Local authorities have been investigating the man who intentionally let vaccine doses spoil.
Two weeks ago, a report came in from a pharmacy in Wisconsin that 57 vials of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, at least 500 doses worth, had been left out of their refrigerator, causing them to spoil. The man responsible for this act has since been identified as 46-year-old pharmacist Steven Brandenburg, who admitted to intentionally sabotaging the vaccines. Brandenburg has been arrested for actions, and an investigation has begun to determine their root cause.
Following a virtual hearing with Brandenburg, Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol offered several explanations to the man’s behavior. According to an anonymous detective that is working the case, Brandenburg is a self-admitted conspiracy theorist, and was under the impression that the COVID-19 vaccines posed a danger to those receiving them. Specifically, Brandenburg believed that the vaccines had the potential to alter human DNA. This is based on a long-since debunked theory that vaccines have such a capability; medically experts have repeatedly stressed that vaccines have no such function.
In addition to his conspiracy theories, Brandenburg had apparently been stressed by divorce proceedings with his wife of eight years, who said that Brandenburg had been exhibiting worrying behaviors. In an affidavit signed by his wife, she said that prior to his act of sabotage, Brandenburg arrived unannounced at her house with a large stockpile of food and supplies, claiming that the world was “crashing down.” Brandenburg’s wife also said that he had been stockpiling firearms in a rental unit; this was corroborated by a pharmacy employee, who said that Brandenburg had brought a gun with him to work at least twice in the weeks prior.
Brandenburg has been released on a $10,000 bond. A judge ordered him to surrender all of his firearms to authorities and to stay away from the pharmacy he worked at and its employees. Further charges are pending a second hearing scheduled for January 19.