Casting further doubt on the natural, animal origin theory of COVID-19, a new Oxford University study found that there were no bats or pangolins sold at Wuhan wet markets between May 2017 and the first COVID cases in 2019. (FYI: the university already had this data from a study of a different disease, which I assume is why the Chinese government couldn’t prevent them from gathering it.) The authors say bats are rarely consumed in central China (most of the photos of them in markets are actually from Indonesia), and there is a pangolin trade, but not in Wuhan.
Interestingly, the study did find 38 species of animals were sold in Wuhan, either as pets or for human consumption, including badgers, raccoon dogs, hedgehogs, peacocks and reptiles, but no bats or pangolins. I’m hoping most of those were pets.
So bats and pangolins appear to be off the suspect list for starting the pandemic, which throws even more suspicion onto the rats in Beijing.