Then-Vice President Joe Biden voiced support for Theranos on his behalf and that of sitting President Barack Obama referring to the company “an inspiration.” Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was convicted on four counts of fraud this week.
“You know, the president and I, as I hope we’ve demonstrated, led by the president, share your vision of a new healthcare paradigm focused on preventive care,” Biden said while meeting with Holmes in 2015.
Biden publicly endorsed Theranos, offering praise for “charging historically low prices” and making its diagnostic tools available to the public at large. The support from not only Biden but the sitting presidential administration played a key role in fundraising to support Theranos which has been valued at nine-billion dollars.
We now know that the technology that Holmes claimed would conclusively analyze and produce life-saving tests from only a few drops of blood was a sham. Some patients rushed to the emergency room after Theranos’ test informed them they were on the brink of death, only to learn they were fine after a real test was used.
The technology claimed to be used at Theranos was almost totally ineffective.
Biden was apparently swayed by the fraudster.
"Information is the lifeblood of research." -VP Biden on innovation in health care today at the Theranos manufacturing facility
— VP Biden (Archived) (@VP44) July 23, 2015
On July 23rd, 2015 Biden made an appearance at the headquarters of Theranos and was given a full tour.
He later said, “This is inspiration. It is amazing to me, Elizabeth, what you’ve been able to do.”
Vice President Joe Biden participates in a roundtable discussion yesterday in the Theranos machine shop in California pic.twitter.com/qfw30XrzbN
— VP Biden (Archived) (@VP44) July 24, 2015
While Holmes was giving a tour of the Theranos laboratory and manufacturing facility to Biden, featuring Theranos’ finger stick test and innovative test system, Biden turned down the opportunity to have his blood tested.
Most everything Biden was shown on his tour was later proven in court to be a complete sham.
According to Biden, his introduction to Holmes took place a year prior to his tour of the facility in 2015.
“I’ve been threatening Elizabeth for the last year that I’m going to come and see the operation and be shown around,” he said at the time.
Biden’s support extended to the validation of Theranos’ legitimacy after the company submitting its tests results to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Shortly after Biden’s visit to Theranos, the Obama White House’s YouTube channel shared a video featuring Holmes speaking “about her Signature Initiative on empowering women in science, technology, mathematics and business.”
Holmes and business partner Ramesh Balwani had previously face indictment in 2018 for two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. At this time now that Homes has been deemed guilty on one federal charge of conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud she will face up to 20 years in prison per count for a potential total of 80 years.
Balwani is still facing charges and is expected in court early this year.
“I decided to deal with it by playing my guitar superloud. I probably disturbed my neighbors,” said Shultz, an ex-Theranos employee who helped expose the once-hyped blood-testing startup. “I had a lot of nervous energy.”
For Shultz, the moment had been building for some time. He went public with what he knew about Theranos when he was 22. Now 31, nearly a decade of his life was spent watching the powerful woman and her elite-endorsed company unravel.
“This story has been unfolding for pretty much my entire adult life,” said Shultz in a long-ranging interview with NPR from an in-law suite at his parents’ home in Silicon Valley’s Los Gatos.
Theranos was caught and exposed by former employee Tyler Shultz for using already existing technology to provide test results that they claimed came from their ow technology.
According to Shultz, “I had a lot of nervous energy.” Shultz had blown the whistle on Theranos when he was 22-years-old. Now being 31, this has taken up almost a decade of Shultz’s life.
Now that Homes has been fully exposed as a fraud and convicted in criminal court, Shultz’s was finally left to celebrate the efforts of his hard work. Reportedly this was celebrated by ‘popping champagne.’
“This story has been unfolding for pretty much my entire adult life,” said Shultz in an interview with NPR.
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