5G’s Rapid Growth Sparked a Conspiracy Theory That Spiraled Amid the Pandemic

Some saw dark intent with its rapid development, and now America could lose the race to adoption

a lysol spray bottom, donald trump, virus particles, wifi bars in circles
Rumors without any scientific evidence circulated online that Covid-19's rapid spread might be linked to an increase in 5G cellphone towers. Gates and Hydroxychloroquine, Getty Images

As popular conspiracy theories around 5G networks and the novel coronavirus prompt activist lawsuits, local government reviews and even rogue vandalism of cellphone towers, a Federal Communications Commission official warned recently that the hysteria could hinder the rollout of service.

This story first appeared in the June 15, 2020, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.
@patrickkulp patrick.kulp@adweek.com Patrick Kulp is an emerging tech reporter at Adweek.