Joe Biden’s son-in-law, Howard Krein, has been informally advising the Democrat presidential nominee’s campaign on its coronavirus policy at the same time Krein’s venture capital business StartUp Health has been investing in health care startups that offer solutions to the pandemic, Politico reported on Tuesday.
Such a situation could spur accusations of conflict-of-interest for a Biden administration or at least create an awkward appearance of his son-in-law profiting off the administration’s policies.
Early on in the pandemic, StartUp Health announced a goal to invest a total of $1 million in 10 startups with coronavirus applications in order to build “a post-Covid world that uses technology and entrepreneurial ingenuity to improve health outcomes.”
The federal government has spent tens of billions of dollars in coronavirus-related testing and vaccine research on private firms since the start of the pandemic and is likely to spend billions more in the coming year.
Howard Krein Profits As Joe Biden Plays Dumb
Making matters more complicated for any Biden administration is that Krein’s potential conflicts are not limited to this venture, as StartUp Health has invested in more than 300 health care businesses since its launch in 2011.
Moreover, the company already enjoyed close ties in its early years to the Obama administration, with Krein described as a White House adviser.
StartUp Health and the Biden campaign declined to respond.
When asked about ethical safeguards in a Biden administration, a campaign official cited Biden’s statement last year pledging to erect an “absolute wall” between the presidency and his family’s business dealings.