(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told “Sunday Morning Futures” he wants “simple and accurate” answers from Pfizer regarding a claim that the drug-maker allegedly conducted some kind of protein manipulation or gain-of-function research on the COVID virus as a way of developing new vaccines and treatments.
A recent Project Veritas exposé shows a man, said to be a Pfizer research director, saying that Pfizer is planning to develop new vaccines by mutating the COVID virus through “directed evolution.”
Pfizer released a statement this past Friday, saying in part:
“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.
“In the ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer has not conducted 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…
“…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…”
Pfizer said it also “undertakes in vitro work” to identify potential resistance to its Paxlovid anti-viral treatment. “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.” (See full statement here.)
“Are you comfortable with this statement from Pfizer?” Maria Bartiromo, host of “Sunday Morning Futures,” asked Sen. Lee:
“I’m about as comfortable and persuaded by that statement as I would be by the statements of the Pinocchio character in “Shrek the Third,” “Shrek 3,” as some call it,” Lee said.
“Look, in that movie, Pinocchio avoids getting in trouble by adding so many caveats to the sentence, you can’t really tell what the sentence means anymore. If you read that very same statement that you just read, and you read it in its entirety, it’s very difficult to tell what Pfizer is saying.
“What I don’t see Pfizer saying is, we never did gain-of-function research on COVID anywhere ever, ever in connection with anything. You take away the qualifiers, it becomes a little disturbing. And we need more direct answers than this.”
Lee said the answers, in whatever form Pfizer wants to deliver them, “need to be simple and accurate.”
In a series of recent tweets, Sen. Lee expressed dismay that Pfizer has not disavowed the comments its apparent research director made to Project Veritas. Lee tweeted that the supposed research director “referred to what we think of as gain-of-function research using an apparent euphemism: ‘directed evolution.’”
“That’s a little like calling ‘war’ a ‘directed exchange.’ Or referring to ‘genocide’ as ‘directed population control,'” Lee tweeted.
Lee is not alone in demanding answers from Pfizer.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has sent a letter to Albert Bourla, the president and CEO of Pfizer, asking questions about the claims made by the researcher in the Project Veritas video.
Rubio’s letter read in part:
“Whether it’s gain of function research, or selected structure mutations through directed evolution, as Mr. Walker (the researcher) claimed would occur, any effort to make a virus more transmittable and deadlier is careless and dangerous.
“Further, Mr. Walker stated that Pfizer is willing to engage in this dangerous research because COVID and its variants are ‘a cash cow’ for the company and regulators will go easy on their efforts because a significant percentage of government officials aim to work for Pfizer and other biopharmaceutical companies and do not want to compromise their future job prospects.”
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