As rapidly as COVID-19 spread across the world, so have rumors linking the virus to 5G, causing the City of Trenton, NJ to ban new towers and antennas.
Mayor Reed Gusciora and members of the Trenton legislative body received a letter on April 6, from resident Tahirah Gurley, opposing telecom in the city and citing COVID-19. Gurley’s letter, obtained by The Trentonian, said, “We ask that you impose a moratorium on ‘small cells’ and other wireless infrastructure, permits, process, and deployment until the COVID-19 emergency is over. The wireless providers are using the COVID-19 emergency as cover to expand and cement their rapid and virtually unsupervised deployment of harmful wireless infrastructure.”
According to The Trentonian, councilman Santiago Rodriguez consulted attorney Edward Kologi about Gurley’s request for a ban. “There is clear Federal and State law governing such applications, which must be strictly adhered to by the applicant,” said Kologi. “The City’s ability to take action in this process, even if it were inclined to do so, would be extremely limited, based upon the governing statutes.”
City council members, however, drafted an undated ordinance “banning the construction or installation of towers and antennas in the City of Trenton.” Although the ordinance doesn’t mention 5G or coronavirus, it does say, “Whereas, the Trenton City Council finds that wireless telecommunications facilities and related equipment may pose unique impacts upon the public health, safety and welfare and environment of the City and its inhabitants and may have other adverse impacts, visual and otherwise, upon the community, its character and thus the quality of life in the City.”
The Trentonian reported that Mayor Reed Gusciora was unaware of the citywide ban until he read about it in the newspaper. “The only time I would even consider that is [if] it came from a scientist or someone who had that type of experience,” Gusciora said.
Council President Kathy McBride, however, appears to be drinking the same conspiracy kool-aide that has been circulating on social media and other media outlets, according to the account. The Trentonian published screenshots of McBride’s Facebook page which showed an April 4 post depicting a cell tower worker wearing a hazmat suit. The post caption read, “5g installation guy wearing a f*#%king hazmat radiation suit.” McBride denied seeing Gurley’s letter in an interview with The Trentonian last week. McBride said she “hoped to consult a ‘scientist’ or someone with expertise who could advise the council on public health risks of installing 5G in Trenton.”
City sources told The Trentonian, “the legislative body didn’t hold off until it got professional feedback before taking steps toward pushing for a ban on the telecommunication towers.”