Joe Biden visited Theranos, called Elizabeth Holmes ‘inspiring’

Count President Joe Biden among the political elites who fell under the spell of Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes, the former Silicon Valley star who was convicted of defrauding investors on Monday.

Then-Vice President Biden visited Theranos’ California headquarters in 2015, sitting next to its turtlenecked founder during a roundtable and christening the facility the “laboratory of the future.”

“Talk about being inspired,” Biden gushed, according to a Theranos press release published after the visit. “This is inspiration. It is amazing to me, Elizabeth, what you’ve been able to do.”

Biden’s visit came just months before the Wall Street Journal published an exposé revealing that Holmes had misled investors and patients about its blood testing technology. The company, which was once valued at $9 billion, dissolved by 2018 and Holmes was found guilty of three wire fraud charges and one conspiracy charge on Monday.

But before Holmes’ hogwash was revealed, Biden said that the Obama administration considered Theranos to be the future of medicine.

“This is the laboratory of the future,” Biden said.
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“This is the laboratory of the future,” Biden said. “What’s most impressive to me is you’re not only making these lab tests more accessible, you’re charging historically low prices, which is a small fraction of what is charged now, while maintaining the highest standards, and empowering people whether they live in the barrio or a mansion, putting them in a position to help take control of their own health.”

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Biden also told Holmes that he and then-President Barack Obama “share your vision of a health care paradigm focused on prevention.”

Both the vice president’s office and Theranos documented the visit in extensive tweets that were recently unearthed by the Washington Examiner.

Biden was far from the only powerful man to embrace Theranos. The company’s board members included former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former defense secretaries James Mattis and William Perry and former Senators Bill Frist and Sam Nunn.

Other prominent investors who sank millions into Theranos include the Walmart-founding Walton family, the billionaire DeVos family — which includes Trump administration education secretary Betsy DeVos — and Rupert Murdoch, who owns the parent company of The Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Prior to the Journal exposé, Holmes was also embraced by the media, gracing the covers of magazines like Fortune, Forbes and Inc.

Shortly after Biden’s visit, the White House’s YouTube channel posted a short video of Holmes talking about her work “empowering women in science, technology, mathematics and business as well as working on breakthroughs in global health.”

Holmes was also invited to a 2015 White House dinner in honor of the prime minister of Japan, according to an invitation unearthed by the Washington Examiner.

Elizabeth Holmes
Holmes was convicted of fraud on Monday.
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The jury in Holmes’ trial found that she defrauded some investors by lying about the potential of Theranos’ blood testing technology. However, the jury also cleared her of an additional three fraud and one conspiracy charge and failed to reach a verdict on another three charges.

Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the four charges, though most court-watchers say her sentence will almost surely be shorter.

Ramesh “Sonny” Balwani, Holmes’ ex-boyfriend and number-two at Theranos, is set to face the same charges as Holmes in a separate trial later this year.

Elizabeth Holmes
Elizabeth Holmes was once embraced by powerful politicians and media outlets.
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