HomeHealth Care NewsPfizer Executives Must Come Clean on COVID-19 ‘Mutation’ Experiments - Commentary

Pfizer Executives Must Come Clean on COVID-19 ‘Mutation’ Experiments – Commentary

By Robert Moffit

Jordon Trishton Walker, M.D., a director of research and development for Pfizer Inc., recently became an overnight internet sensation.

The reason: in rambling remarks to an undercover Project Veritas reporter, Walker outlined how the company could mutate viruses in a lab and do so to create new vaccines, while speculating on the potential of such a process to be a “cash cow” for the pharmaceutical giant and, presumably, others in the industry.

Then, realizing he was being recorded, Walker had a meltdown. It’s not hard to see why (see article below).

Research to “mutate viruses” does sound inherently dangerous—suspiciously like viral “gain of function” research, the kind of research designed to genetically enhance the transmissibility and lethality of the virus and the kind of notorious lab work in Wuhan, China, that may have been the source of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Pfizer’s Public Defense

Responding to Walker’s allegations, Pfizer, without mentioning him by name, denied it has been conducting “gain of function” or “directed evolution” research.

“Working with collaborators, we have conducted research where the original SARS-CoV-2 virus has been used to express the spike protein from new variants of concern,” stated Pfizer. “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.”

‘Within the Law’

Pfizer claims it is operating within the law. The company notes that federal regulations require such lab work to identify potential resistance to a therapeutic; in this case, Paxlovid, the most prominent therapeutic to treat COVID-19.

“With a naturally evolving virus, it is important to routinely assess the activity of an antiviral. Most of this work is conducted using computer simulations or mutations of the main protease, a non-infectious part of the virus,” stated Pfizer. “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 those “limited” cases, Pfizer says, these “mutation” experiments are conducted in a secure lab to determine potential viral resistance. Furthermore, the company again emphasizes, “It is important to note that these studies are required by U.S. and global regulators for all antiviral products and are carried out by many companies and academic institutions in the U.S. and around the world.”

Rather than just assuming Pfizer’s representations are truthful, congressional investigators should verify the company’s claims. Lawmakers need to subpoena Walker, the appropriate Pfizer executives, and the relevant documents.

Pressing Policy Questions

Congress should also drill down on several pressing policy questions.

First, is Pfizer’s distinction between its “limited” viral mutation experiments and “gain of function” or “directed evolution” research—the kinds of research that the company denies conducting—a difference without a distinction?

Is there a difference, for example, between “gain of function” research on viruses that exist in nature to make them more contagious or lethal to humans, and inducing lab mutations of a pathogen already infecting millions of humans to enhance the power of vaccines or therapeutics?

Does a researcher’s intent make a legal difference?

Is Public Safety Ensured?

Second, is there a difference in the risk to the public from a “gain of function” research effort to enhance the transmissibility or lethality of a pathogen in nature and an experimental mutation of a virus, as acknowledged by Pfizer, to enhance vaccines or therapeutics?

Third, is Pfizer “optimizing” this COVID “mutation” process? Walker made reference to this in the video (see opposite page). And if so, why?

Fourth, are existing federal regulations governing such pharmaceutical research studies that Pfizer cites sufficient to ensure public safety and protection from the kind of viral manipulation that Walker suggested in his remarks to Project Veritas?

Missed Opportunities

These questions are particularly relevant considering two recent developments within the Biden administration.

First, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently found that National Institute of Health officials bypassed a critical HHS review of coronavirus research conducted by the EcoHealth Alliance, the firm at the heart of the debate over the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

The OIG report found several deficiencies, stating: “[W]e conclude that NIH missed opportunities to more effectively monitor research. With improved oversight, NIH may have been able to take more timely corrective actions to mitigate the inherent risks associated with this type of research.”

Congressional Oversight Required

Second, an expert panel of advisers to the NIH issued a comprehensive report on laboratory safety, with 13 findings and 13 recommendations to enhance government oversight over scientific research on dangerous pathogens, including “gain of function” studies.

Their primary finding was that there should be a “department-level” review of these research projects and a broader definition of the pathogens that could lead to a pandemic. Though the recommendations were unanimous, they were not without controversy among scientists. Congress, obviously, needs to review this report.

The COVID-19 experience has taught us many hard lessons. To prepare for the next medical crisis, Congress needs to thoroughly probe the weaknesses in the federal government’s pandemic response.

A top-line lesson is that lawmakers cannot simply depend upon government administrators to do the right thing. The American people need peace of mind, not lax oversight of either corporate executives or government officials.

Robert Moffit, Ph.D., is a senior fellow in domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation. A version of this article appeared in The Daily Signal on February


Caught on Camera: Pfizer Exec Jordon Trishton Walker

On January 25, Project Veritas released an edited video it identified as depicting Jordon Trishton Walker, M.D., a director of research and development for Pfizer Inc., speaking to Veritas’ undercover videographer.

“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?” Walker said. “… If we’re going to 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,” said Walker.

Walker said Pfizer was “optimizing” the COVID mutation process. “From what I’ve heard … [Pfizer scientists] are optimizing it, but they are going slow because everyone is very cautious,” said Walker. “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 asked the person secretly recording him to keep his comments confidential.

“Don’t tell anyone,” said Walker. “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.”

‘Revolving Door’

Walker suggested regulatory capture is a benefit to Big Pharma. “… 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.”

The unidentified Project Veritas journalist asked how Walker felt about “that revolving door”?

“It’s pretty good for the industry to be honest,” said Walker. “It’s bad for everybody else in America. Because 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.”

Unexpected Side Effect

Walker also discussed how the COVID-19 shots were impacting menstrual cycles.

“There is something irregular about the menstrual cycles; so, people will have to investigate that down the line,” said Walker.

  Walker says that is a surprising development. “The [COVID] vaccine shouldn’t be interfering with that [menstrual cycles],” said Walker. “So, we don’t really know. I hope we don’t find out that somehow this mRNA lingers in the body and like—because it has to be affecting something hormonal to impact menstrual cycles.”

-Staff reports








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