A US man reportedly abused pharmacists live on Facebook and threatened them with execution if they continued vaccinating
US media including the Springfield News-Leader, which originally reported the incident this week, and the Washington Post have covered the behaviour of a man who allegedly used his online identity as the “vaccine police” to harass pharmacists.
Alabama man Christopher Key – an entrepreneur with the controversial two-man sports supplements business Sports With Alternatives to Steroids, which reportedly provided “deer antler spray” as an injury remedy – attended an anti-vaccine protest outside a hospital in Springfield, Missouri last week.
Remaining in Springfield, he has since visited a number of pharmacies to protest vaccination against COVID-19.
According to the News-Leader, he went to the pharmacy at the Walmart Supercenter west of Springfield and told workers there that he was putting them, “on notice”.
First, he and followers prayed in the parking lot, with Mr Key saying he aimed to “put the fear of God in these pharmacists”.
Pharmacy staff retreated to the dispensary, locked the door and closed the window to keep Mr Key and about half a dozen followers out.
“You are being put on notice!” Mr Key told them. “And if they give one more vaccine, as of this day after being put on notice, then they can be hung up. And they can be executed.”
He and his followers, still streaming live on Facebook, continued to abuse the pharmacists from outside the door for about half an hour.
“What they’re doing here is they’re violating the Nuremberg Code, and if you allow one more shot to go into one more person’s body, you yourself can be executed,” he said.
“I do this out of love, I’m not trying to give you any fear and intimidation — I’m just letting you guys know that if you continue to do this, that you guys will be held accountable.”
He claimed he was attempting to prevent the pharmacists being executed in a manner similar to pharmacists and doctors who had worked with the Nazi regime during the 1930s and 40s.
Mr Key repeated unsupported claims that 45,000 people had died within three days of being given a COVID-19 vaccination.
He also tried to convince staff that there was “no package insert” and that the labelling on vaccines was “left intentionally blank,” which he said invalidated their validity—though as News-Leader reporter Andrew Sullender points out, the J&J vaccine’s packaging is mostly blank, using a QR code to direct patients to the most up-to-date information about it.
He reportedly told attending police that he and his followers had come to the store to be vaccinated, but been turned away.
The Washington Post alleges that Mr Key has made similar claims and threats at other pharmacies in the Springfield area, later visiting a Walgreens and a CVS.
The Post’s Jaclyn Peiser notes Missouri’s high death rate from COVID-19 and low vaccination rate (around 51% fully vaccinated).