This is the moment bungling 5G conspiracy theorists set fire to a mobile mast after believing new technology sparked coronavirus without realising it was a 4G tower.
The mast in Solihull, West Midlands, was set alight on Wednesday and seen blazing in the street.
West Midland firefighters raced to the scene to tackle the burning Vodafone tower. CCTV footage captured the arson and the authorities are now investigating.
There is no scientific evidence that 5G technology poses any threat to human health and it was confirmed as safe by the radiation watchdog last month.
But conspiracy theory that is circulating argues that elites are using the masts in order to weaken the immune systems of people so that they are more susceptible to getting coronavirus.
Pictured: The view from the street after people set fire to a 4G mast in Solihull, West Midlands
Pictured: The remains of the 4G mast after the bungled attack in Solihull, West Midlands
Believers point to the fact that masts went up in the same year that Covid-19 originated in Wuhan, China, but don’t account for the fact that Iran, which has been disastrously affected by the virus, has no masts.
Brendan Wren, professor of microbial pathogenesis, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said a connection between the phone masts and the virus would be ‘both a physical and biological impossibility’.
Last week, West Midlands Fire Service said eight firefighters attended an incident involving a 70ft tower on a telecommunications site in the Sparkhill area of Birmingham, although the cause of the fire was not determined.
Fire crews were called to a blaze at a phone mast in Aintree, Merseyside, on Friday night but a spokeswoman for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said there were ‘no signs of foul play’ so an investigation into its cause was not launched.
The mast had been featured in a video shared on social media the previous weekend by someone who claimed to be measuring radiation from it.
Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove said the theories spreading from various social media groups and profiles were ‘just nonsense, dangerous nonsense as well.’
Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said: ‘Conspiracy theorists are a public health danger who once read a Facebook page.
‘Here, we also see similar groups of people keen to show their ignorance on a topic where they have no helpful expertise, nor any inclination to post useful public health messages.’
The world health organisation has branded the spread of disinformation about COVID-19 on social media platforms as an ‘infodemic’.
On 5G generally the World Health Organisation said: ”A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk.
‘To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.’
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden blasts David Icke’s ‘lunatic conspiracy theories’ about coronavirus during TV interview – as Ofcom launches urgent probe into network
By Rory Tingle for MailOnline
In the interview, Icke aired unsubstantiated theories about the virus and suggested mandatory vaccination would be ‘fascism’.
In the interview, Icke aired unsubstantiated theories about the virus and suggested mandatory vaccination would be ‘fascism’
Mr Dowden said: ‘You are absolutely right, these are lunatic conspiracy theories and no sensible person would give them a moment’s thought.’
‘Clearly that station is regulated by Ofcom and I would be expecting Ofcom to take appropriate action.
‘Clearly they’re independent (Ofcom), but I will be in touch with them to understand what action they are taking with respects to that.’
In the interview, conspiracy theorist Icke shared his unsubstantiated views on the causes behind the outbreak of Covid-19.
He added that mandatory vaccination for the virus would be ‘fascism’.
Icke said on Twitter yesterday night that a video of him discussing the virus, which he claimed had been viewed four million times, was ‘banned’ from YouTube.
Oliver Dowden (pictured on Monday) told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he would be contacting the media watchdog to find out what it plans to do about his comments on London Live
In the video, he reportedly said that there is a link between 5G mobile technology and coronavirus.
The theory has been discredited by experts.
Professor Brendan Wren, professor of microbial pathogenesis at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said a connection between the technology and the virus would be ‘both a physical and biological impossibility’.
A YouTube spokeswoman said in a statement that the platform is seeking to reduce ‘the spread of harmful misinformation’.
She added: ‘We have clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment, and we quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us.
‘Now any content that disputes the existence or transmission of Covid-19, as described by the World Health Organisation and local health authorities is in violation of YouTube policies.’
Icke has previously been invited onto chatshows by broadcasters including the BBC and ITV to discuss some of his other conspiracy theories.
The former footballer and sports commentator’s other conspiracy theories include his claim that the world is run by reptiles and the royal family are lizards.
London Live and Ofcom have been contacted for comment.