A Politico article from Apr 3 says:
A growing chorus of voices is urging China to shut down the country’s so-called wet markets, which have come under heightened scrutiny for their role as potent breeding grounds for devastating outbreaks such as the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was the latest voice to weigh in, saying Friday that the international community should help force a global closure of the markets, arguing that the current public health crisis is a “direct result” of such unsanitary shopping places.
“I think we should shut down those things right away,” Fauci told “Fox & Friends.”
“It boggles my mind how when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we don’t just shut it down,” he said. “I don’t know what else has to happen to get us to appreciate that.”
The remarks from America’s top infectious disease expert come as lawmakers and health officials urge Beijing, in particular, to crack down on the marketplaces — where street vendors sell seafood, livestock and other animal products in packed, sometimes open-air environments that are often linked to the transmission of zoonotic viral infections.
Interestingly, there have been two interpretations given to his words. One was to infer he was talking only about wildlife, e.g. The Human Society quoted/interpreted him as saying
“It just boggles my mind that how when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface that we don’t just shut [wildlife markets] down.”
(Brackets/substitution in original.)
More polemically, Their Turn interpreted the interview as a (missed) call to ban even live chicken trade in NYC. Their main complaint was that Fauci was only talking about Asia. They seem to have assumed he was talking about any live animal market otherwise.
While he did not specify the countries, he was referring to China, which is where COVID-19 is believed to have jumped from animal to human, and to other Asian countries that have similar wet markets that sell and slaughter live animals. Dr. Fauci made no mention of wet markets in the United States.
“Why would Dr. Fauci call on world leaders to pressure countries in Asia to shut down their wet markets without calling for the closure of live animal markets in his own country?” said Jill Carnegie, co-organizer of Slaughter Free NYC, an advocacy group working to shut down NYC’s 80+ wet markets and slaughterhouses. “Do we need to wait for an outbreak of a novel strain of bird flu or swine flu before shutting down these breeding grounds of infectious disease?”
Slightly complicating the picture, Fauci co-authored papers about avian influenzas and the (zoonosis) danger they pose to us.
So what was Fauci precisely talking about in there? Did he mean all live animal markets or just wildlife? Has he given any other statements on the matter that might shed light on this?
In re comments: Fox News website headline was:
Dr. Fauci says it's 'mind-boggling' that any of China's wet markets are still operating