This one’s still on you, 2020. The year squeezed in one more nominee for Most Deplorable Human when a Grafton, Wisconsin, hospital pharmacist intentionally removed about 570 coronavirus vaccine doses from refrigeration to render them ineffective for patients.
The 46-year-old pharmacist was fired by the hospital and arrested Thursday on charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug and criminal damage to property, Grafton police announced. Police did not reveal his name, but NPR and The Daily Beast reported a pharmacist named Steven Brandenburg was booked on identical charges Thursday into the Ozaukee County Jail.
The pharmacist initially said the removal was inadvertent, but his subsequent written statement to health officials acknowledged that he took the doses out of the necessary refrigeration on purpose on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The drug becomes useless after 12 hours at room temperature at most.
Grafton police said 57 patients received the exposed doses, but Moderna said they will not suffer harm from the spoiled vaccines.
Suburban Milwaukee neighbor Darlene Scow watched the man be taken away in handcuffs.
“I hope he sits for a long time, because there’s people that should have got those shots and what if they get the virus now?” Scow told WISN-TV. “It’s horrible that somebody would do that on purpose, deliberately do it.
“If he don’t realize the virus is serious, then he’s in la-la land, because it is serious. If anybody should know, a pharmacist should know how serious it is.”
The FBI and the Food and Drug Administration will investigate the case with Grafton police.
If he was caught doing this, just what else might have he done in his prior years in medicine?