A quarter of young adults across the UK believe covid symptoms are caused by the 5G communications network, a survey has found.
Research by King’s College London revealed the extent of public misconceptions about the coronavirus pandemic despite a massive information campaign led by the NHS, Scottish and UK Governments.
It found that one in six (17%) UK adults agree it is true the symptoms that most people blame on coronavirus appear to be linked to 5G network radiation.
This rises to one in four among those aged 18 to 34.
Conspiracy theories linking 5G with Covid-19 went viral during lockdown as people spent more time on social media.
Major health organisations have repeatedly said that 5G is safe and that there’s no link between it and coronavirus.
Videos were shared from Birmingham and Merseyside in 2020 which showed mobile phone masts set on fire by conspiracy theorists.
Scientists say the idea of a connection between Covid-19 and 5G is “complete rubbish” and biologically impossible.
The King’s survey also found that a third of the UK public also agreed the government is exaggerating the number of deaths from coronavirus – but a majority (54%) say this is false.
Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, said: “Despite the pandemic lasting much longer than many anticipated, this has not been enough time to convince everyone of certain established facts about Covid-19 and the response to the virus.
“Across both the UK and other European countries included in this study, there is a stubborn minority who still question not only the scientific consensus on vaccine safety but also government reporting of Covid deaths, while around one in six still believe the debunked conspiracy theory of a link between 5G and coronavirus.
“Building trust in expertise, so that people are able to recognise and accept reliable information, is crucial during a public health crisis and should be a priority for policymakers and scientists if we’re to better deal with the threats of the future.”
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