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Project Veritas Uncovers Why YouTube Censored Pfizer Video Alleging Gain of Function COVID Research

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: February 1, 2023
Project Veritas James O'Keefe YouTube Censorship Pfizer Expose
James O’Keefe, President of Project Veritas, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 24, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. The Project uncovered the reason their video exposé of Pfizer Director Jordon Trishton Walker stating the company was conducting gain of function research on COVID-19 to develop new vaccines was censored by YouTube. (Image: Raedle/Getty Images)

Investigative journalist outlet Project Veritas uncovered why YouTube decided to censor a video of an undercover sting on a Pfizer director who told a man he was on a dinner date with that the company was conducting “directed evolution” gain of function research on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as part of its vaccine R&D pipeline.

The Project Veritas Twitter account published a YouTube internal “C.8 URGENT GUIDANCE” document, which they say was obtained from a company insider, on Jan. 30 that revealed the reason for the video’s deplatforming.

Dated Jan. 27, the document found no specific issue with the content of the Project’s video it could latch onto.

Instead, YouTube’s censors decided to focus on a few seconds of intra-clip narration by Veritas frontman James O’Keefe, who stated, “Our undercover journalist asked Walker how Pfizer is handling the fact that their COVID vaccines are ineffective against virus variants [emphasis inherent]. What he said is disturbing, listen to this.”


The guidance instructed YouTube’s censorship team to award a strike for a violation of the platform’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation” edicts.

Under a “WHY” section, the guidance instructed censorship staff: “It is important that we remove violative reuploads of this content as it spreads harmful misinformation about approved vaccines against COVID-19.”

The Jan. 26 video of Pfizer’s Director of Research and Development for Strategic Operations and mRNA Scientific Planning, Jordon Trishton Walker, making the statements quickly went viral, picking up more than 625,000 views on YouTube competitor Rumble and more than 44 million on Elon Musk’s Twitter.

O’Keefe stated on Twitter that the video had 800,000 views before it was squelched. 

In the video, Walker told his dinner date, “One of the things we’re exploring is like, why don’t we just mutate it [COVID] ourselves so we could create — preemptively develop new vaccines, right? So, we have to do that.”

“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,” he continued.

The undercover journalist told Walker that he felt the process “sounds like gain of function to me,” to which the Pfizer Director responded, “It’s a little bit different. I think it’s different,” characterizing the process instead as “directed evolution.”

A Jan. 27 press release by Pfizer’s public relations department attempted to clarify that the company “has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research.”

“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,” Pfizer admitted.

YouTube’s censorship of the clip only served to bring further attention to Project Veritas’s work.

On Jan. 30, Japanese comedy-variety livestreamers “HEAVENESE” included a segment into their 2 hour and 30 minute segment where they spoofed the clip from the perspective of the Yakuza (the Japanese mafia) being the organization conducting gain of function research on viruses to make new vaccines they could sell.

“Due to censorship, we presented a reenactment of the news of the Pfizer scandal in our weekly show,” stated the show in a Feb. 1 Twitter post.

The spoof included a reference to a follow up clip where O’Keefe confronted Walker in a restaurant the day after the original clip went live.

In the 10-minute follow up, Walker, once confronted by O’Keefe, loses his cool and begins making a scene in the venue, running around in circles on his phone while demanding the doors be locked as he calls the police.

By the end of the video, Walker, in full meltdown, took the action of tearing the iPad O’Keefe was carrying that displayed the Director on hidden camera from his hands, throwing it on the ground, and rolling on top of it.

Walker, unable to break it with his hands, got up and then smashed the iPad into the floor of the restaurant in frustration.

At the end of the clip, when O’Keefe and compatriots are leaving the venue and returning to their vehicle, Walker then ran into the middle of the street and stood in front of a black SUV that he believed was theirs, screaming at them to stop while attempting to flag down a police cruiser.

A remaining PV journalist caught the scene on camera and spoke to the officers while showing them the footage of the altercation. An NYPD officer told the journalist on camera that if O’Keefe had remained on the scene when they arrived, Walker would have been the one who was eligible to be charged.

On Jan. 31, the Project’s Twitter account posted, stating they had rented an LED video truck, which had been parked outside of Pfizer World Headquarters for the purposes of playing the video of the two instances for the public to view.

The same day, Fox News covered the story, stating, “Pfizer did not immediately respond when asked for comment on Project Veritas’ LED truck.”