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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called on President Trump Friday to demand that Chinese President Xi Jinping “crack down” on his country’s notorious “wet markets,” where exotic animals are sold, butchered and cooked for human consumption.
Graham told “The Story” on Friday that up to three recent pandemics have originated from animal-to-human transmission in China, and are most likely from the markets.
“Sixteen percent of all deaths in the world are infectious diseases and about 60 percent of them come from animal to human transmission,” Graham said. ” … People eat cats and dogs throughout the world as part of their diet: We need to stop that. It’s the 21st century.”
Host Martha MacCallum also noted the presence of a laboratory that purpotedly researches viruses in bats within 300 yards of the wet market in Wuhan.
“What I would tell President Trump is to call President Xi and say ‘Listen, you just reopened the wet market in Wuhan where we believe this all came from. Crack down on exotic animals in these wet markets where they contaminate the food supply and human beings’,” he said.
Graham continued: “Bats carry [contagions], stop eating bats.”
MacCallum also asked Graham about recent comments by Dr. Michael Ryan, an Irish epidemiologist who is also the executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, in which he stated that people must be careful not to “profile certain types of the world as being uncooperative or not transparent.”
“We need to be balanced in this and we need to recognize that systems under pressure find it hard to share everything on Earth on a minute-to-minute basis,” Ryan said.
Graham called Ryan’s comments “ridiculous” in regard to China, which he said has a “pattern of withholding data from their own citizens.”
“They underreported this,” he said of Xi’s government.