A new study by Oxford University has discovered there were no bats or pangolins sold in the Wuhan wet market, and that no bats or pangolins were found anywhere around Wuhan at the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Bats are actually rarely consumed in Central China, where market photos generally depict Indonesia. Pangolin trade is still a significant issue in other Chinese cities and trading nodes, but not in Wuhan. The market did house 47,381 individuals from 38 species, including 31 protected species, all kept in dreadful conditions and teeming with all kinds of other infectious diseases, ready to be slaughtered on demand, if not sold as pets. While pork retails for the equivalent of c. $5.75 /kg in Wuhan, a marmot would cost $25. Slightly cheaper were badgers and raccoon dogs at $15-20, or a snack of hedgehog for $2-3. Amongst birds, peacocks were popular at $56, or if reptiles were the order of the day, sharp-nosed viper could be had for $70 /kg. Pets included everything from squirrels ($25) to myna birds ($300). Basically, bat soup is a costly delicacy.
The Oxford study also reported that Chinese people rarely consume bats and the nearest natural habitat of bats is 1,500 miles away from Wuhan.
China and Dr. Anthony Fauci have long claimed COVID-19 jumped from a bat to a pangolin, which was then sold at the wet market, leading to the spread among humans. However, recent studies have shown the virus likely originated in a lab.