Paul McCartney blamed the Chinese wet markets for the spread of coronavirus and said they have "medieval practices" in a call to Howard Stern's radio show on Tuesday.
Some people believe that COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, specifically in the wet markets where fresh meat, produce and sometimes live animals are kept, though the theory is unconfirmed.
"I really hope that this will mean the Chinese government says, 'Okay guys, we have really got to get super hygienic around here,'" McCartney said. "Let's face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats."
Stern replied, "They will not close down these wet markets. That got us into this trouble in the first place. It's mind-boggling, right?"
"It wouldn't be so bad if this is the only thing it seems like you can blame on those wet markets. It seems like SARS, avian flu, all sorts of other stuff that has afflicted us … what's it for? For these quite medieval practices. They need to clean up their act. This may lead to [change]. If this doesn't, I don't know what will," McCartney said.
McCartney originally called into Stern's SiriusXM show to talk about how he's doing during the coronavirus pandemic, saying he's quarantined in Sussex with his daughter and her family. Stern then asked him about the idea of banning the wet markets.
"I think it makes a lot of sense…when you've got the obscenity of some of the stuff that's going on there and what comes out of it, they might as well be letting off atomic bombs. It's affecting the whole world," he said.
He then compared China's resistance to close the markets to the country's use of slavery prior to its abolishment in the 20th century.
"I understand that part of it is going to be, 'People have done it for ever. This is the way we do things.' But they did slavery forever, too. You've got to change things at some point," he said.
McCartney also touched on the canceled Glastonbury music festival, at which he was going to headline.
"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."