Can EMF Make Us More Susceptible to Coronavirus Infection?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance

  • While unproven, one current theory is that electromagnetic field radiation — and the addition of 5G in particular — could be having an impact on the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Dr. Arthur Firstenberg’s book, “The Invisible Rainbow,” catalogues epidemiological evidence showing that as electrification of the world was implemented, throughout the course of history, viral pandemics ensued
  • Poor immune function and ill health combined with environmental stressors such as heightened EMF exposure might create a perfect storm where the virus has an easy way to get into the body and can reproduce faster
  • “The Invisible Rainbow” builds a case for the theory that increases in EMFs, natural or man-made, might make us more susceptible or sensitive to viral illnesses. If natural EMF exposures have the ability to influence our biology, man-made exposures might have an exponential impact
  • Many of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 have recently implemented 5G, which might render residents more prone to serious infection by lowering their immune function


This is an older article that may not reflect Dr. Mercola’s current view on this topic. Use our search engine to find Dr. Mercola’s latest position on any health topic.

In this interview, Brian Hoyer — one of the primary consultants for my latest book, "EMF*D" — discusses how electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation may be impacting the COVID-19 epidemic and your infection risk. Many have raised questions about whether there is a connection between 5G and this pandemic.

In some ways, the connection between COVID-19 and 5G is a moot issue. In other ways, it's not. Either way, it's tangential to what you need to do now to protect yourself and your family from here on out. At the time of this interview, which took place March 31, 2020, a vast majority of those who have died from COVID-19 were elderly.

Those who died in China and Italy under the age of 50 have generally been encumbered with obesity, diabetes and hypertension, with insulin resistance being the common denominator. Very few under the age of 19 are affected.

That said, the infection appears to be more aggressive than influenza in older individuals, and the illness lasts longer than the regular flu. So, there's enhanced virulence to this virus for some reason we yet do not understand. While unproven, one current theory is that EMF radiation — and the addition of 5G in particular — could be having an impact.

Electrification and Global Illness

Hoyer cites data from Dr. Arthur Firstenberg's book, "The Invisible Rainbow,"1 in which he catalogued epidemiological evidence showing that as electrification of the world was implemented, throughout the course of history, viral pandemics ensued.

"The big one in there that's been cited on the internet about possible connection to 5G is, if you go back to 1918 when the Spanish flu went around the world, that was when the first radio telegraphs were more widely used.

You see the Spanish flu popping up all over the world, but [not] in a way [that would suggest] we are passing it from person to person, but [it popped up on] one side of the world to the other side of the world very quickly.

Today, we wouldn't know if that's happening because we travel so frequently. And there are theories out there about how viruses actually transmit from person to person … That said, what we have is probably the unhealthiest population in the history of mankind … as far as chronic conditions … We also have more sterility …

But we also have more practices of separation and decontamination, and all of those things are better than ever before. So why is this virus spreading so rapidly?

I believe it has to be the terrain of the individual and also environmental stressors that are creating this perfect storm where a virus has an easy way to get into the body and can actually reproduce on the cellular level inside of the human body. Which is really how viruses work. It's not the same as bacteria. I think a lot of people have that false sense that a virus is just a smaller version of a bacteria."

Viral Pandemics Coincide With Increases in EMF Exposure

In his book, Firstenberg brings up this concept that there is a connection between EMF and influenza. And, this connection existed far before the advent and introduction of man-made EMFs, which probably happened in very small quantities in the late 18th century.

But, he also describes something called the maunder minimum, which lasted from 1645 to 1715. Essentially, this was a period of time when the sun was very quiet and had very few or no sun spots.

Then, in 1727, the number of sun spots increased to over 100 for the first time in over a century. Now, I know this is ancient history, but it's important to understand that because in 1728, influenza arrived in waves over the entire planet and it was the first flu pandemic in almost 150 years.

So, this is the first hint, at least historically, that there might be a connection between EMF and viral illness because, in the solar flare, you're going to have increased radiation. The next major pandemic was in 1889, and the interesting part of this, which Hoyer mentioned, is that this infection was established pretty much everywhere all at once.

We obviously did not have transcontinental flights the way we did in the current COVID-19 disease. It appears to have emerged in Wuhan City, China, where, incidentally, 5G had recently been rolled out, but millions of people traveled in and out of that area and on to other parts of the world.

Well, the 1889 epidemic took place at a time when we didn't have the ability to travel very fast or far. Yet, the pandemic emerged very rapidly in widely scattered regions around the world. Interestingly, in 1889, we saw the emergence of what Firstenberg calls power line harmonics. According to Firstenberg, that changed the Earth's magnetic field, ushering in the 1889 influenza pandemic.

Next, there was the Spanish flu of 1918, which also spread far more rapidly than it could or should have were it spread through travel. In 1918, radio was the emerging technology. Firstenberg's revised edition also mentions 5G technology.

In summary, his book builds a case for the theory that increases in EMFs, natural or man-made, might make us more susceptible or sensitive to viral illnesses. If natural EMF exposures have the ability to influence our biology, it's not so hard to imagine that man-made exposures might have an exponential impact. Hoyer adds:

"Things are happening now that have never happened before. We [have] a lot of people who are electrosensitive. One of the things they report is that … they feel sick during lightning storms with influenza-type symptoms. Flashes of lightning create a radio frequency. It's called microwave sickness in the literature.

A lot of people call it electromagnetic hypersensitivity or electrosensitivity, but in a lot of the literature, you have to look up microwave sickness … Then you'll find these references to when storms come, when solar flares are active, people are getting more and more symptoms.

Depression is a huge thing that happens when there's more solar radiation and also during a full moon even. So, there's a lot of natural electromagnetic radiation that happens. Most of that is gradual, but with the radio frequency (RF) lightning pulses, those are definitely a pulsed phenomenon … I think it's in the kilohertz range. But it varies … it's never the same frequency, it's always different.

You'll actually hear it when the lightning goes off and if you have a really sensitive meter, when you turn on and off light switches, you can hear the arcing and there's an RF that transmits out from that arcing that happens … Solar flares … can affect all types of electronics and can cause electromagnetic interference, and that is technically in the kilohertz to megahertz range."

We Don't Know What We Haven't Studied

A significant problem with man-made EMFs is that they're pulsed. We are also surrounded by RF radiation, both analog RF signals from radio stations and pulsed RF signals.

"A lot of times I wonder, 'What would a real study look like if you have the 50 Hz to 60 Hz modulation and the RF and everything?' Usually, in these studies, they're just testing one thing in a controlled environment.

They're never testing the entire soup that we're constantly bathed in as human beings. We're the big experiment here and they're just testing one thing at a time in this Western medicine type of fashion," Hoyer notes.

With regard to COVID-19, underlying health conditions clearly appear to play a role. However, we don't know whether the use of certain drugs might have a bearing on the severity of the disease and its outcome.

For example, while French doctors say they've noticed a pattern that patients given ibuprofen fared worse than those given acetaminophen, their findings have been largely ignored simply because there are no studies to prove it.

When did clinical findings become useless? If anything, clinical suspicions should be rapidly considered and acted upon during an active pandemic when time is of the essence. At this time, we really need to listen to the medical professionals in the field who are treating patients.

Link Between 5G Implementation and COVID-19 Hotspots?

During a March 12, 2020, lecture at the Health and Human Rights Summit in Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Thomas Cowan likely stunned the audience by bringing up a potential connection between 5G and COVID-19.

By and large, many of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 have recently implemented 5G which, at least theoretically, might render residents more prone to serious infection by lowering their immune function.

Cowan also presents the theory that COVID-19 and other influenza epidemics are not transmitted from person to person but, rather, are the result of cellular toxicity, including but not limited to EMF-induced cellular toxicity.

To be clear, I'm not saying 5G spreads the infection or is a vector of infection. But by lowering your natural immune defenses and causing chronic inflammation, it is likely impairing your innate immune system's ability to fight off the coronavirus. Naturally, this increased susceptibility to illness would apply to all disease, both acute and chronic, and would not be limited to COVID-19.

Exaggerated EMF exposure may well be a hidden variable that could be contributing to the reason why so many people get sick in particular areas. Intense EMF exposure could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back, meaning the factor that breaks the immune system.

"[Cowan] is a top-notch doctor, he's on the cutting edge," Hoyer says. "In that video, he talks about Wuhan as one of the testing grounds for 5G, where 5G was first implemented in China. And what's interesting about Italy … is that Milan — the Lombardi area of Italy where two-thirds of the cases are — is considered the 5G capital of the European Union according to Vodafone, which is the big 5G carrier out there …

If you go on Vodafone's website, you can see the 5G map, and it's sprinkled throughout all Milan and Lombardi, that province up there. So that is definitely a more concentrated area. On top of that, you have all of the older population in Italy, and people that are likely fully buying into the Western medicine and are on [multiple] medications — those sorts of things.

The way that all of those medications are interacting, combined with the 5G stress and the electromagnetic stress, I think it's no wonder everyone's immune system is suppressed and they're so susceptible. It's the terrain that's the problem, the environmental stress.

We can actually kind of control that ourselves. Getting off of our phones and working to shield our environment will help to strengthen our immune system. Then taking some … supplements can take to help boost your immune system …

So, there's 5G in Milan, in Wuhan, and New York City is one of the highest, most intense [5G] areas I've seen, and Seattle … But 5G doesn't matter so much to me. It's about the intensity of the EMF. New York was basically as intense as a 5G area already, before 5G was implemented, in my opinion. It maxes out all of our meters wherever I go. There are hidden antennas everywhere in New York City.

[Seattle] has a lot of hills in the city, and right on Queen Anne, there are two huge radio towers with probably 100 antennas on them, just blasting the whole city. We've had assessments there where we've maxed out [our meters], and even shielded rooms upstairs and it still maxed out.

So, we have to do a complete covering of the floor, the ceiling and the walls, and be really strict about how we're doing the shielding over the windows so that everything is sealed almost perfectly, like a true perfect Faraday cage. In most homes we don't have to do an absolutely perfect Faraday cage, with all the electrical connections and no gaps whatsoever. We can still dial it down to where the levels are low enough.

But in places where it's really intense, we have to use different strategies in order to make it so that there's absolutely no gaps … The exponential pressure of all that EMF radiation that can leak in through a tiny hole is really important in those more saturated areas …

Some people watching this will be like, 'Oh, EMF is the cause of everything.' That's not what I'm saying at all. But it definitely weakens our immune systems. Martin Pall's research shows one mechanism for how that happens and … we know how electric the body is.

I mean, the heart communicates with the brain through an electromagnetic pulse, that's been proven with the HeartMath studies … You can [find] fascinating articles on there about how we physiologically depend on different voltage changes in order for our body to function optimally.

Just to think that there are people out there that believe this environment we've created does not affect us — it's insane when you start to read some of these studies about how our body uses voltage to heal and to function."

How to Protect Yourself Now

I've published a series of suggestions on how to minimize your risk of COVID-19, including the use of sauna, nebulized hydrogen peroxide, vitamin C, ozone, melatonin and other nutraceuticals.

My favorite supplement of all, which I believe is particularly useful at this time, is molecular hydrogen tablets. The tablets are made of metallic magnesium, which when placed in water dissociates into magnesium ions, not a salt like magnesium oxide or magnesium threonate.

It's just simple pure magnesium, which doesn't have a laxative effect, and molecular hydrogen gas — both of which are extraordinarily useful for mitigating the negative effects and impacts of EMF.

I think almost everyone would benefit from them. The beautiful thing about molecular hydrogen is that it's a selective antioxidant. Unlike most traditional antioxidants that indiscriminately reduce most free radicals, molecular hydrogen merely helps activate endogenous antioxidants to reduce the damage from the NRLP3 inflammasome activation.

The magnesium, meanwhile, acts as a calcium channel blocker, which helps mitigate the damage from the EMF exposure. So, it helps in many different ways. I think it's one of the best strategies during this epidemic.

I recommend taking two tablets in water once a day (twice if you have heavy exposure either to COVID-19 or EMFs). Ideally, you want to pulse your intake, as consuming it regularly doesn't seem to work as well. You need to pulse it to get the benefit because there needs to be a change in the concentration in your system.

As for lowering your EMF exposure, you can download a free chapter from my book, "EMF*D" that summarizes most of the major recommendations. I also review the most important considerations in "The No. 1 Thing to Do to Protect Yourself From EMFs."

Hoyer is also working on videos demonstrating how to use shielded paint and other remediation strategies, so keep an eye out for those on his website,

"Many are at home right now. You have time to do this. Our company stocked up on shielding paint before [the COVID-19 pandemic] so we don't have to import it anymore. It would be a good time to take on a [remediation] project. Beyond that, things you can do right now is get off your cellphone. Your cellphone is a walking cellphone tower. I always have mine on airplane mode …"

Be Mindful of Symptoms of EMF Sensitivity

The most important area to shield is your bedroom, as that is where you spend your nights — the time when your body is going through its most valuable regeneration and healing processes. Sleeping in an EMF-free environment can go a long way toward avoiding electrosensitivity, which by the way tends to come on very rapidly, in many cases seemingly "overnight."

Common symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity include ringing in the ears, a feeling of burning or prickling in the skin, headache, heart palpitations and inexplicable anxiety, for example. Once you're electrosensitive, additional and more extensive remediation strategies may become necessary.

Again, it may not be 5G per se that breaks down the immune system, but rather that the total EMF burden simply exceeds the tolerable threshold of many individuals.

"It involves a lot of detox of different heavy metals [and chemicals]," Hoyer explains. "There's a chemical load, there's heavy metal load. There's all types of stressors that we need to reduce to make a person less electrosensitive. We're getting more and more sensitive as a species and eventually we'll hit a tipping point — perhaps once you add a virus that we've never had exposure to before …

You have to wonder, is this the tipping point? Not necessarily 5G? Is this virus and even 4G the tipping point? I wonder about that. I know 5G is adding more saturation of these frequencies, but we really need to get to a point where we understand that, at least in the bedroom, we need to be shielded. If you're still reacting to things, you have to do more work."

On 5G Frequencies

As explained by Hoyer, EMF shielding materials are capable of blocking about 99% of the harmful frequencies we're exposed to, but not the lower frequencies associated with the Schumann resonance, which are associated with healing. He also points out that:

"A lot of people equate 5G with millimeter waves (MMW). That's absolutely not the case in my opinion. I've tested … frequencies all the way up to 23.5 gigahertz (GHz) with 3G and 4G as back haul transmitters. Satellite TV is 12 to 18 GH.

The 5G frequencies they're going to be using, or are using in some areas, are point-to-point communication right now … it's laser pointed. I had a meter that measured MMWs and I took it to Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.

I didn't detect anything in Austin where 5G was live. In Los Angeles, there were some neighborhoods where I barely detected something, but I had to point my receiver directly at the antenna to get it. If I was even a centimeter off, I would not detect it.

So [5G antennas] are like laser pointed frequencies from what I can tell with the testing that I did. And most of the 5G frequencies we're being exposed to are going to be below 6 GHz. That's what's going to be communicating with our devices if you choose to get a 5G device, which I would recommend not to do …

We have much more saturation, like in Houston, there's 3.5 GHz on every telephone pole. That's a higher frequency than 2.4 so it's faster. Five GHz on your router is faster. Some people report more symptoms from 5 GHz router versus 2.4 GHz and vice versa. It seems to be frequency dependent.

What's interesting is the lower the frequency, down to 50 or 60 megahertz (MHz), the more it resonates with the human body. The size of the human body you're getting in around 60 to 80 MHz range is about 6 foot. That's what your body will resonate with.

On any meter where I measure this, I measure it with a real-time spectrum analyzer. You can actually see the rise and you're using your body as an antenna much more from about 60 MHz all the way up to around 900 MHz, sometimes in up to 1500 MHz you can still see this antenna effect on the body.

But the higher frequencies don't resonate as much with the conductance of the skin. So, your skin does provide a slight Faraday cage against the higher frequencies, but these lower frequencies definitely penetrate, including T-Mobile's 600 MHz 5G frequency, which goes further and can penetrate deeper into tissue and through forests and everything."

What Will 42,000 Satellites Do to the Earth?

SpaceX, which currently has about 400 low-Earth orbiting satellites, has obtained permission to put 42,000 satellites into orbit in order to provide the whole world with 5G coverage. The exact ramifications of this saturation remain to be seen, but I'm not particularly optimistic. Hoyer comments:

"SpaceX has about 400 satellites up. That was the number Elon Musk wanted to start … testing the network. That could turn on at any time. So those of us out there who are electrosensitive are paying attention and reading the news on that.

Amazon … Facebook [and] companies in the U.K. and Canada also have petitions to put up satellites, so it's not just SpaceX … But SpaceX is looking at doing 42,000 satellites. They just got approved by the government for 1 million antennas on the ground, to work with the satellites. That is what I'm much more concerned about than the stuff beaming down from above, because they're closer …

I think a lot of people are very concerned. I almost see this apocalyptic look on people's faces when we talk about the Starlink and the satellites … like we're not going to be protected at all. It's just going to be everywhere.

Well, I think that's true, but even the satellite dishes that we have for television and cable, you have to have a dish that collects that signal and concentrates it up. So, they're actually pretty weak signals coming from above. It's not like they're completely blasting you with a laser beam down.

But like I was saying, the 1 million antennas on the ground, that's what I'm much more concerned about. And then the devices that we and our neighbors have, those are very concerning. If you have a metal roof, that's going to protect you somewhat from a lot of the different frequencies that are beaming down … I'm much more concerned about the stuff that's way closer to us."

Compassion for Each Other Is Paramount

As noted by Hoyer, we need to have more compassion in general for those who are immune compromised. Clearly, they need to be protected from SARS-CoV-2. But they also need to be protected from wireless frequencies and EMF exposure, and few give this a single thought.

"Many of these older people grew up in an environment where they didn't have nearly as much EMF exposure. There's still some of these older people who grew up in places that didn't even have electricity.

So, just thinking about the irony of that whole thing gives me this sense of wanting to have more compassion for our fellow man, and also the tragedy of the social distancing that we have as well. I would love to have a solution to remedy that, but I'm just going to keep trucking on and doing what I do best and help people."


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