Conspiracy theories spark attacks on 5G masts in Britain, Netherlands

Amsterdam/London (dpa) - Coronavirus-inspired conspiracy theories have sparked dozens of attacks on telephone network masts in Britain and the Netherlands, with the perpetrators apparently believing 5G transmissions are the cause of the disease.

In the Netherlands there have been 16 attacks in recent weeks. At the weekend two masts in Amsterdam caught fire. In Britain, 20 masts belonging to telecommunications giant Vodafone have been set alight, the firm's chief in Britain Nick Jeffery said.
"There is absolutely no link between 5G and the coronavirus," Jeffery wrote last week on careers platform LinkedIn. "There is no science-based evidence 5G is harmful to human health."
Experts say the theory that 5G masts are responsible for the pandemic is "total madness," while British cabinet minister Michael Gove called it "dangerous nonsense."
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned of the consequences of destroying masts. "It's life-threatening. Because it directly affects emergency calls," he said.
Vodafone's Jeffrey said that one of the British masts attacked provided mobile service to a hospital in the central English town of Birmingham.
"It's heart-rending enough that families cannot be there at the bedside of loved ones who are critically ill," he said. "It's even more upsetting that even the small solace of a phone or video call may now be denied them because of the selfish actions of a few deluded conspiracy theorists."
Mobile phone networks are essential in the fight against the pandemic, according to National Health Service England director Stephen Powis.
"I'm absolutely outraged and disgusted that people would be taking action against the infrastructure we need to tackle this emergency," he said.


Monday, April 20th 2020

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