Ron DeSantis asked one terrifying question about AT&T’s mobile phone outage that every American should consider

Feb 23, 2024

Widespread cell service outages impacted countless AT&T customers across the United States on Thursday.

Over 70,000 AT&T outages were reported before 8 a.m. ET.

And Ron DeSantis asked one terrifying question about AT&T’s mobile phone outage that every American should consider.

Tens of thousands of Americans woke up on Thursday to discover a massive nationwide outage had hit AT&T, as well as a few areas of the Verizon and T-Mobile cell networks.

The outages left customers without access to the internet and no way to reach 911 emergency services.

“Over 32,000 AT&T outages were reported by customers at about 4 a.m. ET on Thursday,” NBC reported. “Reports dipped then spiked again to more than 50,000 around 7 a.m., with most issues reported in Houston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Atlanta, according to the site.”

AT&T acknowledged the issue in a statement.

“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning,” AT&T wrote in the statement. “We are working urgently to restore service to them,” the statement continued. “We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored.”

In Atlanta, the city’s entire 911 system went down during the outage, but a backup online version was still available for residents with access to the internet.

“Atlanta’s e-911 is able to receive inbound and make outbound calls,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said. “We have received calls from AT&T customers.”

AT&T technicians have made progress in restoring many of the downed networks.

“Our network teams took immediate action and so far three-quarters of our network has been restored,” AT&T said in a statement. “We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers.”

At the time of the writing of this article, it remains a mystery as to what exactly caused the network outage.

But Florida Governor Ron DeSantis used the cell phone outage to highlight a terrifying threat facing the country.

DeSantis mentioned the possibility of someone detonating an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon above the United States.

“Imagine if we had an EMP attack what would end up happening in this country,” DeSantis said. “So, it’s not necessarily a good thought because you think you’re just so naturally reliant on having cell service.”

“If you’re in the car, you need to figure out where you’re going to go, all this other stuff,” he continued. “So, it’s a little bit jarring to think about the implications of something like that (if it) happened on a much grander scale.”

Senator Marco Rubio also mentioned the EMP scenario.

“I don’t know the cause of the AT&T outage,” he wrote on X. “But I do know it will be 100 times worse when #China launches a cyber-attack on America on the eve of a #Taiwan invasion,” he continued. “And it won’t be just cell service they hit, it will be your power, your water and your bank.”

An EMP would disable virtually every electronic device in America and make them unusable. 

And DeSantis believes Americans should consider this scenario as part of their emergency planning.

DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.


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