Documents from the FBI show the Grafton pharmacist charged with trying to destroy Covid-19 vaccines due to his belief that they are harmful also believed that the Earth is flatâŚ;
and that the sky is a shield used by the government to block peopleâs visual access to God.
46-year-old Steven Brandenburg was on duty at the Aurora Medical Center hospital on December 24 and December 25 when he left the equivalent of 570 vaccine doses out of the refrigerator, which he hoped would spoil them.
However, it remains unclear whether the vaccines were out long enough to go bad.
They were left outside for 3 hours the first night and were then administered to 57 people. The second time, the vials stayed out for around 9 hours, court records confirm.
The Moderna company has made clear that, if kept at room temperature, their vaccines could last about 12 hours and remain intact.
After being charged with a state misdemeanor, the man agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of trying to tamper with a consumer product, for which he could get up to 10 years behind bars. He is scheduled to submit the guilty pleas on February 9.
An FBI agentâs affidavit supporting a warrant to check the manâs mobile, computer, and USB drive showed he was quite outspoken about his views with colleagues, and one of them immediately suspected and reported him once she found the doses were left out of the fridge.
The colleague told authorities that after she had told a supervisor about the vaccines, Brandenburg kept harassing her and tried to âguilt tripâ her about reporting him, stressing that if he was fired, he would lose custody of his children.
She revealed that he had shown her a weapon at work previously, and said she believed he may have carried it at work multiple times because his clothing seemed bulky.
She also noted Brandenburg told her he carried a gun in case the military came for him, and that she was now worried he might lose control if provoked.
The colleague told investigators that Brandenburg believed the vaccines had microchips in them and would âturn off peopleâs birth controlâ while making others infertile. She said that he had been talking to anyone who would listen about his convictions but nobody would take it seriously. According to the search warrant, he would even text his beliefs to the woman.
The colleague also told authorities that Brandenburg was âvery engaged in conspiracy theories,â including the belief that the Earth is flat and that the sky is nothing but a shield installed by the government to prevent people from seeing the almighty.
At first, Brandenburg told investigators he had left the vaccines out by mistake, but in a subsequent phone call and an email to his superiors admitted to leaving them out purposefully as he thought they were dangerous.
In an email, he tried to shift the blame on the stress from his separation from his wife and a lack of proper sleep, stressing that he had taken clonazepam to help him fall asleep earlier on each of the days he left the vaccines out of the refrigerator.
âGiven that combination of circumstances, I was not thinking clearly and acted in a manner not befitting a professional,âÂ he wrote.
The man has had a pharmacist license since 1997. He was let go from the company after his admissions and theÂ Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board has subsequently alsoÂ suspended his license.
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