What?! Bloomberg Op-Ed Calls for China to Reopen Infamous Wet Markets

In what could only be called the most bizarre of takes, Bloomberg’s David Fickling is lauding China for reopening the infamous wet markets from which the coronavirus is thought to have originated from.

The piece, titled ‘China is Reopening its Wet Markets. That’s Good,’ argues that the wet markets offer ‘clean, fresh produce’ and a valid alternative to traditional grocery and food stores.

Political figures from across the world have been calling for China to finally meaningfully ban the markets. A wet food market in Wuhan is suspected as the place of origin for the Chinese coronavirus. Many scientists believe that a virus common to bats was passed to a pangolin(an anteater-like creature) and adapted to a form that made it transmissible to humans.

Fickling argues that the exotic wildlife trade represents only a small share of commerce at the infamous wet markets, where live animals from vastly differing categories of the animal kingdom are kept in close proximity and slaughtered for human consumption.

Fickling makes an utterly reaching claim that China’s wet food markets are concisely analogous to western farmer’s markets. When have you ever seen animals like bats or pangolins for sale- let alone offered live- at your local farmer’s market?

He claims that only a “small minority” of wet food markets offer exotic animals such as bats as pangolins. But it appears that it only took a single interaction between the two animals for an extant virus to adapt to a new form that made it not only transmissible to humans, but poised to create the greatest international health pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu.

The opinion piece largely appears to be a reactionary elitist dismissal of the populist demands for China to eliminate a scientifically veritably dangerous biological threat to mankind. We can’t merely take the risk that these markets are going to clean up their act, considering that the next epidemic to emerge from the dangerous markets could prove to be even more lethal than the Wuhan coronavirus.