Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday called for wildlife markets like the one in China that is believed to have sparked the coronavirus pandemic should be shut down “right away.”
“It boggles my mind how when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human animal interface that we don’t just shut it down,” Fauci said in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
Health experts believe that the novel coronavirus emerged out of a so-called wet market in Wuhan, China in November 2019. The SARS outbreak of 2003 also originated from a wet market in China. Farmers at the markets sell live animals, chickens, cats, dogs, ferrets and others, as food or as pets. The poor conditions of the markets and crowded spaces make it easier for viruses to transmit among the different animal species, and sometimes to humans.
Scientists believe that the novel coronavirus transmitted from a bat to another animal, and then to people at the Wuhan market. The 2003 SARS outbreak has also been traced to a wet market in China.
Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House’s coronavirus task force, said he has no authority to direct wet markets to be closed. But he expressed incredulity that some remain open in China and other Asian countries.
“I don’t know what else has to happen to get us to appreciate that, and I think there are certain countries in which this is very common place,” he said.
“I would like to see the rest of the world really lean with a lot of pressure on those countries that have that, because what we’re going through right now is a direct result of that.”