Former Beatles frontman Sir Paul McCartney has branded Chinese wet markets ‘medieval’ in light of the coronavirus pandemic and called for them to be banned.
Sir Paul slammed the Chinese government for allowing the food markets to continue, saying, ‘they might as well be letting off atomic bombs’.
The animal rights activist was speaking to American radio personality Howard Stern, on Sirius XM, this week.
The conversation centered around reports the deadly virus may have originated at a wet market in Wuhan, China.
‘They might as well be letting off atomic bombs because it’s affecting the whole world,’ he told American radio personality Howard Stern, on Sirius XM, this week
Sir Paul, 77, is currently self-isolating at his home in Sussex with daughter Mary and her family.
His wife Nancy Shevell is doing the same in New York.
Speaking to Stern this week, Sir Paul told the flamboyant radio host, ‘whoever is responsible for this is at war with the world and itself,’ according to a Mirror Online report.
‘They might as well be letting off atomic bombs because it’s affecting the whole world,’ he added.
Stern said it was ‘mind-boggling’ the Chinese government has not shut down the markets.
According to the Mirror, Sir Paul said he hoped this will mean ‘the Chinese government says, ”OK guys, we have really got to get super hygienic around here”.’
Sir Paul also said: ‘Let’s face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats.’
The majority of the stalls at Wuhan’s biggest wet market Baishazhou have resumed business after the lockdown was lifted from the former epicentre.
State media footage shows vendors selling live crayfish at the huge market, which occupies 116 acres.
More than 3,600 shops are now back in business at Baishazhou, one of the city’s main food wholesale markets.
Officials have banned the trading of live wild animals or livestock to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Signs for various beef, pork and poultry products are displayed at stalls as chest refrigerators stand at the Baishazhou wet market in Wuhan on April 6. More than 90 per cent of the stalls in the market have reportedly reopened after the lockdown was lifted from Wuhan last week
A report by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV shows live crayfish being sold at Baishazhou
During the conversation with Stern, The Beatles singer declared China doesn’t ‘need all the people dying’, adding: ‘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,’ according to the Mirror Online.
When challenged that banning wet markets would be difficult for China to implement, Sir Paul said: ‘I understand that part of it is going to be: people have done it for ever, this is the way we do things.
‘They did slavery forever too, but you have to change things at some point,’ according to the report.
‘It wouldn’t be so bad if this is the only thing it seems like you can blame on those wet markets.
He added: ‘It seems like SARS, avian flu, all sorts of other stuff that has afflicted us… and what’s it for?
Sir Paul reiterated to Stern: ‘For these quite medieval practices. They need to clean up their act.’
He also discussed with Stern the idea of celebrities campaigning for wet markets to be closed.
Sir Paul McCartney and wife Nancy Shevell (pictured) are each self-isolating from one another
Talk then turned to The Beatles frontman planning an appearance at Glastonbury 2020, now cancelled due to the pandemic.
‘What’s disappointing for me is the people who bought tickets, who were looking forward to this and thinking here’s something groovy to do in the summer, and suddenly the plug is pulled, and we can’t come around and play for them,’ he said.
‘It’s sad for us, too – we were looking forward to that.’