Steven Brandenburg told researchers that he was purposely trying to destroy the doses because he thought the vaccine might change DNAA.
According to court records released Monday, a Wisconsin pharmacist who was sure the world was ‘crashing down’ told police he attempted to ruin hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine because he thought the shots would mutate the DNA of people.
Police arrested Advocate Aurora Health pharmacist Steven Brandenburg last week in Grafton, about 20 miles north of Milwaukee, following an investigation into the 57 contaminated Moderna vaccine vials, which officials say contained enough doses to vaccinate more than 500 individuals.
There are charges pending.
“He had formed this belief they were unsafe,”He had formed this belief that they were vulnerable. Brandenburg was angry because he was in the midst of a divorce from his wife, the prosecutor said, and an Aurora employee said Brandenburg took a gun to work twice.
In a probable cause statement, a prosecutor wrote that Brandenburg, 46, is an acknowledged conspiracy theorist and that he told police he purposely wanted to destroy the vaccine because by manipulating their DNA, it might harm people.
With misleading reports spreading on everything from the components of the vaccines to potential side effects, confusion surrounding the Covid-19 vaccines has surged online.
The vaccines could alter DNA, one of the first false claims said. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine are both based on messenger RNA, or mRNA, a relatively new vaccine technology that has been worked on by experts for years.
MRNA vaccines help train the immune system to recognise the coronavirus spike protein on the surface and develop an immune response. Experts have said that claims that vaccines can genetically alter humans are not valid.
Brandenburg confessed to purposely taking the vials out of refrigeration the night of Dec. 24-25 at the Grafton Medical Center, returning them and then leaving them out again the night of Dec. 25-Saturday, Jeff Bahr, the Advocate Aurora Health Care chief medical group officer, said.
On Dec. 26, a pharmacy technician found the vials outside the fridge.
During the hearing, Brandenburg’s counsel, Jason Baltz, did not comment on the content of the case. On filing charges, Gerol held off, claiming he had yet to decide whether Brandenburg had actually damaged the cans.
Judge Paul Malloy ordered Brandenburg kept on $10,000 bail on the condition that he surrender his weapons, not work in health care and have no contact with Aurora employees.
Brandenburg is divorcing his partner, who he had been married to for eight years. The couple has two little kids.
“He visited her on Dec. 6, according to an affidavit filed by Brandenburg’s wife, and dropped off a water purifier and two 30-day food supplies and told her “the world was falling apart.
She said he also told her that the government was planning cyber attacks and would shut down the power grid.
She added that, along with weapons in rental units, he was storing food in bulk and she no longer felt comfortable around him.