TV presenter Eamonn Holmes has been criticised for comments about 5G and the coronavirus.
The presenter of ITV’s This Morning show had said it was “very easy” to dismiss the conspiracy theory that claims a link between the technology and the illness “because it suits the state narrative”.
His words came after another presenter Alice Beer had described the conspiracy theories as “ridiculous” and “incredibly stupid”.
Holmes, 60, had replied: “It’s very easy to say it is not true because it suits the state narrative”.
He added: “I totally agree with everything you are saying but what I don’t accept is mainstream media immediately slapping that down as not true when they don’t know it’s not true.
“No-one should attack or damage or do anything like that but it’s very easy to say it is not true because it suits the state narrative.”
The presenter added: “That’s all I would say, as someone with an inquiring mind.”
Among those who criticised Holmes was Brendan Wren, professor of microbial pathogenesis at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Prof Wren said: “I welcome enquiring minds but this needs to be based on some fact and not pedalled as a conspiracy, as this causes untold damage.”
Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, added: “The world of infectious disease experts, covering a wide range of disciplines, backgrounds, countries and employers are united in that we know how transmission of a virus works.
“Holmes is not known for his scientific expertise and appears to have very little in the way of relevant qualifications, experience or any kind of written track record in peer-reviewed journals.”
Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, dismissed claims that COVID-19 is caused by 5G signals as “complete rubbish”.
He said: “The opinions of the mainstream media or the state hardly come into the debate; numerous doctors and scientists around the world have said that the disease is caused by a virus, something completely different to a mobile phone signal.”
More than 11,000 people with coronavirus have died in UK hospitals, among almost 120,000 deaths worldwide.
Holmes has defended his comments, saying he “didn’t spread” the conspiracy theory, adding: “I reserve the right to listen and question”.
ITV has been approached for comment.