Beatles legend Paul McCartney called in to Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show on April 14, and called for the end of Chinese wet markets, blaming them for their role in the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Bonnie Stiernberg reported for Inside Hook.
McCartney, who is a vegan and longtime supporter of PETA, told Stern that he believed the Chinese wet markets — some of which sell freshly slaughtered animals — were directly responsible for the virus and hoped the current pandemic would inspire Chinese authorities to shut them down.
“I really hope that this will mean the Chinese government says, ‘OK, guys, we have really got to get super hygienic around here.’ Let’s face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats,” he said, as The Hollywood Reporter noted.
The former Beatle, now 77, suggested that his fellow celebrities should also join him in condemning the wet markets, the report said.
“It’s not a stupid idea, it is a very good idea,” he said. “They don’t need all the people dying. And what’s it for? All these medieval practices. They just need to clean up their act. This may lead to it. If this doesn’t, I don’t know what will.”
On top of this criticism, Sir Paul then likened them to nuclear warfare and slavery, the report said.
“They might as well be letting off atomic bombs, because it’s affecting the whole world,” he said. “Whoever is responsible for this is at war with the world and itself … They did slavery forever too, but you have to change things at some point.”
While largely reviled in the West, Chinese wet markets are considered a vital part of the country’s way of life, so McCartney’s comments will likely fall on deaf ears.
“It’s misleading to focus on wet markets when we discuss the outbreak,” Dr. Zhenzhong Si of the University of Waterloo told the publication. “It overshadows the true problem here, which is the supply chain of wild animals. We shouldn’t demonize wet markets because of the coronavirus outbreak.”
The singer told Howard he is currently self isolating in his Sussex home away from his wife Nancy Shevell as she was in New York when the lockdown was put in place.