Conspiracy theorists fear Emergency Alert System test will turn the vaccinated into ‘zombies’

The test might also be in preparation for global nuclear war, according to Glenn Beck

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 05 October 2023 05:56 BST
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FEMA to test emergency alert system on phones today

Conservative conspiracy theorists are apparently convinced that an upcoming emergency broadcast is going to turn everyone with a Covid-19 vaccine into zombies.

FEMA's national Emergency Alert System — recognisable by the startling beep heard on the radio or television prior to an announcement — will test its delivery capabilities on Wednesday at approximately 2.20pm est. The test will include both the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

While the EAS will be broadcast to radios and televisions, the WEA will be sent to mobile phone users bearing the text “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

Despite the fact that the emergency broadcasts are intended to keep Americans safe and informed, there is something unsettling when a mundane moment is upended by an EAS beep. There's a moment of anticipation that hangs in the air — will it be announcing a thunderstorm, or have the Russians finally decided to invade?

Thankfully, conspiracy-minded Americans will spare us that anticipation, as they insist they know the answer; the vaccinated will become zombies.

According to a few "theories" floating around on social media, the EAS system will supposedly trigger something in the Covid-19 vaccines — maybe "nanoparticles" according to one believer — to nefarious ends. Many of the posts and videos spreading fear about the call claim it will activate graphene oxide in the Covid-19 vaccine. The only problem being that graphene oxide is not in the Covid-19 vaccines.

The "what" of the conspiracy is what seems to be most in discussion. Some have theorised that it will awaken a dormant Marbug virus in the vaccinated, leaving them to suffer with Ebola like symptoms before it "sadly turn[s] some of them into zombies."

Like any good post-2020 conspiracy theory, the EAS conspiracies incorporate a bunch of other popular theories to maximize its potential adoption.

The same woman who predicted zombies were coming noted that the EAS test would be conducted using "5G," which — along with the Covid-19 vaccine — has long served as a boogeyman in conspiracy circles.

Some users have suggested wrapping their phones in tin foil — a conspiracy classic — or hiding them in microwaves or faraday cages ahead of the test. One Reddit user even claimed his landlord sent out a complex-wide message informing his tenants that he planned to shut power off to the entire building for three hours in the middle of a work day to protect against any adverse effects.

In right-wing media personality Glenn Beck's world, the call actually won't interact with the Covid-19 vaccines at all, but instead suggests that global nuclear war is imminent.

"FEMA is conducting a nationwide emergency alert system test on Wednesday. Russia is also conducting emergency tests this week to prepare for nuclear blasts," Mr Beck said. "That’s JUST a coincidence though, right? Nothing to worry about, right???"

What Mr Beck failed to mention is that federal law mandates the EAS must be tested once every three years. The last test was on 11 August, 2021, so the test seems unlikely to be a novel event that was cooked up in response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

Jeremy Edwards, the press secretary for FEMA, spoke with The Dispatch Fact Check, assuring the public that this year's event would not end with hordes of undead roaming the streets.

“The sole purpose of the test is to ensure that the systems continue to be an effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level," he said. “FEMA is not aware of any adverse health effects caused by the audio signal."

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