Essential Research and Morgan: more coronavirus polling

Two new polls suggest support for the federal government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis is still on the rise.

I’ll be taking part in the Political Geekfest videocast through Zoom with Peter Lewis of Essential Research and Katharine Murphy of the Guardian Australia at 1pm AEST today, which you can register for here. The subject of discussion will be this:

• The Guardian reports on another Essential Research poll focusing mostly on coronavirus, which would appear to be a weekly thing at least for the time being. The latest poll finds 59% rating the government’s response as about right, up from 46% last week and 39% in the two previous weekly polls; 13% rating it an overreaction, continuing its downward trajectory from 33% to 18% to 17%; and 29% rating it an underreaction, which bounced around over the first three weeks from 28% to 43% to 37%. Respondents were also asked to rate their state governments’ reactions, though with sample sizes too small to be of that much use at the individual level: the combined responses for very good and quite good were at 56% for New South Wales, 76% for Victoria, 52% for Queensland, 79% for Western Australia and 72% for South Australia. The poll also records a surprisingly high level of general morale, producing an average 6.7 rating on a scale of one to ten, unchanged from May last year. The full report should be published later today. UPDATE: Full report here.

• Also apparently a weekly thing is Roy Morgan’s coronavirus polling, which is being conducted online and not by SMS as I previously assumed – indeed, I believe this is the first online polling Morgan has ever published. Last week’s tranche showed a sharp rise in approval of the government’s handling of the matter from a week previous, with 21% strongly agreeing the government was handling the matter well (up twelve), 44% less strongly agreeing (up ten), 23% disagreeing (down ten) and 6% strongly disagreeing (down ten). Respondents had also become more optimistic since the previous week (59% saying the worst was yet to come, down 26 points, 33% saying the situation would remain the same, up 22 points, and 8% expecting things to improve, up four), and, contra Essential, slightly more inclined to consider the threat was being exaggerated (up five points to 20%, with disagreement down six to 75%). The poll was conducted last weekend from a sample of 987.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,397 comments on “Essential Research and Morgan: more coronavirus polling”

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  1. I reckon PB should be narrated by David Attenborough …

    … (breathlessly) … And here … we see the dominant male … cornered and lashing out … he makes a futile final attempt to score at least one hit on his attackers … but he knows he is beaten, and will never again lead the pack …

  2. EGT trots out the old “Well, whaddaya gunna do about it?” non sequitur.

    Stop defending them would be a start. Then stop making excuses for what Chinese government bastardry has foisted on the rest of the world.

    Millions are infected. Over a hundred thousand dead. More millions have lost their livelihoods. Good companies have gone bankrupt.

    Your denial is staggering.

  3. Davidwh @ #1344 Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 – 10:43 pm

    China has re-instated the ban on live wet markets, first introduced during SARS and lifted some years later.

    No, not entirely true:

    China has issued a temporary ban on wildlife markets where animals such as civets, live wolf pups and pangolins are kept alive in small cages while on sale, often in filthy conditions where they incubate diseases that can then spill into human populations. Many scientists have urged Beijing to make the ban permanent.

    …“Biodiversity loss is becoming a big driver in the emergence of some of these viruses. Large-scale deforestation, habitat degradation and fragmentation, agriculture intensification, our food system, trade in species and plants, anthropogenic climate change – all these are drivers of biodiversity loss and also drivers of new diseases. Two thirds of emerging infections and diseases now come from wildlife.”

  4. Apologies Bushfire Bill. I didn’t mean for this to escalate. Despite somewhat tritely mentioning that there are not many tigers in wet markets, I shall maintain that it is conflating seperate issues. Zoonotic diseases that emerge out of wet markets are an issue. Animal extinction events are an issue. They are seperate in my mind at least.

    Time to revert to wargaming viruses.

  5. It is not unreasonable to expect a country such as China to be required to account for what has occurred.

    I posted this earlier today from Dena Grayson who is someone I have followed for years. She is a researcher
    MD, PhD. Expert on #Ebola

    Dr. Dena Grayson
    There’s no doubt this #coronavirus originated in #China, whether from the #Wuhan seafood market or accidental leakage from Wuhan’s BSL-4 virology lab.

    Either way, China must be held accountable to close all wildlife markets permanently and allow a FULL investigation of its lab.

  6. IPSOS Issues Monitor, April 2020 : The top issues facing Australia – concerns during COVID-19


    Community concerns reach record levels amid COVID-19 crisis:

    In April 2020, Healthcare was nominated as the top issue facing the nation (55%) ahead of The Economy (47%) and Unemployment (39%). Cost of Living (22%) and The Environment (22%) rounded out the top five.
    In April, Australians’ were more likely to nominate the Coalition ahead of the ALP as the party most capable to manage our top three worries of Healthcare (34% Coalition, 29% ALP), The Economy (43%, 22%) and Unemployment (34%, 28%). Interestingly, Australians’ belief in the Coalition to manage Healthcare has never been higher than it was in April. Typically, the ALP is nominated as the party most capable to manage Healthcare. But these aren’t typical times.

    The coronavirus has altered what Australians worry about most:

    The results are a striking turnaround compared with the first two months of this year when the state of the environment was clearly the nation’s biggest worry. In January, amid the bushfire crisis and prolonged drought, a record 41 per cent nominated the environment as a top concern. But that share fell to 22 per cent this month.

    Anxiety about crime, the cost of living, and housing affordability – all prominent community concerns in recent years – have also declined markedly.

    The share of respondents nominating crime as a top concern, for instance, dipped to an all-time low of 13 per cent in April.

    Ipsos social researcher, David Elliott, said it was very unusual for three separate issues to climb so steeply all at the same time.

  7. Mexican:

    When government bond yields fall it reduces the cost of borrowing up the chain so yes there is a point to bonds. Government bonds act as the anchor for all borrowing across the economy.

    This is one of several related purposes.

    Principally the merits of Treasury Bond auctions relate to conveyance of useful information about the macro economy:
    – one useful piece of information is an estimate of the risk free interest rate (actually, rates*) as you note
    – another relates the the success or otherwise (usually relative success) of auctions for bonds with different terms, establishing an estimate of the yield curve
    – the auction outcomes also provide (in normal times) an estimate of the general level of competence of the reserve, and in abnormal times, an estimate of unspecified risk
    – etc. etc.

    All of these are useful, and hence valuable: information has value.

    In the absence of this informaiton one would be forced to rely on micro-economic fundamentals. Whilst there are people who think that the micro-economy is the whole economy, that would a very strange position for a Keynesian to adopt…

    * There are usually multiple risk free rates related to distinct types of treasury securities that insulate against different sets of risks.

  8. Diogenes saysWednesday, April 15, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    “ That has me a bit worried as my white blood cell count is always a little low. At my last test, my Neutrophils count was 1.7 L, the year before it was 1.6 L.”
    Neutrophil count doesn’t matter as much for viral infections and 1.7 should be fine anyway.

    Thank you.

  9. ‘Mixed with prejudice’: calls for ban on ‘wet’ markets misguided, experts argue

    Cultural nuance and wider view of supply chain ignored in debate following Covid-19 outbreak, say those proposing regulation over ban

    In China, much of Asia, and some other parts of the world, a “wet market” is a term used for any market where fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruits, and other perishable goods, are sold in an open-air setting. The “wet” part comes from sellers sloshing water on produce to keep it cool and fresh.

    While the markets may be considered unsanitary by western standards, most wet markets in China do not sell live animals other than fish in tanks, or sometimes in open pools.

    Many markets in China stopped selling live poultry after widespread avian flu outbreaks led provinces and local governments to ban such sales over the past decade.

    And while it is rare to see wildlife sold in these markets, the practice has continued in poorly regulated sites, such as the now-infamous Wuhan South China Seafood Market, which was suspected to be a primary source for spreading Covid-19 during late 2019.

    “If we really want to prevent future pandemics, we have to do a lot more than just stop live wildlife being slaughtered at markets or wild meat being sold at markets,” Debbie Banks, head of the tiger campaign at the Environmental Investigation Agency, told the Guardian.
    Across many countries wet markets provide an important outlet for small farmers to sell their produce, said Samon. “In a country like India or Indonesia, between 25 and 40 million people rely on wet markets and informal food vendors for their livelihoods.”

    And while markets like Wuhan’s may be an outlier for their trade in live wildlife, others say that more needs to be done to address general sanitation and hygiene at wet markets.

  10. Well a fool or a knave or even a Green as labelled, I remain willing to play the ball, if not the person 🙂

    And Catmomma, if you are still registered, a gentle reminder that the Pharmacy Board Code of Conduct includes social media.

  11. Griff, disease and extinction both come out of wet markets and the “farms” that supply the animals sold and slaughtered in them.

    Wet markets produce new diseases (and the Chinese have been warned about them countless times in the past) and their use for the sale of exotic animals to enhance sexual potency, or to provide bragging rights to the people who buy their delicacy meats from them is an abomination.

    The more these practices are defended in the West by dupes of the Chinese propaganda machine, and black armband wets riddled with misplaced societal guilt, the more diseases and cruelties we will see out of these hellholes.

    We just cannot afford to shut our societies and economies down simply so as to avoid accusations of prejudice against the Chinese. If nothing changes it will happen again and again, worse each time as the stakes get higher and the world becomes more crowded.

    That the so-called “Greens” here are making excuses for disgusting behaviour on the part of China is the most gob-smacking virtue signalling of all. It defies belief that anyone could be so ignorant and uncaring of the harm that has been done – the death, the ruination, the losses of millions of jobs – and the incalculable harm yet to come, simply to make petty social media points and show us how pure they are.

  12. Dio:

    “ The “design flaw ” of the JobKeeper program is that employees need to be paid before the ATO pays the employer in arrears ( 4 weeks ). Hearing of plenty of business’ that are refusing to sign up as they just don’t have any cash flow to cover this.”
    That’s not the only design flaw but it’s the worst one. Our company has a full time accountant and a full time CEO and we still are really struggling with it. Smaller places would be giving up. The idea sounded good when Morrison explained it but it’s implementation is terrible.

    Partly it’s the ATO culture, which heavily favours large businesses with teams of lawyers and accountants over small businesses (too much trouble) and actively discourages small businesses from claiming concessions to which they are entitled (partly because a minority but numerically large number of of small businesses try to rot the system)

    For example there is the following statement in their JK FAQ:

    Under the GST law, only Australian based sales are included and therefore, only Australian based turnover is relevant….

    Now fortunately (due to the misfortune of having to understand the GST) I knew this relates to operations wholly overseas, but it could be misunderstood (and is being misunderstood by epxerienced business people) as implying that export sales are excluded, thereby rendering many small exporters apparently ineligible.

  13. C@t certain species seem to be more deadly in virus transmissions and bats seem to be #1 in that regard. In Australia we have two viruses basically fatal to humans that originated in bats. We are fortunate the viruses haven’t mutated to human to human transmission…. yet.

    Let’s hope China makes the ban permanent particularly for animals known to transfer mutated viruses.

  14. And Rick Wilson once again lays it out so clearly. Trumps failings and Chinas failings are not mutually exclusive

    Rick Wilson
    1/ Long email chain viz China with a conservative policy type w whom I’ve maintained strained by mostly cordial disagreement viz Trump.

    This person is in that “I hate him but I have to work in DC and my think tank wants XXXXX policy outcomes.”

    Set THAT aside for a moment.
    11:14 PM · Apr 15, 2020·TweetDeck
    Rick Wilson
    Replying to
    2/ “Why won’t you attack China?” is the summary of their latest.

    For the good of the order, some notes:

    A. Pointing out Trump’s denial, delay, and deception doesn’t excuse China.

    B. Folks who oppose Trump from the right have been FAR less starry-eyed about Xi than Trump.
    Rick Wilson
    3/ C. China’s lies about Coronavirus didn’t stop Trump from getting intel about its realities.

    He just chose not to believe our intel agencies, as he frequently does. He’s taken the word of foreign powers on a wide spectrum of issues (cf Putin, MBS, Kim Jong Un, et al.)
    Rick Wilson
    4/ D. This is such a transparent hunt for a boogeyman to cover his own failings it hardly bears mentioning.

    “Conservatives” trying to make this the centerpiece of a pushback are betting Trump won’t flip AGAIN.

  15. Bushfire Bill,

    I personally agree with a view towards a moratorium on live animal trade (something we also need to look at), including wet markets. I merely point to the conflation of adding tigers into the mix. Tiger farms are not wet markets. Also a very worthwhile cause however, but not a major vector for zoonotic disease at present.

  16. BB:

    EGT trots out the old “Well, whaddaya gunna do about it?” non sequitur.

    Stop defending them would be a start. Then stop making excuses for what Chinese government bastardry has foisted on the rest of the world.

    Millions are infected. Over a hundred thousand dead. More millions have lost their livelihoods. Good companies have gone bankrupt.

    Your denial is staggering.

    Your approach would make a bad situation both more likely and worse, viz:

    Ten of millions infected. Over a million dead. More tens of millions lose their livelihoods. Far more good companies go bankrupt.

    Is that what you want?

    Instead, the world needs to deal with the Chinese government much as one deals with a powerful and dangerous animal. Inflaming the situation with empty rhetoric won’t help and will make the situation worse.

  17. Bingo

    Seth Abramson (@House building)
    The reason Trump won’t answer any questions about why he accepted Xi Jinping’s misrepresentations on COVID-19 in January despite EVERYONE telling him he was being lied to is because, friends, that’s the whole ballgame: Trump AGAIN ignored US intelligence in favor of an autocrat

  18. Rest of insightful thread

    Rick Wilson
    Replying to
    5/ One phone call with Xi and it’ll be all, “Xi is my friend. I have a great relationship with Xi. We shared chocolate cake. He did everything right.” This pattern has become very well established.

    (Bannon’s leprous funk is all over this strategy, btw.)
    Rick Wilson
    6/ Witness Trump’s SUDDEN reversal on trying to “brand” the virus as “Wuhan Flu” or the “China Virus.”

    Xi popped Trump’s leash and President Cuckley knuckled under and bowed. Hasn’t used it since.

    Every strongman knows how to play Trump, and does.
    Rick Wilson
    7/ E. Want a talk about the supply chain? Go for it. MIGHT want to focus on the CURRENT crisis first, though.

    F. Also, China’s expanding power is, in part, a result of Trump’s abandonment of our role in the world.

    G. For now, “CHYNA” is another Trump excuse, not a reason.
    Rick Wilson
    8/ H. A number of the GOP’s China hawks have adopted the nationalist populist fantasy that America is crying out to pay $29 for a toilet brush or $3000 for an iPhone.

    Tell me MORE about markets.

    Anyway, just a little anthropology for you.

    Proceed with your day.

  19. Imagine the outcry if companies pocketed the jobkeeper allowance and did not pass it on to thier employees. In arrears is the only way to ensure compliance.

  20. ItzaDream @ #898 Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 – 9:55 am

    No doubt, everyone is busy downloading the app that gives the Overlords your kind permission to track every movement you make from now till eternity.

    Not bloody likely.

    As if I would trust them with that level of information. Just last week I went through my phone’s apps to clean out ones that I did not want tracking my movements, and turned off location tracking when my phone is off (except for the Samsung app which helps find a lost phone).

    It is a brilliant idea, but it is a pity it is being implemented by the most corrupt, lying, untrustworthy pile of political detritus to grace our parliament since Malcolm Fraser took the job of Prime Minister of Australia in the Coup Of 1975.

    I am happy to isolate for as long as needed, but I am not handing a tracking system on a plate to a collection of two-faced, ideology-driven psychopaths who think that the Law is an amusing concept to be discussed over the choice of cheese to compliment the vintage wine and plans to torture helpless brown refugees

    Yeah, nah.

  21. Imagine the outcry if companies pocketed the jobkeeper allowance and did not pass it on to thier employees. In arrears is the only way to ensure compliance.

    Neither necessary nor sufficient.

  22. The idea of the app is that all information is stored locally (on your phone) and only ever used if you test positive.

    If the app is verified by independent third parties that it cannot transmit information then I’ll be ok with using it and recommending it to others.

    What I fear most is this government stuffing up the PR.

  23. A “concerned neighbour” (Afrikaans accent?) left a message on my answering machine.
    Blah blah, “bible studies”, blah blah “world government” *gong*

    Possibly COVID-19 nonsense (“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”), but it’s only six months until the ACT election: One Nation, freaky fundies, or Fascists ‘R’ Us?

    It’s nice of them to talk to my machine; it was feeling unloved after umpteen robocallers hung up on them.

    Six months…

  24. What I fear most is this government stuffing up the PR.

    They already have… “Government tracking app.”

    I don’t want push notifications, I want BB’s “Viruses Near Me” app:

  25. “We can’t tell you where confirmed infected people are, because ‘privacy’.
    Let us track you 24/7 instead, in case you bump into one.”

    Yeah, nah.

  26. This is quite a disturbing read. The fact that those people on board are not being tested is surely negligent?

    Why bother? Assume/presume they are infected, and move on.

  27. Interesting and disturbing..

    It seems we now have an Australian company making hundreds of thousands of rapid covid19 test kits and selling them to Europe.

    Yet I can’t find them listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods and I can find no evidence of any entity in Australia seeking to buy them.

    Why isn’t our government(s) taking rapid testing seriously? Its exactly the technology you need in order to provide mass testing for schools (for example).

  28. Now this is a good app..

    Some of Australia’s leading astrophysicists have teamed up with public health experts to detect possible outbreaks of COVID-19, even before testing takes place.

    The astrophysicists use supercomputers, usually reserved to process data from the world’s largest telescopes, to identify geographical clusters of symptoms and detect where COVID-19 could be spreading.

    Key points:
    The scientists hope millions of people globally will use their mobile phone app to report symptoms and risk factors

    They are discussing how to best share the data with health authorities and COVID-19 researchers
    Responses would be used to try to pre-empt major outbreaks so authorities could intervene early

    About 12,000 people globally are already using a trial version of an app, which they log into daily to answer questions about symptoms and risk factors not currently recorded by health authorities.

    The program also saw an influx of people logging in from Los Angeles, days before an outbreak was seen there. The researchers say lots of people using the app could have been an early sign that people there were getting sick.

  29. Do you want to know what got me supporting a World Animal Welfare fund about 20 years ago? ‘\

    The ‘dancing’ bears in Eastern Europe, those poor damn animals living lives of torture. The organisation would buy a bear and train the owner in a skill to support their family, so they did not go out and buy another bear cub.

    Then in their newsletters the plight of bile bears was highlighted. Do you know what that is? Again poor bloody bears are tortured for their whole life. They are locked in small cages and their gall-bladder is tapped to drain off bile, for their whole miserable lives. All because some idiot who believes in ‘traditional medicine’ in China and probably other places pays a fortune for it as a healing substance. Then of course the utter horror of the Yulan Dog (and cat) Meat Festival and the ones in South Korea is enough to keep me awake at night if I am unfortunate enough see pictures or read of the utter depravity of these practices. And whiteys are not without blame. Disgusting Western tourists go along and join in these ‘cultural’ festivals of ignorance and barbarity. So it is not only about the Chinese.
    But the authorities of these countries have the ability to stop it. Chinese people try to intercept trucks of dogs and cats going to the Yulan Festival and rescue and re-home the animals. There is a fledgling animal welfare movement in China,

    But call me racist or whatever you like, I will sign the petitions, make a monthly donation to the World Animal welfare organisation and take heart from their victories however small.

    I would rather be called a racist than a bystander who let such cruelty continue without lifting a finger to help.

    And I do protest live export and it is barbaric. It is Australia’s shame, along with the dogfight operations, useless testing on animals for cosmetics and shyte, and animals locked in paddocks with no shade, and caged hen eggs. But none of that even gets halfway near the horrors of the dog meat festivals in certain countries. To do the things they do to those animals and for people to buy the meat shows a callous disregard, (indeed there is intention to inflict maximum pain to increase hormone levels in the meat making it more tender ffs) that borders on the unbelievable.

    If that is me trying to impose my western cultural norms on another people, all I can say is I freakin hope I am successful, and many more join me.

    The cultures involved have a simple solution if they do not want condemnation from around the world. Stop people being cruel sadists and support your citizens who want change.

    And to answer the obvious question, I eat meat, and expect the animal husbandry industry to give them good lives and a quick painless death before they end up on my bbq.

    And when it is time to sign the petitions to end the Yulan Dog Meat Festival comes around, I look hopefully at the night sky for a big piece of space rock to wipe the place off the face of the bloody Earth.

    So if you want to call me racist, go ahead, do your worst.


  30. Jaeger

    I believe that the government’s location/contact logging can be implemented to preserve privacy.

    I’m not going to bore people with the detail but you can ask if you want.

  31. “you know why Morrison is now advising kids to go back to school don’t you? it’s because he wants HIS church’s big event in July to go ahead involving kids age 3 to grade 6 at Qudo Arena Sydney. NOT CANCELLED…hidden agenda! PAY ATTENTION! “
    There the little children will be infected by something just as bad as COVID-19, and it will last a lifetime. Part of the business model.

  32. PuffyTMD @12.04
    “the most corrupt, lying, untrustworthy pile of political detritus to grace our parliament since Malcolm Fraser took the job of Prime Minister of Australia in the Coup Of 1975.”
    The Morrison LNP government no longer bothers to sit in Parliament, governing by decree with some dexterous sleight of hand.
    Any sign of some bushfire money?
    When does the jobkeeper policy take effect and to what effect?
    Is Border Force and its creator worthy of an Arts award of some sort for its contribution to fiction?
    Will George Pell be remembered in the same regard as all our bushrangers? Pell, just a larrikin perhaps ?
    Covid 19 and the persecution of Pell are distractions no less!
    Australia has that ability to laugh at itself ? I hope so!
    We are one ? One what?
    To be fair, Morrison hasn’t eaten an onion or knighted any royalty!
    Morrison hasn’t stuffed up the NBN, somebody else had insider knowledge !
    Morrison is doing his best with what’s available to him !

  33. “We can’t tell you where confirmed infected people are, because ‘privacy’.
    Let us track you 24/7 instead, in case you bump into one.”

    Yeah, nah.

    Ok, a couple of things about this:
    * obviously any app like this is about allowing the health system to do its job better in the context of dealing with the virus, so yeah it’s not selling itself as “info for you personally” because it can’t be that. We would be being asked to use it to improve the capabilities of the health system so that we collectively see broader improvements more quickly, and better risk management. It’s not about you or me being scared or reassured because of who might be nearby.
    * confirmed cases aren’t going to be the real problem – the real problem is the asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic cases, and that is exactly what this app is for because your risky encounter is not going to be known in real time, but only when a positive test comes back, and then the system has to be able to go back and work out who all the potentially at risk people are. A real time ‘beeping radar’ a la Alien is not useful. Worse, if such a thing was implemented then it would be false reassurance – oh, my device isn’t going off, everything must be ok, which is entirely the wrong message to be giving out. And what do you do if your ‘danger detector’ goes off? Look around and run screaming?
    * no one is asking for you to lose control of your phone. I’m pretty sure they aren’t making a super secret backdoor to take control of your phone and stop you from, eg, turning off bluetooth or mobile data if and when you so choose. And when you uninstall the app it’ll be gone. If you’re absolutely uncomfortable with it you’re not compelled to install it in the first place.

    I know perfectly well that my first gut reaction was to say “no way”, but thinking about it this approach seems both very useful in the current situation and that the personal risks for me (and everyone) seem low and manageable.

    Yes, the government will undoubtedly screw up the implementation in some way, and they will definitely screw up the PR, and if that means the uptake is insufficient to make it systematically useful that would be a great shame I think.

  34. “ No tigers in Chinese wet markets, eh? Which smartarse said that?”

    This is a fucking ridiculous post.

    Can we just get a bit real for a moment. Looking at you, BB.

    ‘Wet markets’ are just open air markets that are housed down twice a day (ergo ‘wet’). They exist throughout the world. One might say our fish markets can be defined as such.

    Throughout Asia I’d have to say they are run as a veritable petrie disease of potential disease, but you – and Trump and all the other anti-Chinese pirates out there are conflating issues in a way that actually distracts from tackling the various problems that need addressing.

    First of all, the transmission of novel viruses from animal to human populations. At the moment, folk are conflating correlation with causation. It’s as likely that the jump from bat/pangolin/pig/Cobra to humans happened before it goth to Wuhan. That is not to say that the wet markets were not a key point of distribution of the corona virus, but it is as likely that folk who visited the market acquired it from other humans (ie. those who transported the animals, or sold them) as it is from the animals themselves. If detailed contact tracing establishes that premise to be correct (as it has with SARS 1.0), then the call to ‘shut down the wet markets’ makes as much sense as shutting down the football season (keeping folk away from each other via social distancing) but no more. Bats, pangolins, pigs, civets and Cobras etc etc will continue to be captured or reared, then. Transported, sold and ultimately consumed by humans.

    Similarly, the trade in endangered species and their body parts like Tigers and Bears does not depend on the existence of wet markets. Those links you provided BB singularly fail to provide evidence that the wet markets are in some way critical to the illegal distribution systems for wildlife and exotic species trafficking.

    That is not to say that one can’t buy all sorts of bizarre animals at markets throughout Asia, and probably the rest of the developing world for that matter, but again – those markets are merely a symptom of a greater malaise.

    There are too many humans and too much global travel to allow the consumption of exotic bushmeats. However, it is not public health considerations alone that drive the urgent need to stamp it out. Biodiversity considerations, IMO transcend even the risk of pandemics.

    Furthermore, it is not just exotic meats that Ned to be addressed. The obsession with ‘meat with everything’ diets across the globe – especially amongst the newly middle classes (but most especially across all socio economic deciles in the anglosphere) carries disastrous risks (not to mention being a root cause of deforestation around the globe).

    If BB thinks that attacking ‘wet markets’ in communist china is the main game, he should ponder this 0 as but one further example that we in the west are not immune from the consequences of this greater malaise – the unethical treatment of animals for human consumption:

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