GOP’s Bid to Dry Up Disease Spread

GOP's Bid to Dry Up Disease Spread

( – It’s impossible to be sure exactly how the coronavirus pandemic got started, but both suspects are located in the Chinese city of Wuhan. One is a biomedical research laboratory; the other is a seafood market a few hundred yards from the lab. China’s live animal markets – so-called “wet markets” – have worried disease experts for years. Now, a Republican congressman has introduced a resolution aimed at achieving a global ban on wet markets – including in the US.


Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced a resolution to Congress on Wednesday calling for a ban on all so-called “wet markets” worldwide.

  • A wet market is a marketplace that sells fresh meat or fish, and often – especially in China and third world countries – live animals. Standards of hygiene are often abysmally low, with animals being slaughtered and butchered close to displays of already cut meat. Meat bought in these markets is often contaminated with blood, urine or feces from a variety of species.
  • Epidemiologists have been worried about these markets for years because of their potential for diseases jumping to other species – including humans.
  • Now Rep. Chabot says enough is enough – the wet markets need to close. This should not be controversial with the world now in the grip of a pandemic that’s already killed at least 144,000 people and infected millions more. However, news reports from China say they’re already reopening their wet markets – including the one in Wuhan believed to be responsible for COVID-19.
  • Wet markets aren’t just a hazard in China, though – they exist in the US, too. It’s estimated there are more than 80 in New York City, selling a huge range of live animals often slaughtered on the premises. Local residents complain about the vile stench of blood, urine and feces that surrounds them. New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal told CNN they’re “filthy places” and “breeding grounds for cruelty and disease.”
  • California also has dozens of wet markets licensed to sell a variety of live animals, including snakes and frogs, for human consumption. State Senator Henry Stern is now pushing a state bill to ban wild animal imports to these markets.
  • A bipartisan movement is taking place to end wet markets around the world. A group of US lawmakers including Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Corey Booker (D-NY), Reps Mike McCaul (R-TX) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) and over 50 others, have written a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) demanding a crackdown – and copied it to the Chinese ambassador.

With so many dead or dying around the world, there’s now huge public support for an end to these disgusting markets. Hopefully, this support will apply enough pressure to make a real difference.

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