Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son-in-law is advising the Biden campaign on its coronavirus response while his venture capital firm is looking to invest in health-care startups working on the pandemic.
The Biden relative, Dr. Howard Krein, is part of the investment firm StartUp Health, which in March, when the virus began its rapid spread in the U.S., began an initiative soliciting pitches from entrepreneurs with products that address the outbreak, according to Politico.
The next month, Krein reportedly participated in daily calls to brief Biden on health policy during the pandemic, while StartUp Health announced its intention to invest $1 million across 10 startups with coronavirus applications within 30 days.
“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 in an April 15 announcement. “Our goal in the next 30 days is to add 10 more companies to the [initiative]by investing $1M in seed capital and support through our global platform and community.
Krein advising the campaign and trying to invest in a coronavirus response could pose conflict-of-interest concerns if Biden is elected.
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, Politico also reports.