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GOP Rep. Steve Chabot introduced a resolution Wednesday that would urge all nations around the globe to permanently close live wildlife markets, also known as “wet markets,” which are thought to be linked to the source of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The resolution, titled “the Live Wildlife Market Resolution,” also called on the Chinese Communist Party to “cease spreading disinformation regarding the origins of the coronavirus.”
BOOKER, GRAHAM CALL ON WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION TO SHUT DOWN ‘WET MARKETS’ AROUND THE WORLD AMID CORONAVIRUS
“An unsanitary live wildlife market in Wuhan, China, launched the coronavirus pandemic,” Chabot said in a statement.
Chabot also said the resolution “shines a light on the gross inhumanity animals suffer at these markets.”
“Clarifying these links will help us to better understand and prevent future pandemics together,” Chabot said. “Further, facts matter, and the CCP’s deliberate obfuscation of the origin of COVID-19 matters. We cannot meaningfully call for the closure of live wildlife markets unless we are first willing to fight through the wall of CCP disinformation to affirm the basic fact that such a market (in addition to CCP incompetence) launched the coronavirus pandemic.”
He added: “Unfortunately, the CCP’s information warfare cannot be separated from this public health and animal welfare crisis.”
The resolution, introduced by Chabot and supported by several members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, states that animals are subject to inhumane treatment at live wildlife markets, as well as through exotic pet trade and other wildlife trafficking, including in the U.S; and calls for all nations to permanently close the wet markets around the world.
“We applaud Rep. Steve Chabot for his tremendous work to shutter the ghastly wet markets that continue to serve as incubators for plagues like COVID-19,” Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, told Fox News. “The pandemic we are faced with today has clearly proven that live animal markets filled with bats, pangolins and other exotic creatures must be eradicated not only for the well-being of animals, but for the safety and security of the human race and world economy.”
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Wet markets have become controversial amid the pandemic. In a letter to the World Health Organization last week, Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., Mike McCaul, R-Texas, and more than 50 other lawmakers called for a global shutdown of the markets, saying they “are believed to be the source of the current COVID-19.”
They went on to note that scientists studying diseases that are zoonotic – meaning they jump between animals and humans – have pointed to the close proximity of shoppers, vendors and both live and dead animals at wet markets in countries around the world “as prime transmission locations for these pathogens.”
They also noted that scientists estimate that approximately 60-75 percent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic and that approximately 72 percent originate from wildlife.
As of Wednesday, the positive cases of COVID-19 around the globe surpassed 2 million, with more than 128,800 deaths.
The U.S. reported, as of Wednesday morning, more than 609,900 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and more than 26,000 deaths.