Vodafone CEO Nick Jeffrey has spoken out after arsonists targeted a phone mast serving the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham.
In a LinkedIn post, Jeffrey described the fire starters as "deluded conspiracy theorists" and emphasised the hugely personal consequences of these attacks.
"Burning down masts means damaging important national infrastructure. In practice, this means families not being able to say a final goodbye to their loved ones; hard-working doctors, nurses, and police officers not being able to phone their kids, partners or parents for a comforting chat," he wrote.
"Arsonists, please think about what you are doing and stop. Imagine if it were your mum or dad, your gran or grandad in hospital. Imagine not being able to see or hear them one last time. All because you've swallowed a dangerous lie," he added.
The Birmingham NHS Nightingale Hospital is located in the NEC exhibition centre, best known for its hosting of dreary tech shows. The hospital, which was built in a matter of weeks, is designed to house COVID-19 patients should ordinary medical facilities find themselves unable to cope with demand. Other facilities are operational around the UK.
5G signals won't make men infertile, sighs UK ad watchdog as it bans bonkers scary posterREAD MORE
Vodafone claims that 20 of its masts across the UK have been vandalised in recent weeks. This spate of attacks stems from an unfounded belief that 5G is linked to the spread of COVID-19, either by causing the symptoms of the disease, or by weakening the human immune system to make individuals more susceptible. Neither theory is true.
Viruses are tiny, microscopic, organic entities. We know that the COVID-19 virus has been isolated and identified in laboratory conditions. We also know that it spreads via the droplets of moisture produced when you cough and sneeze. There's simply no way it's being propelled on the momentum of 5G radio waves.
Still, that hasn't stopped 5G-related fearmongering, which has spread across the internet like wildfire and gradually entered the mainstream, amplified by celebrities like Amanda Holden, Woody Harrelson, boxer Amir Khan and John Cusack.
This trend for mast burning has even crossed seas, with four destroyed in the Netherlands. That's a touch ironic, given the country has yet to see the launch of a commercially available 5G service.
As the philosopher Forrest Gump once wisely proclaimed: "Stupid is as stupid does." ®