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Pfizer exec Jordon Walker (left) and James O'Keefe of Project VeritasScreenshot/Project Veritas

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – Eleven conservative members of Congress have signed a letter to the nation’s top medical bureaucrats seeking answers about a bombshell video from the conservative undercover investigators of Project Veritas about pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s work on the controversial COVID-19 vaccines.

Last month, Veritas released a video in which Jordon Trishton Walker, a director of research and development for strategic operations and mRNA scientific planning at Pfizer, told an undercover reporter that COVID-19 has been a “cash cow” for the company and said it may be looking into creating mutant strains of the virus in order to “preemptively develop new vaccines” though that’s “not what we say to the public.”

“Promise you won’t tell anyone,” Walker asks in the video, going on to dispute the politically explosive “gain of function” label (which denotes intentionally strengthening viruses to better study their potential effects) in favor of “directed evolution,” which he insists is a sufficiently “slow” form of exploration. “The way it 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,” he says.

Pfizer responded with a statement that it conducts “in vitro work (e.g., in a laboratory culture dish) to identify potential resistance mutations to” its COVID drug Paxlovid, and that “[m]ost of this work is 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.”

The statement did not satisfy critics. Dr. Robert Malone, a mRNA technology pioneer and prominent COVID-19 establishment critic, called the “word salad” statement “like renaming a child kidnapping and claiming it was an impromptu adoption.”

On February 13, Republican Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Ron Johnson; and Republican Reps. Eric Burlison, Mary Miller, Bob Good, Chip Roy, Andy Biggs, W. Gregory Steube, Bill Posey, and Lauren Boebert signed a joint letter to U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services Xavier Becerra, Food & Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf, and National Institutes of Health Acting Director Lawrence Tabak.

“Multiple sources suspect that the COVID-19 pandemic began when an enhanced virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where GOF research was being conducted,” the letter notes. “Given the possibility that GOF research may have ignited the global pandemic, it is worrying that Pfizer is engaging in research that appears similar in nature.”

“Dr. Walker’s description of Pfizer’s relationship with the FDA sounds like regulatory capture, in which regulators seek to advance commercial interests rather than the public’s interest,” the letter adds. “If true, regulatory capture of the FDA is troubling for two primary reasons. First, it subordinates public safety to personal gain. If Dr. Walker is correct, some regulators may be sacrificing current safety standards for future employment opportunities.”

The lawmakers ask the agency heads if their “subject matter experts […] consider Pfizer ‘mutat[ing] [SARS-CoV-2] ourselves so we could preemptively develop new vaccines’ to be gain-of-function research,” and to “explain the distinction” if not; “[w]hat steps have you taken to ensure that all FDA officials treat firms equally, regardless of size or market power”; “[w]hat steps has the FDA taken to guard against regulatory capture and conflicts of interest among its employees”; and if they are “aware as to whether Pfizer has conducted gain-of-function or directed evolution research for its COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) vaccine, which is legally distinct from its Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.”

Last May, Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee released a report finding “significant circumstantial evidence” that COVID spread from a leak at China’s embattled Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Under former director and White House COVID adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID) approved funding for EcoHealth to explore gain-of-function research.

Fauci and his defenders insisted that the work NIAID approved was not gain-of-function research and could not have led to COVID, but last January Veritas released documents they obtained showing that, before going to NIAID, EcoHealth previously pitched its funding request to DARPA, which rejected it on the grounds that the project would violate a preexisting moratorium on GOF research and failed to account for its potential risks.

Since then, leaked emails have revealed that top researchers with NIAID, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), London’s Wellcome Trust, and the Netherlands’ Erasmus University Medical Center were aware of the lab-leak possibility as early as February 2020 but feared publicly acknowledging it would impair “science and international harmony.” Andrew Huff, an Army veteran and former vice president for the medical non-government organization EcoHealth Alliance, has also attested that COVID-19 was artificially created and escaped from WIV.

Meanwhile, Project Veritas debunked online speculation this week that founder James O’Keefe had been forced out of the organization in response to Pfizer pressure amid reports of conflicting feedback on his management from Veritas employees. Veritas, which has continued to promote its Pfizer investigation, said the conservative icon was “enjoying a well-deserved vacation,” sharing a photo of O’Keefe with anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in the Santa Monica wilderness.