Coronavirus conspiracy theory linking pandemic to 5G technology sparks cell tower fires

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On Friday, May 1, police in Laval, Quebec, received a call that a cellular tower was on fire.

One week later, provincial police arrested a couple in their 20s in connection with seven similar fires, all targeting cell towers. And they’re now investigating whether the accused might have been motivated by a conspiracy theory linking 5G technology to COVID-19.

“There are a lot of possible explanations that are being thrown around as to how the 5G piece could be meshed with the COVID-19 piece — like two puzzle pieces that don’t really fit together, but you’re trying to smush them together,” said Jonathan Jarry, a biological scientist at McGill University.

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One of the first to suggest the link between 5G and COVID-19 was Belgian doctor Kris Van Kerckhoven, in a January interview with a local newspaper.

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Within 24 hours of publishing, the paper removed the story from its website. But the spark of the conspiracy had been lit.

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“24 hours is like a year when it comes to social media,” said Jason Kindrachuk,



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