Paul McCartney hopes Chinese government shuts down wet markets

Paul McCartney talked with Howard Stern about his thoughts on the pandemic.
Paul McCartney talked with Howard Stern about his thoughts on the pandemic.
(Mary McCartney / MPL )

Paul McCartney has some thoughts on the health crisis that has upended the entire world.

The former Beatle called Howard Stern on Tuesday from Sussex, England, to update the Sirius XM radio host on his well-being during the coronavirus pandemic.

McCartney explained that he was “locked down” with his daughter Mary and her family and said “the only bad” thing about being quarantined there was that his wife, Nancy, was in New York.

“Can you believe what’s going on? Did you ever think in your lifetime you’d see something like this?” Stern asked McCartney.


“It’s so crazy,” McCartney said. “We’ve seen various forms of crisis before, but nothing that’s affecting everyone in the world at the same time.... It’s scary.”

The two discussed the wet markets in China that sell fresh meats and fish, which some have blamed for the global health crisis.

“I really hope that this will mean that the Chinese government will say, ‘OK, guys, we have really got to get super hygienic around here.’ Let’s face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats,” said McCartney, a longtime animal-rights activist.

Stern said it was “mind boggling” that the Chinese government hasn’t shut down the markets. (In February, China banned wildlife trade and consumption but allowed the continued use of wildlife for traditional Chinese medicine.) McCartney then suggested that celebrities speak out in support of shuttering them.

“It’s not a stupid idea, it is a very good idea,” McCartney said. “They don’t need all the people dying. And what’s it for? For 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.”

Pandemics will become ever more common because of our use of animals and the destruction of their habitats.

April 2, 2020

”...They might as well be letting off atomic bombs, because this is affecting the whole world,” added McCartney. “Whoever is responsible for this is at war with the world and itself.”


Though he recognized that could be challenging since the markets have existed for a long time, he added: “They did slavery forever too. You gotta change things at some point.”

Earlier in the show, the musician told Stern that the collective spirit he’s witnessing across the world reminded him of post-World War II. “A lot of people are pulling together, and in a way it’s a great thing because if we don’t, we’re finished.... It is good to see that. It’s inspiring.

“People are realizing that there’s so much good in humanity, and thank God it seems to be showing itself,” said McCartney. “There’s a lot of good spirit, and I’m seeing it here in England.”