BT boss reveals 39 engineers attacked and 33 masts damaged over 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories – The Sun
SOME 39 BT engineers have been physically or verbally attacked by yobs who believe 5G network causes coronavirus.
BT chief executive Philip Jansen spoke out about the problem in a bid to protect his staff from further attacks and stop the spread of the conspiracy theory.
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Mr Jansen, who is recovering from mild symptoms of coronavirus, said it was a situation he had “never imagined” that his staff would be under threat from people who wrongly thought the new 5G network could trigger Covid-19 symptoms or suppress the immune system.
He wrote in the Mail on Sunday: “11 of our mobile masts have been destroyed or damaged through arson – and 33 across all operators in the UK so far.
“That may not sound a lot, but if the site that provides coverage to your house gets burned down, it matters.
“Everything about this is senseless. There’s no thought for the validity of the theories – many openly contradict themselves; all ignore the very basic principles of science.”
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Some believe that coronavirus does not exist, and it is a cover up for problems caused by 5G.
Mr Jansen added: “Most of the sites attacked don’t even carry 5G.
“This week, we’ve seen telephone poles wrapped in barbed wire to stop our engineers doing their job.
“Those poles carry fixed phone lines, they’re nothing to do with mobile. It’s hard to know where to begin to use science, logic or reason to debunk something so devoid of reality.”
OUT OF LINE
“Most people seem to be getting their theories from YouTube, Whatsapp, or private groups on Facebook,” he added.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has spoken out about the false theories, saying: “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 theory originated last month after a video filmed at a US health conference claimed Africa was not as affected by the disease because it is "not a 5G region".
Vandals then set masts in Birmingham, Liverpool and Merseyside on fire.
A spokesperson from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said last week: "We have received several reports of criminal damage to phone masts and abuse of telecoms engineers apparently inspired by crackpot conspiracy theories circulating online.
"Those responsible for criminal acts will face the full force of the law.
"We must also see social media companies acting responsibly and taking much swifter action to stop nonsense spreading on their platforms, which encourages such acts."
National Medical Director of NHS England Stephen Powis has previously said: "[It's] complete and utter rubbish and the worst kind of fake news.
"The reality is that the mobile phone networks are absolutely critical to all of us particularly at a time we are asking everybody to stay home.
"I am absolutely disgusted that people would be taking action against the very infrastructure we need to respond to this health emergency.
"It is absolute and utter rubbish and I cannot condemn it in stronger terms than that."
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