Since the beginning of the pandemic, various attempts to connect COVID-19 with 5G technology have circulated across social media. We’ve fact-checked several of these false claims.
Another iteration of these problematic assertions resurfaced in the form of a paper published on Sept. 29, 2021, in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Research.
“Their analysis revealed a clear overlap between the effects of wireless communication technologies on the human body and the symptomatology of COVID-19 disease,” a blog post on the paper said. “In other words, the electromagnetic radiation from wireless technologies, including and especially 5G, can cause the same symptoms as COVID-19!”
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5G, or the fifth generation of cellular networks, refers to a new standard for the internet that promises higher internet connection speeds and quality. Concerns about 5G and wireless technologies stem from exposure to the radio frequencies that allow these technologies to work.
The authors of the paper, however, cherry pick studies that support their claim, and acknowledge that their findings do not prove a link between 5G and COVID-19 symptoms. The paper also underwent a biased peer review process conducted by vocal anti-5G advocates.
What do we know about 5G and health?
Longstanding fears about wireless technology and its potential health risks are difficult to quell, in part because research is still ongoing. The World Health Organization, which has been investigating the potential health impacts of radio frequency exposure since 1996, states that there is no proven causal link between adverse health effects and wireless technologies.
“It’s important for people to realize that the ultraviolet waves from the sun are many thousand times higher frequency than 5G,” said Theodore Rappaport, a professor of electrical engineering and radiology at New York University, in an interview with USA Today. “People should be more concerned about wearing sunscreen outside than using their 5G cell phones.”
As for 5G’s effect on COVID-19 infections, the World Health Organization and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, which evaluates the health risks of radiation exposure from devices like cell phones, both have issued statements dispelling this false link.
The study in question
The authors of the study are an adjunct professor in the mind-body medicine department at Saybrook University and a radiologist not currently affiliated with an academic institution. They proposed a hypothesis that exposure to “wireless communications radiation,” including 5G, may have increased the severity of COVID-19 infections.
To prove their theory, the authors compared select studies on the biological effects of wireless communication radiation exposure with studies on COVID-19 disease progression. They claim that observed symptoms shared by the two conditions — such as blood clotting, inflammation and irregular heart rate — imply a potential link between them.
However, the authors of the paper state outright that “none of the observations discussed here prove this linkage.” They go on to say, “Specifically, the evidence does not confirm causation. Clearly COVID-19 occurs in …….