“A belief had been formed that they weren’t safe,” Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol said during a virtual hearing.
He added that Mr. Brandenburg was upset that he and his wife were getting divorced, and an Aurora employee said Mr. Brandenburg had brought a gun to work twice.
A detective wrote in a probable cause statement that Brandenburg, 46, is an admitted conspiracy theorist and that he told investigators that he intentionally tried to screw up the vaccine because it could harm people by changing his DNA.
Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines has risen online with false claims circulating about everything from vaccine ingredients to potential side effects.
One of the first false claims suggested that vaccines could alter DNA.
The mRNA vaccines help train the immune system to identify the spike protein on the coronavirus surface and create an immune response.
Experts have said that claims that vaccines can genetically modify humans are not true.
Advocate Aurora Health Care Medical Group Director Jeff Bahr has said that Mr. Brandenburg admitted that he deliberately removed the vials from the refrigerator at the Grafton Medical Center during the night of December 24-25, returned them, and later left outside again on the night of December 25. to Saturday.
A pharmacy technician discovered the vials outside the refrigerator on December 26.
Bahr said Brandenburg initially said it had removed the vials to access other items in the refrigerator and had not inadvertently replaced them.
The Moderna vaccine is viable for 12 hours out of refrigeration, so workers used the vaccine to inoculate 57 people before discarding the rest.
Police said the discarded doses were worth between $ 10,800 and $ 14,600.
Bahr said the doses people received on Dec. 26 are practically useless.
But Gerol said during the hearing that the vials were actually withheld and Moderna would have to test the doses to make sure they are ineffective before he can press charges.
The biggest and craziest conspiracy theories of the decade
Brandenburg attorney Jason Baltz did not discuss the merits of the case during the hearing.
Gerol declined to press charges, saying he still needs to determine whether Brandenburg actually destroyed the doses.
Judge Paul Malloy ordered Brandenburg to be released on a signed bond of $ 13,000, to surrender his firearms, not to work in healthcare, and not to have contact with Aurora employees.
Brandenburg’s wife of eight years filed for divorce in June.
The couple have two young children.
According to an affidavit submitted by his wife on December 30, the same day that Mr. Brandenburg was arrested for handling the vaccine, he stopped at his home on December 6 and left a water purifier and two food supplies. for 30 days, telling her that the world was “falling apart” and she was in denial.
He said the government was planning cyberattacks and was going to shut down the power grid.
He added that he stored bulk food along with weapons in rental units and that he no longer felt safe around them.
A court commissioner discovered on Monday that Brandenburg’s children were in imminent danger and temporarily barred them from staying with him.
Online court records indicate that the Brandenburg divorce attorney withdrew from the case on December 28.