North Vancouver–raised musician Bryan Adams is being accused of racism as a result of two social-media posts.
Over Instagram and Twitter, he blamed the COVID-19 pandemic on "some fucking bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards".
He delivered this message on Instagram alongside a portion of his hit song "Cuts Like a Knife", complaining about the postponement of three shows at Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
Adams's tirade prompted a torrent of criticism from those who feel that singer-songwriter is spreading fake news and reinforcing racial stereotypes.
Amy Guo, president of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, told CBC News that the comments could provoke hatred of Canadians of Chinese ancestry.
She was far from alone as many others responded directly to Adams over Twitter before he deleted the tweet.
Virus evolved naturally
Adams, a long-time vegan, was reiterating a myth that the virus resulted from people eating bat soup in Wuhan, China. There's no evidence to support this.
In January, images of a Chinese travel writer eating bat soup were transmitted through mainstream and social media, but they were not filmed in China.
Wang Mengyun later revealed that she was videotaped doing this on the island of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean in 2017. The images demonstrated to her audience what local people there liked to eat.
Wang has since apologized, saying she had no idea during the filming that such a virus existed.
Earlier this year, the Scripps Research Institute reported that the most likely source of the novel coronavirus was bats.
That's because SARS-CoV-2 (the proper name) is very similar to a coronavirus in these flying mammals.
According to the researchers, led by immunology and microbiology associate professor Kristian Andersen, the novel coronavirus's spike protein became optimized to binding to human-like ACE2 receptors as a result of natural selection.
"It is possible that a progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 jumped into humans, acquiring the genomic features described above through adaptation during undetected human-to-human transmission," the researchers stated. "Once acquired, these adaptations would enable the pandemic to take off and produce a sufficiently large cluster of cases to trigger the surveillance system that detected it."
The researchers published their paper in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine in March.
They noted that it's the seventh coronavirus known to have infected humans. And they ruled out that it was created in a laboratory, pointing out that its genetic makeup clearly indicates that it evolved naturally.
Update: Bryan Adams apologizes
This morning, Adams said he was sorry "to any and all that took offence to my posting yesterday".
"No excuse," he wrote on Instagram, "I just wanted to have a rant about the horrible animal cruelty in these wet-markets being the possible source of the virus, and promote veganism."