39 engineers from BT have been physically or verbally assaulted by 5G conspiracists
There is no evidence to support the idea that there is a link to 5G technology and the COVID-19 virus, but that has not stopped a number of 5G conspiracists from burning, damaging or sabotaging cell sites in the U.K. and the Netherlands. BT’s Chief Executive Philip Jansen wrote in the Mail on Sunday to explain that these acts, as well as the verbal and physical attacks aimed at the operator’s engineers, are downright appalling.
“11 of our mobile masts have been destroyed or damaged through arson — and 33 across all operators in the UK so far,” he wrote. “That may not sound a lot, but if the site that provides coverage to your house gets burned down, it matters.”
Further, employees are now at risk. Jansen said that this past week, the operator has seen telephone poles wrapped in barbed wires, putting those workers at risk, and in other cases, some employees have even faced death threats.
‘Everything about this is senseless,” said Jansen. “Most of the sites attacked don’t even carry 5G.”
A few days after the publication of his letter, Jansen aimed his frustrations more directly at the celebrities, like Woody Harrelson and TV star Amanda Holden, who are perpetuating the unfounded theory that 5G somehow causes or worsens COVID-19, and at the “idiots” who follow along.
He stated that celebrities need to be very careful about the information they choose to share.
“People listen to them and will do so even more in such uncertain times,” he said. “Spreading misinformation about 5G is potentially very damaging, is causing real issues for my people and has to stop.”
Holden recently deleted her 5G tweet, claiming she shared it accidentally.
Jansen pointed out that telecom engineers are vital frontline workers in the battle against coronavirus and keeping society connected in a time when most people must stay physically apart.
He explained that his “incredible” 30,000 workers are on the job night and day, managing emergency phone lines and serving networks like allow thousands of people to work, study and entertain themselves while they self-isolate at home.
Some of them have even been re-staffed to emergency operations in which BT call centers take the initial call and divert them to the relevant emergency service.
“It can be very stressful work, dealing with people who are dying,” he said.
The carrier has also collaborated with technology companies to develop a project called LifeLine, which allows COVID-19 patients to talk to loved ones while in the ICU via a bedside screen, as well has a system that allows GPs to make virtual diagnoses.
The scale of attacks on BT staff and infrastructure — there have been 42 reported incidents across the U.K. so far — has left many, Jansen included, utterly stunned.
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