Considering the murky origins and targeted coverup over the origins of COVID-19, as well as the constantly shifting narrative of how to prevent and treat the virus, it was only a matter of time until people began to find pathways to file lawsuits against the government and the entities, like EcoHealth Alliance, that was tied to the pandemic.
The Manhattan-based EcoHealth Alliance was formed as a non-profit organization focusing on the intersection of human and wildlife health, as well as the connections between ecosystems and public health. The organization conducts research, builds partnerships, and implements projects to better understand and address emerging diseases that can spread between animals and humans, known as zoonotic diseases.
But EcoHealth Alliance has been under fire for its funding of research in Wuhan, China, which ultimately was revealed to have created and released the COVID-19 virus, causing a pandemic that destroyed the lives and livelihoods of millions of people worldwide. As of August 16, 2023, the pandemic was responsible for the deaths of nearly seven million people globally.
Jenny Golden, Monique Adams, Traci Osuna, Melissa Carr, and Paul Rinker all lost loved ones to COVID-19 and have filed a lawsuit against EcoHealth Alliance for its role in the creation and spread of the virus. Rinker is also suing the organization over serious injuries he suffered because of his own infection. The group is suing for unspecified damages.
Per the lawsuit, EcoHealth Alliance president Peter Daszak was fully aware of the potential of COVID-19 to create a global pandemic in humans.
The lawsuit, filed on August 2 with the Manhattan Supreme Court, argues that EcoHealth Alliance failed to ensure that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the recipient of the organization’s funding, had proper security measures to protect against a leak. The lawsuit alleges that the organization breached its duty of care.
Per their lawsuit, EcoHealth Alliance and the organization’s president, Daszak, performed “abnormally dangerous research on coronaviruses,” which included genetically modifying them to “enhance their virulence, transmissibility, and lethality for human beings,” whether intentionally or unintentionally.
In addition, the plaintiffs allege that EcoHealth Alliance failed to do risk assessments or monitor the scientists involved with the research, neglected to file regular and timely reports with the U.S. government, and blatantly ignored warnings about potential security breaches.
Finally, the lawsuit claims the organization actively played a part in covering up the origins of the outbreak. Attorney Patricia Finn argues that the outcome for the plaintiffs’ families may have been far different had the origins been known.
It’s a lawsuit that seems to have merit. EcoHealth Alliance has already been criticized for using taxpayer money to fund the Wuhan lab. Per the National Institutes of Health, the organization failed to comply with several parts of funding agreements with the government when it was awarded $8 million in grants to research bat coronaviruses in Wuhan.
The United States sent $1.4 million in research funding to the lab, with $600,000 of those funds funneled to the facility through the nonprofit. It’s estimated that potentially millions more were given to the Wuhan Institute through duplicate grants awarded by EcoHealth.
The Department of Health and Human Services inspector general found that the NIH did not monitor EcoHealth Alliance or take any action to ensure the organization was complying with requirements for the grants and awards it received. Some of these requirements involved reporting and monitoring research activities for the recipients of EcoHealth funding for research facilities like the Wuhan lab.
Former NIAID Director Anthony Fauci emerged from the shadows to defend the organization, claiming during an interview in Australia that EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan laboratory were “surveilling” the virus, not creating or enhancing them. This claim directly contradicts the now-common knowledge that Fauci himself funded virus enhancement.
On August 10, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced that he went to the local U.S. attorney in Washington D.C. to officially launch a probe and press criminal charges against the now-disgraced Fauci.
Finn, the attorney representing the group currently suing EcoHealth, has filed prior suits against the organization in New York’s Nassau and Rockland Counties. As more evidence against the government and its pet projects, like EcoHealth Alliance, emerges, these lawsuits will likely increase in number and scope.
It seems justice may yet be served, one COVID victim at a time.