultimately collided with the separate and years-long 5G conspiracy theory centered on baseless claims that the technology had dire health consequences.
M.I.A., John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Tyrese, Teddy Riley, and the aforementioned Keri Hilson—unfortunately—have all expressed support of varying levels of these theories.
So many people don’t know....... Not into conspiracy theories but have you guys heard about the government cover up? And the effects that this new 5G network is having on our health??? Can we talk about this guys.? Have you seen the videos online of 100+ birds that have died by falling OUT of the sky wherever they fly near or above these new 5G towers??? In the comments please let’s speak on this real shit- [ supposedly while we’re all locked down with strict STAY HOME orders they are swiftly installing millions of 5G towers in this country....... Headaches anyone? You hear about to 7 kids in ONE SCHOOL who got cancer and they discovered that the 5G towers were the cause????? [ the parents are all suing look it up on YouTube ] I don’t lie - let’s see if @cnn of @msnbc or any news outlet will address this real shit.....
A post shared by TYRESE (@tyrese) on Apr 8, 2020 at 7:57pm PDT
Riley, meanwhile, recently told Charlamagne tha God that he believes people are "being bamboozled" into believing things that are not true.
"You know, it's really about this New World Order that they're trying to put in with these 5G connections," Riley said, prompting Charlamagne to state that he'll still be staying inside, regardless of any such theorizing.
But enough conspiracy shenanigans for today. Instead, keep yourself healthy by following social distancing guidelines and learning the "Toosie Slide."