Scientific paper claims 5G causes COVID-19


Let me begin by pointing out that this supposedly scientific paper that claims that 5G causes COVID-19 is nonsense. It is perhaps the worst paper you will ever encounter in 2020. It has not been published, but did make it through an editorial board and as far as Preprint, and has now been withdrawn.

On PubMed, yes it made it that far, it is this one … WITHDRAWN: 5G Technology and induction of coronavirus in skin cells.

What exactly was in this paper?

Prepare to have your mind completely and utterly blown by some absurd BS.

Via the web archive we can see it in all its glory, and an archive of the full PDF is here.

The claim is this …

  • Your skin cells act like radio antenna and absorb 5G
  • This magically absorbed 5G then magically gets transferred to other cells where Coronaviruses is magically manufactured

Evidence for any of this? (The clue is in my use of the word “magically” above)

None, nothing, they simply assert the claim, and toss in lots of sciency sounding maths and diagrams to make it all look credible.

What do others make of this?

The deepest dive is perhaps the one done by Elisabeth Bik on her blog. Titled “Worst paper of 2020? 5G and Coronavirus induction“. She has come up with some rather jaw-dropping stuff.

Not only is the content of the paper utter BS, and she explains exactly why in detail. There is nothing here that is actually scientific at all, it is simply crackpottery.

Who wrote this?

Now this is where she has some additional revelations. The authors have a well-established track record as nutters who promote incoherent nonsense consisting of wild whacky claims with no evidence at all … ever … (well yes, paint me completely unsurprised)

Fioranelli and Sepehri have published some incoherent papers together before. Of note, they published a paper in which they propose to infect pregnant women with influenza virus as a novel way to reveal the gender of the fetus [PubPeer thread]. In another paper, they claim that water has a memory and that cancer in men or women can be stopped by treatment with cells from the opposite gender [PubPeer].

As for the 3rd author, Elisabeth has some details and then added this gem …

Update July 29: Sylvie Coyaud pointed out to me that Lotti is an established scammer.

Who seriously considered publishing this?

The journal itself withdrew this, but did initially let it though its “editorial board” and deserves a place in the spotlight.

It appears to be a predatory journal, one of those that will publish more or less anything at all, as long as you pay the fee. What is a surprise is that it is indexed by PubMed, and so the real lesson here is that PubMed need to clean up their index.

Elisabeth points out the following regarding the journal …

…On their website, the journal promises that all papers are peer-reviewed, and that submissions are very easy. No registration! No password! No papers to be filled out! Just send the manuscripts to Editor…

…The journal’s website is formatted very strangely. You cannot select text to copy/paste e.g. the title of a paper. Most papers do not have a link to the full text or a PDF…

…The journal’s Editorial Board is not searchable either. It is just a poorly scanned, crooked image of a printed page. Editors are not listed with their affiliations, just with their first initial and country. Some of the Editors appear to be deceased:…

Elisabeth quite rightly concludes …

I hereby urge NCBI to ban this journal from being indexed in PubMed. A journal that is publishing unfounded theories disguised as scientific, peer-reviewed papers, with an editorial board full of deceased people, with no way of selecting text or reading full articles online, and that makes poorly received papers vanish in thin air does not deserve to be included in PubMed.

To that plea, I do indeed add my vote.

One Further Thought

This all very much reminds me of Richard Feynman’s Cargo Cult Science observation …

In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they’ve arranged to imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas—he’s the controller—and they wait for the airplanes to land. They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn’t work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land

Indeed yes, this is exactly what we have here. In looks like science, but scratch and sniff and you very quickly pick up the distinct and rather powerful aroma of bovine waste.

Further Reading

Retraction Watch picked it up.

Daft 5G claims – Tweets

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