Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), joined by ten other members of Congress, called on Biden’s HHS Secretary and other administration officials Monday to answer questions regarding Project Veritas’ recent undercover video of a Pfizer employee allegedly discussing the company’s ongoing gain of function research.
“In the video, Project Veritas identified the employee as Dr. Jordon Triston Walker, Pfizer’s Director of Research and Development, Strategic Operations – mRNA Scientific Planner. Pfizer did not dispute that Dr. Walker holds that position when responding to the video,” the lawmakers explain. “Dr. Walker made two alarming claims. First, he claimed that Pfizer is considering conducting “directed evolution” research to improve the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Walker’s description of directed evolution resembles gain-of-function (GOF) research, which has been the subject of much controversy— with good reason. HHS defines GOF as “research that improves the ability of a pathogen to cause disease [and] help define the fundamental nature of human-pathogen interactions.”
“In other words,” the lawmakers add. “GOF research strengthens viruses so that scientists can study their effects and proactively develop countermeasures. Since 2011, such research has been the subject of intense scrutiny by scientists and ethicists. In fact, the NIH placed a moratorium on GOF research funding from 2014 to 2017 after a series of breaches in safety protocol at the NIH and CDC.”
The letter addressed claims made by the employee and sought clarification on how the research methods described by Dr. Jordan Trishton Walker differs from gain-of-function research and the particularly disturbing claims that detail a possible conflict of interest when it comes to the relationship between the FDA and pharmaceutical companies.
“Dr. Walker’s comments help explain why smaller pharmaceutical firms report feeling ignored by the agency,” the lawmakers conclude. “Such a system is patently unfair and is antithetical to the equal enforcement of the law.”
The letter was signed by Senator Mike Lee, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Ron Johnson, Reps. Eric Burlison, Mary Miller, Bob Good, Andy Biggs, Greg Steube, Bill Posey, and Lauren Boebert.