The families of four individuals who lost their lives due to COVID-19 have filed a lawsuit against EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in New York. This organization was involved in conducting gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. The lawsuit, filed on August 2 in the New York Supreme Court, alleges that both EcoHealth and its president, Peter Daszak, were aware of the virus’s potential to cause a global pandemic.
The lawsuit claims that EcoHealth not only played a role in creating a genetically modified virus but also worked to hide the true origins of the outbreak. According to victims’ attorney Patricia Finn, had the families known that the virus was genetically engineered and that this information was being concealed, their response and understanding of the situation could have been different.
“If we had known the source or origin of this virus and had not been misled that it was from a pangolin in a wet market, and rather we knew that it was a genetically manipulated virus, and that the scientists involved were concealing that from our clients, the outcome could have been very different.”Victims’ attorney Patricia Finn told the NY Post.
The families of Mary Conroy, Emma D. Holley, Larry Carr, and Raul Osuna are seeking unspecified damages. Attorney Finn stated that the families are not only grieving but also angered by the emerging truth about what transpired.
Additionally, Paul Rinker, who suffered serious injuries from COVID-19, is also pursuing legal action against EcoHealth and Peter Daszak.
Attorney Finn is representing other victims’ families in Nassau and Rockland Counties, along with survivors, who are also suing EcoHealth and Daszak. She emphasizes the gravity of the case, as it appears that crucial information about the virus’s origin was deliberately hidden.
“This particular case is highly offensive because it appears they knew and concealed the origin of the virus… The treatment or approach taken in dealing with the virus could have been radically different than it was.”Patricia Finn
EcoHealth Alliance received a reinstated grant of more than $576,000 from the NIH in May. This grant aimed to investigate the origins of severe viruses such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19, tracing their transmission from wildlife to humans. This grant was awarded even though EcoHealth Alliance did not fulfill the NIH’s reinstatement criteria.
As the Epoch Times noted;
The grant, titled “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence,” was originally awarded in 2014 by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Under the terms of the grant, EcoHealth Alliance, a government-funded nonprofit that purportedly engages in research to prevent pandemics, was awarded $3.8 million over five years to assess the spillover potential of bat viruses “using reverse genetics, pseudovirus and receptor binding assays, and virus infection experiments in cell culture and humanized mice.” Put in simple terms, NIAID was paying EcoHealth to genetically engineer and manipulate bat viruses in labs.
In May 2016, the grant was halted after Erik Stemmy, an NIAID program officer, identified potential misuse of federal government funds in prohibited gain-of-function experiments at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). During that period, the Obama administration imposed a moratorium on such experiments. However, the suspension was lifted in July 2016, although the reasons for this decision remain unclear. EcoHealth’s president, Peter Daszak, expressed gratitude to NIAID for ending the pause on gain-of-function funding via an email.
As part of the grant’s terms, EcoHealth was required to submit regular activity reports. However, beginning in 2018, EcoHealth ceased submitting these reports. The organization later attributed this lapse to technical issues. Notably, the missing reports encompassed the significant timeframe of 2018 to 2019, just before the emergence of COVID-19 in Wuhan.
In 2014, the federal funding for gain-of-function research aiming to enhance the transmissibility of bat-derived COVID was temporarily suspended by the Obama administration. Four months before this decision, the research was effectively transferred by the NIH to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), managed by EcoHealth under the leadership of Peter Daszak.
It’s worth noting that the WIV had been actively engaged in gain-of-function research in collaboration with U.S. institutions and universities for some time, as reported by the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin.
Subsequently, following the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in the same location where Bat Covid was being manipulated, Peter Daszak authored an article in The Lancet, co-signed by a group of scientists. This article asserted that the virus could have originated solely from a natural spillover event, possibly in a wet market. The authors strongly denounced conspiracy theories suggesting otherwise. The Lancet later acknowledged Daszak’s conflicts of interest.
In a separate development, a Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor, and Pensions interim report published on October 27, 2022, analyzed the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan committee concluded that the pandemic’s origins were more likely linked to a laboratory-related incident rather than a zoonotic source.
The report was a product of a comprehensive oversight effort by the committee, reviewing publicly available information to assess the two primary theories concerning the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.