Sunday, 5 April 2020

‘Stop Eating Bats!’: Sen. Lindsey Graham Blasts Wet Markets In China

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has three words of advice for the Chinese people: “Stop eating bats!”
The coronavirus now sweeping the world originated in a “wet market” in Wuhan, China. Scientists say SARS-CoV-2 mostly resembles related viruses found in bats and pangolins. China is still allowing markets to sell all sorts of wild animals — including bats.
“These wet markets in China, people eat bats and they eat monkeys, and bats and monkeys — at least bats for sure — carry this kind of virus,” Graham said Friday on Fox News. “This is where ebola came from, this is where SARS came from, and this lab may be 300 yards away from the wet market in China where they test bats for coronavirus infection, but people literally eating bats 300 yards down the road.
“Bats carry this stuff,” Graham said, “and they literally eat bats. Stop eating bats!”
Graham said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said “the world should ostracize every country that allows exotic animals like monkeys and bats to be intermingled with the food supply and near humans.” 
A recent analysis of SARS-CoV-2 by a group of researchers compared the genome of the new coronavirus with the seven other coronaviruses known to infect humans and drew a clear conclusion: “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus,” they wrote in the journal Nature Medicine.
“The overall molecular structure of this virus is distinct from the known coronaviruses and instead most closely resembles viruses found in bats and pangolins that had been little studied and never known to cause humans any harm,” the researchers wrote. 
The researchers compared SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2, HKU1, NL63, OC43 and 229E and compared the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and how it binds with receptors called ACE-2 (to be highly technical, ACE-2 is a type I transmembrane metallocarboxypeptidase with homology to ACE).
“The RBD of SARS-CoV-2 is optimized for binding to human ACE2 with an efficient solution different from those previously predicted. Furthermore, if genetic manipulation had been performed, one of the several reverse-genetic systems available for betacoronaviruses would probably have been used. However, the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone,” the researchers wrote. 
The Daily Mail wrote this week that “the markets have gone back to operating in exactly the same way as they did before coronavirus despite the outbreaks links to bats.”
“Some guy in China started all of this, and it most likely came from a wet market,” Graham said. “Just remember what I said. Some guy in China started this and we’ve got to stop this stuff in China.”
Graham also urged President Donald Trump to phone Chinese President Xi Jinping and demand an immediate closure of all wet markets.
“What I would tell President Trump is to call up President Xi and say, ‘Listen, you just reopened the wet market in Wuhan where we believe all this came from. Crackdown on bringing exotic and other wild animals into these wet markets where they contaminate the food supply and human beings.”

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