The families of four people who have died from COVID-19 are suing the Manhattan-based nonprofit that funded coronavirus research in China for “creating” the virus — and releasing it “either intentionally or accidentally.” has.
The EcoHealth Alliance and its President Peter Daszak knew the virus was dangerous and “capable of causing a global pandemic,” according to the Aug. 2 lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Though EcoHealth partially funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where the virus originated, it failed to ensure critical safety measures were in place — and then worked to cover up the outbreak’s origins, they claimed in court filings.
“If we had known the source or origin of this virus and had not been misled into believing that it came from a pangolin in a wet market, we would rather have known that it was a genetically engineered virus and that the scientists involved kept this a secret from us.” “The outcome could have been very different,” Patricia Finn, the victims’ lawyer, told The Post.
The families of Mary Conroy of Pennsylvania; Emma D. Holley of Rochester, NY; Larry Carr of Crossville, Tennessee; and Raul Osuna of Bennington, Nebraska, are seeking unspecified damages.
“[The families of the deceased] “They’re definitely grieving, but beyond that they’re angry because the truth of what really happened seems to be coming out,” Finn added.
Paul Rinker of Pennsylvania is also suing Midtown-based EcoHealth and Daszak over the “serious injuries” he sustained from his battle with the virus.
Finn has also filed lawsuits against EcoHealth and Daszak in Nassau and Rockland counties on behalf of the families of four others killed by the virus, as well as two survivors.
“This particular case is highly offensive because it appears they knew the origin of the virus and were silent,” Finna said. “The treatment or approach to dealing with the virus could have been radically different than it was.”
A June report said: Government Accountability Office said the EcoHealth Alliance — which passes on funds provided to it by the National Institutes of Health — has donated $1,413,720 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, while a separate investigation found the government may be giving millions in duplicate grants the Wuhan-based research institutions have paid eco-health.
EcoHealth Alliance and Daszak did not respond to requests for comment.