Does eating exotic animals cause viral outbreaks?
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said "China is to blame because the culture where people eat bats and snakes and dogs and things like that, these viruses are transmitted from the animal to the people and that's why China has been the source of a lot of these viruses like SARS, like MERS, the swine flu and now the coronavirus
>> SO UNFORTUNATE. A LOT OF FAMILIES LOOK FORWARD TO THAT EVERY YEAR. THANK YOU. >>> AS COVID-19 CASES MOUNTAIN AMERICA, SOME POLITICIANS ARE BLAMING CHINA FOR ITS SPREAD. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS REPEATEDLY REFERRED TO IT AS THE CHINA VIRUS. OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. HAVE ACCUSED CHINA OF WITHHOLDING FACTS AND RESOURCES. ONE SENATOR BLAMED THE OUTBREAK ON CHINA'S CULTURE. WHAT ROLE DID CHINA'S CULTURE PLAY? TRAVIS FAIN HAS MORE FOR POLITIFACT. >> Reporter: HOW DID COVID-19 ORIGINATE? JOHN CORNYN SAYS THEIR CULTURE IS TO BLAME. HERE'S WHAT HE TOLD THE REPORTER. >> CHINA IS TO BLAME BECAUSE THE CULTURE WHERE PEOPLE EAT BATS AND SNAKES AND DOGS AND THINGS LIKE THAT, THESE VIRUSES ARE TRANSMITTED FROM THE ANIMAL TO PEOPLE. THAT'S WHY CHINA HAS BEEN THE SOURCE OF A LOT OF THESE VIRUSES LIKE SARS AND THE SWINE FLU AND NOW THE CORONAVIRUS. >> Reporter: HE TIED THE VIRUS AND OTHER OUTBREAKS TO CHINESE PEOPLE EATING THINGS. HE GETS A COUPLE OF THINGS WRONG RIGHT OFF THE BAT. SWINE FLU DIDN'T ORIGINATE IN CHINA. COVID-19, EXPERTS HAVEN'T PINPOINTED THE ORIGIN. THE OUTBREAK WAS INITIALLY TIED TO AN EXOTIC MARKET IN WUHAN BUT RESEARCHERS HAVE FOUND OLDER CASES THAT HAVE NO TIES TO THE MARKET. WE DON'T KNOW HOW THE OUTBREAK STARTED. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT HUMANS CONTRACTED THE VIRUS BY EATING AN EXOTIC MEAT. IF IT CAME FROM ABOUT, IT IS POSSIBLE SOMEONE CONTRACTED IT BY BEING TOO CLOSE TO BAT MANURE WHICH IS USED FOR FARMING. AT THIS POINT, THE CLAIM IS UNFOUNDED. IT IS RATED, FALSE. FOR MORE FACT CHECKS GO TO