The global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has issued a response after Project Veritas released an undercover video which suggested that Pfizer may have engaged in "directed evolution" of the COVID-19 virus so that it could then develop vaccines to combat future variants.
On January 25, PV released a bombshell video featuring Jordon Trishton Walker, who is allegedly Pfizer's director of worldwide research and development strategic operations and mRNA scientific planning in New York City. In the 10-minute video, Walker allegedly admitted that Pfizer may have manipulated the COVID virus so that the company could continue developing vaccines for it.
"One of the things we're 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," Walker allegedly said on video. "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***ing viruses."
While Walker stopped short of calling such tactics "gain-of-function" research, he did call it "directed evolution" and laughed that "COVID is going to be a cash cow for us for a while going forward."
In the days following the release of the video, Pfizer kept silent, but on Friday, the company finally issued a statement, expressing a desire "to set the record straight." Some critics, however, have claimed that the statement all but confirms the accusations made against Pfizer.
On the one hand, the statement asserted unequivocally: "In the ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research."
On the other hand, the statement later seemed to hedge that assertion a bit, adding that Pfizer "routinely assess[es] the activity of an antiviral" by conducting "computer simulations or mutations of the main protease." While the statement insisted that "the main protease" is "a non-infectious part of the virus" and that such studies are "required by U.S. and global regulators for all antiviral products," the statement also seemed to confirm that Pfizer does conduct some measure of virus engineering:
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. 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.
Dr. Robert W. Malone, who appears in the PV sting video to explain some of the medical implications of Pfizer's alleged "directed evolution" research, expressed dissatisfaction with Pfizer's response.
"1) Pfizer lawyers did not throw their Director of R&D Operations and Scientific Planning under the bus," Malone tweeted on Saturday, "2) there is no denial of what he said. 3) No denial that he is Pfizer staff. 4) Swapping new spike sequences into original Wuhan-1 is technically gain of function research."
Becker News CEO Kyle Becker stated, "Pfizer's statement is positively Faucian in its non-denial denial of the central charge at hand."
Right Wing News founder John Hawkins issued a tweet mocking the response as well: "We absolutely do not do this....now here's two paragraphs explaining that we actually do it, but call it a different name."
Pfizer's statement on Friday made no direct reference to the PV video, nor did it address whether Walker is a Pfizer employee.
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