Protesters slammed over ‘ridiculous’ virus conspiracy theory

 

Australia's deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth has lashed out at anti-government protesters who gathered on Mother's Day to protest coronavirus restrictions, calling their claims "ridiculous".

A large group of about 100 protesters protested on the steps of Melbourne's Parliament House yesterday, holding placards claiming the coronavirus was a hoax, 5G technology was a danger to public health and chanting for the arrest of billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates.

"I can absolutely set the record straight. Those claims are on the fringe," Dr Coatsworth told Sunrise today. "They are ridiculous. And they have no credibility whatsoever."

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth called the 5G conspiracy ‘ridiculous’. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth called the 5G conspiracy ‘ridiculous’. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP

 

Dr Coatsworth said people should look to informed experts as they navigated their way through the coronavirus pandemic.

"We just need to continue to listen to our health expert panel that has guided us through so far. And we will continue to guide us to winning against COVID-19," he said.

 

Anti-government protests have been growing in popularity around the world as bizarre conspiracy theories gain traction through social media. Yesterday police arrested 10 protesters outside Victorian parliament who were ignoring social distancing directions. Video showed another woman being dramatically arrested for protesting in the Sydney CDB. She was fined.

Conspiracy theories about 5G include the belief that fifth generation mobile phone technology was linked to coronavirus - citing the construction of 5G towers in Wuhan some months before the outbreak of the virus.

A conspiracy regarding 5G towers predates the coronavirus - with followers claiming radiation from the towers was harmful to health.

New conspiracy theories allege radiation from 5G towers "activates" the coronavirus, or weakens the population's immune system, making people more vulnerable to infection. Others believe the pandemic is a false concoction by the government so hundreds of towers can be installed in a "power grab".

Others still believe the pandemic is a dark plot to kill people with 5G in a "population control" experiment involving big business.

Police arrested 10 people in Victoria yesterday during the protests saying they'd ignored public health directives.

Victoria Police said in a statement it "respects the public's right to protest", however "the health and safety of every Victorian needs to be our number one priority at this time".

Originally published as Protesters' 'ridiculous' theory blasted



REVEALED: How Gympie rates Tony Perrett’s performance

Premium Content REVEALED: How Gympie rates Tony Perrett’s performance

The results are in for The Gympie Times’ online poll as the State election looms...

YOUR SAY: How has COVID-19 affected family life in Gympie

Premium Content YOUR SAY: How has COVID-19 affected family life in Gympie

Find out how Gympie residents say the coronavirus has impacted family life, and how...

‘Show some respect’: 8 times Gympie magistrate snapped back

Premium Content ‘Show some respect’: 8 times Gympie magistrate snapped back

Gympie magistrate Chris Callaghan oversees hundreds of matters a year, but not...