From Shaila Dewan and Kay Nolan's 1-4-21 NEW YORK TIMES article entitled "Pharmacist Accused of Tampering With Vaccine Was Conspiracy Theorist, Police Say":
A pharmacist who was arrested on charges that he intentionally sabotaged more than 500 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine at a Wisconsin hospital was “an admitted conspiracy theorist” who believed the vaccine could harm people and “change their DNA,” according to the police in Grafton, Wis., where the man was employed.
The police said Steven Brandenburg, 46, who worked the night shift at the Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, Wis., had twice removed a box of vials of the Moderna vaccine from the refrigerator for periods of 12 hours, rendering them “useless.”
“Brandenburg admitted to doing this intentionally, knowing that it would diminish the effects of the vaccine,” the police said.
The attempt to destroy precious doses of the vaccine came over the holidays as the state worked to administer vaccines quickly to frontline health care workers. As of Saturday, the state had received 159,800 doses of vaccines and had administered 64,657, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the Moderna product is sometimes described as a “genetic” vaccine, it does not alter a person’s genes in any way [...].
Last month Mr. Brandenburg told his wife, who is in the process of divorcing him, that “the world is crashing down around us,” according to a motion she filed last week asking for sole custody of the couple’s two daughters, 4 and 6, after she learned he was under investigation in the incident at the hospital. She said she feared his reaction if he lost his job.
In her motion, Gretchen Brandenburg said that on Dec. 6, her husband picked up the children and dropped off a water purifier, a large bucket of powdered milk and two 30-day emergency buckets of food.
“He told me that if I didn’t understand by now that he is right and that the world is crashing down around us, I am in serious denial,” she said in an affidavit. “He continued to say that the government is planning cyberattacks and plans to shut down the power grid” [...].
The Brandenburgs married in 2012, and Ms. Brandenburg filed for divorce last June. At a hearing in July, her lawyer testified that his client feared Mr. Brandenburg’s “temper” and said the parties have “vastly different views regarding parenting and views of the world.”
“My understanding is that the respondent is more aligned with the feeling of conspiracy theories,” the lawyer, Brian Herro, said. “He has theories about Covid-19. He believes the end of the world is coming. So my client would like him to be out."
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