The Miseducation of America

An expose on the major omissions of fact from the New York Times July 16, 2019 article on 5G by William J. Broad.

When William J. Broad, a Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times science writer, mangles information on the dangers of 5G, this plays into the hands of those determined to advance this never-tested technology without serious examination of its long-term impact on human health and the environment. Until now, scientific evidence that the wireless foundation of 5G poses major hazards to migrating animals — from insects to mammals — and can undermine human health has remained under the public radar and largely unaddressed.

Swamped by the pressures generated from billions of dollars of public subsidies undergirding the infrastructure necessary for the 5G system to work, the science has been effectively ignored — particularly by those responsible for ensuring that our political and corporate classes maintain the public trust — namely, reporters.

The recent headline of The New York Times trumpeted 5G as the “health hazard that isn’t.” Not so fast. A close examination of claims in that article undeniably reveals that it is time for a reset on the march to the latest wireless technology. he consequences could not be more monumental.

Do we need 5G? That depends on who we are asking. Of course, the value of getting faster speeds and shorter latencies is vital for military, national security, medical, and industrial purposes. But for the rest of us, it comes down to a question of how much we value the capacity to download a movie to our phones in a few seconds or to connect our baby’s diapers, household lighting, coffee pots, and washing machines.

Setting aside the values of such utilities, there is another way to achieve the outcomes of 5G without compromising our health — and that of the entire planet and our capacity to predict weather or navigate on the high seas — should 20,000-plus satellites be launched to beam back signals to support the 5G infrastructure. We can simply insist on hard-wiring the dense, complex, fiber-optic cable that is the backbone to 5G. Rather than wirelessly beam-forming thousands of signals to and from every device, make 5G wired to and through major facilities that require it.

To do otherwise, to insist on beaming untested signals directly into schools and bedrooms, appears unwise to growing numbers of scientists and policymakers around the world who advise taking steps to limit proliferation until more information can be provided about 5G’s environmental impacts. Indeed, the question of 5G’s unintended consequences currently sits before the United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, which is reviewing our historic legal action against the Federal Communications Commission for not updating their 1996 wireless radiation “safety” limits.

Aside from the health and economic issues associated with 5G’s expansion, former FCC Chair Tom Wheeler, wrote in the New York Times of mounting cybersecurity concerns relating to the deployment plans for 5G. “If 5G is so important, why isn’t it secure?” he asked.

That remains the question of the day.

Building the next generation of technology and protecting it from hostile actors can best be done through a secured wired system — much as banks require today.

Why not reboot the entire issue? Promoting wired 5G installations will require training and recruitment of underemployed (think coal miners) to produce and install cable and will protect our national security in ways that make it much harder to disrupt our systems.

As Congressional Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier have urged, it is critically important for us to engage in a serious re-examination of how to produce a safe and effective 5G network before the currently proposed wireless system gets built.

The errors in William J. Broad’s piece — outlined below — are important in their own right because they unfortunately bespeak a fundamental failure to understand the gravity of the threats currently before this nation.

Despite the fact that Theodora Scarato repeatedly wrote William J Broad and his editors with corrections on several of his articles, they refused to correct the articles. Thankfully, Professor Tom Butler of University College Cork filed a complaint with the Office of the Press Ombudsman for the Press Council of Ireland regarding the New York Times articles which ran in the Irish Times and in February 2020, the Press Ombudsman concluded that the Broad story violated the truth and accuracy code of practice of the Press Council of Ireland. Microwave News featured the inaccuracies in “A Fact-Free Hit on a 5G Critic Fabricating History on the New York Times Science Desk” and investigative reporter Barbara Koeppel details the New York Times financial ties to industry in “Wireless Hazards” published in the Washington Spectator.

Factcheck Report Issued by Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President of Environmental Health Trust and Theodora Scarato, MSW, Executive Director, Environmental Health Trust.

Here are the top 10 misconceptions included in Broad’s New York Times article:

  1. Contrary to Broad’s claim, Dr. Curry’s report and graph on wireless radiation risks to children in schools in 2000 are not the central foundation for scientific concerns regarding wireless radiation. As Lewis Slesin reports.

2. In contradiction to Broad’s assertion, Curry’s graph showing greater absorption with higher frequency of wireless radiation up to 3G is correct and directly applicable to schools.

  • Curry’s graph showing brain tissue absorption of RF came directly from laboratory research commissioned by the U.S. Air Force and was not a manipulation of data as Broad claims.

3. The New York Times graph on 5G frequencies is wrong because it incorrectly indicates that 5G devices will start at 3000 MHz (3 GHz), when in fact companies have stated that 5G will use the same frequencies as current cell phones — as low as 600MHz, in addition to higher frequencies.

  • The wireless industry is clear that for 5G phones, routers and systems to work, they must use a full range of frequencies, from low to middle to high, as well as higher millimeter wave frequencies never used in mass scale before (from 600 MHz up to around 50,000 MHz and higher into Terahertz for 6G). T-Mobile, for example, will use 600 MHz.

4. Broad errs in reporting the assertion of radiation physicists that radio waves become “safer” at higher frequencies because human skin purportedly “acts as a barrier.” Fact: The skin does not act as a mirror deflecting radiation.

  • 5G’s faster mm wave frequencies between 30 and 300 GHz are absorbed into and just below the surface of the skin. Such exposure is biologically impactful. That is why the U.S. Defense Department developed weapons with high-powered millimeter waves (as seen here). The Active Denial System (ADS), also known as the Pain-Ray, was deployed to Afghanistan, tested in prisons, and considered as a pirate deterrent in Somalia.

5. Contrary to what The New York Times article asserts, studies find that as RF frequency increases past 10 GHz, the intensity of the rate of absorption can also increase.

  • Researchers investigating the impact to the skin from 5G’s higher millimeter frequencies are “raising the warning flag” on the safety of 5G after finding that human sweat ducts absorb these frequencies at much higher rates than in surrounding skin structures. These sweat ducts act as tiny helical EMF antennas to magnify these signals.

6. Contrary to The New York Times’ statement that “mainstream scientists continue to see no evidence of harm from cell phone radio waves,” more than 240 experts in the field of bioelectromagnetics have asked the United Nations to call for a moratorium on 5G.

  • These scientists note that while exposures have risen many fold, so have studies showing damage to human health and the environment.

7. Broad neglected to mention industry connections of several of his sources.

“In a May 2019 Times story, “Your 5g phone wont hurt you. But Russia wants you to think so,” the journalist William Broad quoted Marvin Ziskin, a Temple University professor of radiology, who claimed, “5G emissions, if anything, should be safer [emphasis added] than previous generations’ exposure of the body’s internal organs.” But Ziskin’s papers, many co-authored by Kenneth Foster, a professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, are funded by the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Mobile & Wireless Forum, or MWF, a trade group whose members include Apple, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony. As industry favorites, Foster and Ziskin were invited to chair MWF’s 2016 workshop sessions in Belgium, and Foster gave the keynote address.”

8. Broad cites the lack of a marked uptick in brain cancer rates as proof of RF safety. This misunderstands the long latencies for brain cancer and also fails to consider that several other cancers plausibly tied with cellphone use are increasing in young adults.

  • Cancers do not occur immediately after exposure to a causative agent and usually take years to several decades to be diagnosed. Widespread rises are not expected to be evident in today’s statistics.

9. Broad’s article fails to report on a number of major policy efforts to restrict 5G due to concerns about the lack of safety data, including the following developments:

  • The European Environmental Authority ranked the impact of 5G as “high” due to “the possibility of unintended biological consequences.”

In 2020, the New Hampshire Commission on 5G Health and Environment issued their final report to the Governor with 15 recommendations which include: support an independent study of 5G health effects; reduce public exposure to cell phones, wireless devices and replace Wi-Fi with wired- non wireless networks- in schools and libraries; ensure cell network infrastructure antenna setbacks from schools and homes; measure levels of cell network radiation; establish wireless radiation limits to protect trees and insects; establish more sophisticated measurement protocols to include high data rates; require software changes to reduce radiation exposure into the body; establish wireless radiation-free zones; and call on the US Federal Communications Commission to do an environmental assessment on the impact of 5G and wireless infrastructure expansion.

10. Broad refuses to correct the inaccuracies of his articles and the Times persists in demeaning critics and concerned citizens.

  • Despite ample documentation of the need for corrections, editors at The New York Times refuse to correct their misleading and deceptive articles about 5G and cellphone radiation.

Should the Times and its science reporter want to take public concerns and scientists’ warnings seriously, it would recognize that science is built on developing new information over time and making adjustments to hypotheses along the way. As an investigative journalist — a watchdog for the public — it is a shame that Broad fails to question the motives of his sources and undermines the case for precaution in managing the public health. The absence of definitive proof of harm should not be misconstrued as evidence of safety.

The 5G Health Hazard That Isn’t” 7/16/19 July 16, 2019

Curry PhD, Report on Wi-Fi in Schools, February 24, 2000

Curry PhD, Report on Wi-Fi in Schools, September 29, 2000

Devra Lee Davis, PhD MPH President of Environmental Health Trust ehtrust.org, Visiting Professor of Medicine at The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School

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