The Wisconsin pharmacist who allegedly spoiled a tranche of coronavirus vaccines is a conspiracy theorist who believed the vaccines were harmful, prosecutors claim.
Steven Brandenburg, a pharmacist at Advocate Aurora Health in Grafton, Wisconsin, destroyed a stockpile of coronavirus vaccines because he believed they were dangerous and could mutate people’s DNA, District Attorney Adam Gerol said Monday, The Associated Press reported. Brandenburg was arrested Dec. 31 for destroying more than 500 Moderna vaccine doses by removing them from hospital refrigeration.
“He’d formed this belief they were unsafe,” Gerol said during a virtual hearing Monday, according to The AP. (RELATED: Man Grabs Megaphone, Climbs On Top Of Pants Table In COSTCO To Announce COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory)
A detective investigating the case said in a written statement that Brandenburg is a “conspiracy theorist,” The AP reported.
Wisconsin pharmacist Steven Brandenburg, an admitted conspiracy theorist, has been accused of deliberately destroying vaccine doses. @tomcostellonbc reports he is now facing charges. pic.twitter.com/ysUL1OkwR6
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 5, 2021
Gerol said Brandenburg had been “pretty cooperative and admitted to everything he’d done,” according to The New York Times.
Brandenburg’s wife, who filed for divorce in June, said in an affidavit that he stopped at her house in early December to drop off a 30-day supply of food and a water purifier, The AP reported. He told her the world was “crashing down,” the government was planning cyberattacks and the power grid was going to get shut down.
He has been stockpiling food and guns in multiple storage units, she added.
While Brandenburg originally stated that he accidentally removed the doses, he later admitted that he intended to tamper them, Advocate Aurora Health Care Chief Medical Group Officer Jeff Bahr said, The AP reported.
Gerol hasn’t filed charges in the case yet, saying it hasn’t been determined if the vaccines were actually spoiled, according to The AP. Nearly 60 people were vaccinated with the doses Brandenburg compromised before the remainder were discarded.
The State of Wisconsin has administered 47,157 total coronavirus vaccines as of Dec. 29, according to the state’s most updated figures. The federal government has allocated 265,575 vaccines to the state.
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