"Allegations have recently been made related to gain of function and directed evolution research at Pfizer and the company would like to set the record straight," the statement reads.
Gain of function research is defined as "a mutation that confers new or enhanced activity on a protein," meaning that the virus in question can become more powerful depending on the mutation or scientific enhancement.
The Pfizer employee caught by the reporter in the Project Veritas report, Jordon Trishton Walker, Pfizer's Director of Research and Development, Strategic Operations and an mRNA Scientific Planner, shared several industry secrets with the undercover journalist, including how Pfizer is allegedly conducting directed evolution research, testing the evolved virus strains on monkeys, and hiring government officials so they're not regulated as harshly.
In addition, Walker also voiced his suspicion that the original Covid virus didn't come from Wuhan, China, calling the theory "bullsh*t."
"In the ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research," the company continued, before clarifying that they collaborated with unspecified parties "where the original SARS-CoV-2 virus has been used to express the spike protein from new variants of concern."
"This work is undertaken once a new variant of concern has been identified by public health authorities. This research provides a way for us to rapidly assess the ability of an existing vaccine to induce antibodies that neutralize a newly identified variant of concern," the statement continued. "We then make this data available through peer reviewed scientific journals and use it as one of the steps to determine whether a vaccine update is required."
Pfizer went on to say that "most" of the assessments of Covid strains are conducted "using computer simulations or mutations of the main protease — a non-infectious part of the virus."
"In a limited number of cases when a full virus does not contain any known gain of function mutations, such virus may be engineered to enable the assessment of antiviral activity in cells," they continued. "In addition, in vitro resistance selection experiments are undertaken in cells incubated with SARS-CoV-2 and nirmatrelvir in our secure Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory to assess whether the main protease can mutate to yield resistant strains of the virus."
The statement notably left out any mention of Walker, who's employment and specific statements were neither confirmed nor denied by the company.
Despite Pfizer's attempt at an explanation, not all were convinced. On Twitter, author and filmmaker Mike Cernovich called for congressional hearings for the company.
"Project Veritas report is confirmed by this statement from Pfizer. It took them days to draft this dishonest tripe. Time for congressional hearings under oath," he wrote.
"I love how they say they're not doing gain of function or directed evolution and then try to use big words and get complicated to confuse people to explain how they're using directed evolution or gain a function to test their drugs but it's totally safe in their labs," another Twitter user wrote.
"Pfizer tries to mislead by saying 'We' have not conducted gain of function, BUT in the next sentence they admit to working with 'Collaborators' (e.g., contractors under supervision or direction of Pfizer) that may have," another person pointed out.
In the Project Veritas video, which has amassed over 21 million views on Twitter and had over 800,000 YouTube views before it was taken down by the platform, Walker said that Pfizer is exploring "mutating" Covid to produce more vaccines.
"One of the things we [Pfizer] are exploring is like, why don't we just mutate it [COVID] ourselves so we could create -- preemptively develop new vaccines, right? So, we have to do that. If we're gonna do that though, there's a risk of like, as you could imagine -- no one wants to be having a pharma company mutating f**king viruses."
He added, "From what I've heard is they [Pfizer scientists] are optimizing it [COVID mutation process], but they're going slow because everyone is very cautious — obviously they don't want to accelerate it too much. I think they are also just trying to do it as an exploratory thing because you obviously don’t want to advertise that you are figuring out future mutations."
Walker pleaded with the reporter, "Don't tell anyone. Promise you won't tell anyone. The way it [the experiment] would work is that we put the virus in monkeys, and we successively cause them to keep infecting each other, and we collect serial samples from them."
The Big Pharma executive went on to say that the industry "is a revolving door for all government officials."
"So, in the pharma industry, all the people who review our drugs -- eventually most of them will come work for pharma companies. And in the military, defense government officials eventually work for defense companies afterwards," he explained to the journalist.
Walker noted that the practice was "…pretty good for the industry to be honest. It's bad for everybody else in America."
He explained that “…when the regulators reviewing our drugs know that once they stop regulating, they are going to work for the company, they are not going to be as hard towards the company that’s going to give them a job.”
Walker also appeared fearful that the gain of function research that Pfizer is "not supposed to do" might cause more viral outbreaks.
"You're not supposed to do gain of function research with viruses. Regularly not. We can do these selected structure mutations to make them more potent. There is research ongoing about that. I don't know how that is going to work. There better not be any more outbreaks because…Jesus Christ," he said.
When he realized he was being recorded as James O'Keefe approached him, Walker immediately becaem erratic and violent, destroying a Project Veritas iPad and calling himself "a liar."
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story referred to Walker as a Pfizer exec. He is, in fact, a director.
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