Tag: Bidens

Biden’s son-in-law faces scrutiny over startup investment

Move over Hunter, now it’s Howard’s turn to face some Biden family conflict-of-interest scrutiny.

Politico reported Tuesday that Joseph R. Biden’s son-in-law Howard Krein served as an informal adviser to his campaign’s COVID-19 response while also being involved in a venture capital firm that set aside $1 million for startups with ideas aimed at addressing the pandemic and others like it.

StartUp Health, the investment firm that employs Mr. Krein, who is married to Mr. Biden’s daughter Ashley, sought to pump money into ideas related to “mitigating, managing, or treating the coronavirus or future pandemics,” according to the company’s website.

Mr. Krein had been involved in daily briefing calls with Mr. Biden, according to Bloomberg and The New York Times.

Around the same time, Politico reported that his venture capital firm announced it was looking to invest $1 million into startup companies with possible coronavirus breakthroughs.

Mr. Biden has already faced scrutiny over allegations that his son, Hunter, scored a cushy position on the board of a Ukranian energy company while his father led the Obama administration’s efforts in Ukraine.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

fbq('init', '329974197684672'); fbq('init', '450591302454597');

fbq('track', "PageView"); fbq('track', 'ViewContent');

fbq('trackSingle', '450591302454597' , 'Subscribe', {value: '0.00', currency: 'USD', predicted_ltv: '0.00'});

Source Article

Continue reading

Biden’s son-in-law advises campaign on pandemic while investing in Covid-19 startups

“StartUp Health is putting the full support of its platform and network behind building a post-Covid world that uses technology and entrepreneurial ingenuity to improve health outcomes,” the firm said at the time.

Krein simultaneously advising the campaign and venturing into Covid investing could pose conflict-of-interest concerns for a Biden administration, or simply create the awkward appearance of Krein profiting off his father-in-law’s policies. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the federal government has directed tens of billions of dollars in coronavirus medical spending in areas like testing and vaccine research to private firms. It is poised to spend billions more next year and possibly beyond.

The potential conflicts are not limited to the coronavirus for Krein, 53, a Philadelphia-based head-and-neck surgeon who got into venture investing not long after he began dating Biden’s daughter, Ashley, in 2010.

Since StartUp Health’s 2011 launch, when Krein came on as its chief medical officer, it has invested in more than 300 health care businesses, according to its website, which prominently features the term “moonshot” to describe its investment goals — language that echoes that of Joe Biden’s own signature Cancer Moonshot initiative. In its early years, the firm enjoyed close ties to the Obama administration and described Krein as a White House adviser.

“I have little doubt that the relationship to Joe Biden, particularly if he becomes president, would attract the interest of some investors,” said Avik Roy, founder of Roy Healthcare Research, an investment research firm, and a former adviser to the presidential campaigns of Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

StartUpHealth did not respond to interview requests, and the Biden campaign declined to make Krein or others tied to the company available for interviews. In response to questions, a campaign official said that Krein does not have a formal role with the campaign, but acknowledged that he had participated in calls briefing Biden on coronavirus based on his experience treating patients and coordinating his hospital’s response to the outbreak.

Even informal input or the perception of access can be valuable in health care, a heavily regulated sector that is influenced by federal policy and spending priorities.

“Sometimes the perception is all you need,” said Laura Huang, a professor at Harvard Business School who studies the early-stage investment process. “Signaling is very important for startups and investors alike, and one signal is high-profile individuals who can help provide access.”

Roy said the firm’s Biden ties could also help it land stakes in hot startups that can be choosy about the investors they take money from. “Those companies will take your calls,” he said. “People who are plugged in have an advantage, and that is a common feature of a lot of heavily regulated industries.”

The influence concerns posed by the firm are compounded by its foreign ties. One StartUp Health fund raised $31 million from investors, including the Swiss drugmaker Novartis and the Chinese insurer Ping An, in 2018. The firm’s website also lists the Chinese technology conglomerate

Continue reading

Trump and Biden’s debate over ‘law and order’ highlighted a secret to Biden’s success

In the wake of this summer’s police brutality protests, President Donald Trump has in recent weeks tried to frame the election as a referendum on “law and order.” In many ways he has succeeded; “Race and Violence in Our Cities” was a heated and lengthy section of Tuesday’s first presidential debate. “The people of this country want and demand law and order … and you won’t even say the phrase,” Trump challenged former Vice President Joe Biden. “I’ll say it,” Biden countered, claiming that he believed in “systematic injustice” while also supporting most police officers and opposing violence.

The term “law and order” is itself a natural fit for Trump’s vocabulary: Widely associated with white reactionary politics, it has little to do with maintenance of the law.

The term “law and order” is itself a natural fit for Trump’s vocabulary: Widely associated with white reactionary politics, it has little to do with maintenance of the law and more to do with fomenting racial resentment. As early as 1968, some began to understand the term as “a shorthand message promising repression of the Black community.”

But recent polling in key states suggests that voters seem to narrowly prefer Democratic nominee Joe Biden on matters of law and order. Despite punditry to the contrary, it shouldn’t be surprising that Biden leads on this issue; he’s been running law-and-order campaigns since 1972. It is important to note, however, that Biden is also trusted in handling the protests and race relations. Together, this highlights one of Biden’s political secrets to success. For the last 48 years, Biden’s fortunes have rested on his ability to present himself as a champion of seemingly opposing issues. November’s election will be a test of this decades-running formula.

Today, Biden is just weeks away from completing his 13th, and possibly final, bid for elected office. When he announced his candidacy for the Senate in the early months of 1972, his only political experience was a brief stint on the New Castle County Council. In fact, Biden was so young that at age 29, he was constitutionally ineligible for the seat during the entirety of his campaign (he turned 30 two weeks after the election).

Biden’s first Senate campaign was an uphill battle. Still inexperienced, he was running against J. Caleb Boggs, a two-term incumbent senator and former governor. Covering Biden’s announcement, The Morning News of Wilmington vaguely summarized his positions: Biden says “he is for the poor,” “for the elderly,” “for law and order, but also for justice.” And then, most bizarrely, he was described as being both “for and against busing.” (It’s revealing that when juxtaposed, the opposite of law and order is not mayhem or lawlessness, but justice.)

The campaign would be fought in the shadow of a national debate over busing, which, while rooted in education, was also very much an issue related to racial unrest and “law and order” politics. Concerns over desegregation busing had been slowly building to a boil since 1959, but the

Continue reading