EcoHealth Alliance is a US-based non-governmental organization with a stated mission of protecting people, animals, and the environment from emerging infectious diseases. The nonprofit is focused on research that aims to prevent pandemics and promote conservation in hotspot regions worldwide.
EcoHealth Alliance focuses on diseases caused by deforestation and increased interaction between humans and wildlife. The organization has researched the emergence of diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Nipah virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Rift Valley fever, the Ebola virus, and COVID-19.
EcoHealth Alliance also advises the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO) also on global wildlife trade, on threats of disease and environmental damage posed by these.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, EcoHealth’s ties with the Wuhan Institute of Virology were put into question in relation to investigations into the origin of COVID-19. Under political pressure, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) withdrew funding to EcoHealth Alliance in July 2020, but offered to resume in August 2020 on condition the organization furnishes data from its collaboration with the WIV.. An NIH NIAID RO1 grant was obtained by a FOI lawsuit by The Intercept, which showed that EcoHealth alliance scientists lead by Peter Daszak, which detailed experiments which many scientists described as falling under the specific NIH definition of gain-of-function. A further grant proposal by EcoHealth, rejected by DARPA because of concerns that the proposed research constituted gain-of-function, was leaked to DRASTIC. The DARPA EcoHealth application proposed inserting a human furin cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction of Sars-like coronaviruses to enhance infectivity of human cells . Scientists interviewed by The Intercept noted that the experiment proposed, resembles some of the scenarios hypothesized of a possible lab leak origin of Covid-19.