U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) took to Twitter on Friday morning to address the recent undercover video from Project Veritas in which an alleged Pfizer employee discusses the possibility of the pharmaceutical company mutating the COVID-19 virus to create new vaccines.

“Companies that receive taxpayer dollars should not play dangerous games with those funds by engaging in gain-of-function research,” Tuberville wrote, linking a story from NBC15 which discusses the Veritas expose. 

Tuberville also referenced two bills he cosponsored which he said would improve public health funding oversight. One of the bills requires the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create an Office of Inspector General to monitor federal grant funding. The other would place a moratorium on all federal research grants involving gain-of-function research.

Gain-of-function research is medical research that involves genetically altering organisms to enhance its biological functions. 

Though formerly denied by former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci, American taxpayer dollars were used to fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). 

Some have suggested that the WIV was involved with the origins of COVID-19. 

Corporate media outlets and Democrats ridiculed the suggestion as a “conspiracy theory,” but senior officials in President Joe Biden’s office later admitted the theories were credible, and an October 2022 Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions report found that the virus “was most likely the result of a research-related incident.”

Another report released earlier this month found that the NIH did not provide adequate oversight of money it awarded to research projects, such as the ones at the WIV.

Project Veritas released the video of the alleged Pfizer employee on Wednesday evening. Veritas founder James O’Keefe claimed to have information confirming the alleged employee, Jordan Walker, is, in fact, a Pfizer employee under the title of “Director of Research and Development Strategic Operations and MRNA Scientific Planning.”

According to O’Keefe, Walker graduated from Yale in 2013 and earned a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

As of Friday, Pfizer has not commented on the video or confirmed Walker’s employment. 

In the video, Walker appears to believe he was on a third date. The reporter, who was wearing a wire, asked Walker to confirm whether Pfizer is thinking about mutating COVID-19.

“Well, that’s not what we say to the public, no,” Walker answered. “... You have to promise you won’t tell anyone … You know how the virus keeps mutating? Well, one of the things we’re exploring is like, why don’t we just mutate it ourselves so we could… preemptively develop new vaccines, right? So we have to do that. If we’re going to do that, though, there’s a risk of, like, as you could imagine, no one wants be having a pharma company mutating f**king viruses.”

Walker said that he suspects COVID-19 started in the Whuan lab.

“Like, it makes no sense that this virus popped out of nowhere,” he said. 

Walker said that he’s not talking about gain-of-function but “directed evolution,” which he said are not necessarily the same things. 

“It’s a little bit different,” he said. “I think it’s different. It’s like this, it’s definitely not gain-of-function … Directed evolution is very different … We do these selected structure mutations to try to see if we can make them more potent. So there is research annoying about that. I don’t know how that’s going to work. There better not be any more outbreaks.”

Walker also discussed how regulators come work for pharmaceutical companies after working in federal agencies, among other controversial subjects related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 is probably going to be a cash cow for us for a while going forward,” Walker said.

In another video, O’Keefe approached Walker and revealed to him that he was being recorded. Walker went into a panic and said he was lying to impress someone on a date. He then called the police but later quickly became confrontational as the Veritas team attempted to exit the restaurant per the restaurant owner’s request. 

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent a letter to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in response to the video, asking for answers about Pfizer's supposed intentions to mutate the COVID-19 virus.

“Whether it’s gain of function research, or selected structure mutations through directed evolution, as Mr. Walker claimed would occur, any effort to make a virus more transmittable and deadlier is careless and dangerous,” Rubio wrote. “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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