Elizabeth Holmes Sits In Prison, and That's a Grave Injustice
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During the lockdowns related to the coronavirus, tens of millions of Americans lost their jobs, while millions of U.S. businesses were horribly impaired. Around the world, the New York Times reported that the economic contraction born of the lockdowns had something in the range of 285 million humans on the fast path to starvation.

About the brutal effects of shutdown, then NIAID head Anthony Fauci was clear that he would rather overreact than not. Fauci would never miss a meal or paycheck as a consequence of his emotions becoming policy, and he certainly won’t miss future meals as he ventures toward a lavish post-NIAID life paved with lucrative book deals, speaking fees, and private planes. The victims of his conceit weren’t so lucky.

Fauci and other experts like him are difficult to keep out of mind with Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes well in mind. Holmes presently sits in prison, brutally kept from her children. As a male father of two, the very notion is too cruel to contemplate. In which case, imagine what it’s like for a mother. It’s no reach to speculate that the prison aspect of Holmes’s situation is easy for her relative to the torture of not being able to see her kids, hold them, and watch them grow up.

It all raises a question: do any of those reading this opinion piece feel safer with Holmes off of the streets? Assuming you actually believe the popular (and blatantly false) media narrative about Holmes, can you honestly say that what those well outside the proverbial arena claim Holmes did somehow made you less safe, less economically secure, jobless, or that it limited your ability to feed yourself?

The simple truth is that Holmes was, and realistically still is, a doer. Unhappy with the blood testing status quo, she set out to change it with an all-new technology. More remarkably in consideration of the skepticism that entrepreneurs endure as they seek to invent the future, Holmes succeeded in finding the capital necessary to make real what began as a vision. But wait, skeptics will say, the technology didn’t work.

Actually, millions and millions of blood tests were conducted with the technology. The vast majority produced real and valid results. Yet even if the technology hadn’t lived up to Holmes’s vision, since when do we vilify and imprison those eager to improve on the present?

Others will say Holmes and Theranos utilized competitor machinery and technology in secret, and as a way of working around deficiencies with the so-called Theranos-branded machine. Such a view is a misnomer. Indeed, Theranos was never as much about the machine as it was about technology within it that would test blood acquired in less invasive ways. Put another way, to criticize Theranos’s use of outside technology is like criticizing Apple-branded computers for housing Windows technology.

The goal with the Theranos testing technology was to reach as many individuals as possible with it, and in as many machines as possible. The value was in the IP, not in the machines that would house it.

Oh well, if you conducted literally millions of “man on the street” interviews about the why behind Holmes’s imprisonment, most would say it’s based on “theft” of investor money to fund a technology that didn’t work. No, that’s not true. Holmes quite laudably believed deeply in her vision, only to find investors willing to take a risk on a new way of doing things.

We need more people like Holmes, and we certainly needed her in 2020 as the medical establishment recommended economic contraction as a virus mitigation strategy. The latter proved thoroughly hellish for those with the least around the world, yet the architects of a veritable human rights disaster roam free while Holmes sits in prison. A grave injustice indeed.

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, Vice President at FreedomWorks, a senior fellow at the Market Institute, and a senior economic adviser to Applied Finance Advisors (www.appliedfinance.com). His latest book is The Money Confusion: How Illiteracy About Currencies and Inflation Sets the Stage For the Crypto Revolution.

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