Coronavirus is here to stay, just as the Swedish MD/PhDs said back in February 2020 (“don’t lock down unless you’re willing to keep everyone at home for the next 20 years”). Criminal defendants are also likely to remain plentiful here in the U.S. Where do these phenomena intersect? San Jose!
“At Issue in Theranos Trial: Whether Elizabeth Holmes, Witnesses Will Wear Face Masks” (WSJ, August 16, 2021):
Attorneys for Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes told a federal judge on Monday that she plans to attend her criminal fraud trial with three family members or friends by her side and strongly prefers not to wear a face mask.
Should this be at the discretion of judges? Suppose that Dr. Fauci says that the best way to #StopTheSpread is to cover people in hoods, like Al-Qaeda warriors getting into a CIA-chartered Gulfstream for the trip to Guantanamo. Would it be okay for a jury to convict a defendant whose head they’ve never seen? If not, why is it okay for a jury to convict a defendant whose full face they’ve never seen?
Separately, the Theranos fraud (largely perpetrated, according to Bad Blood, by David Boies (on the Theranos Board) and the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner (now representing Palm Beach County in its fight to keep schoolchildren masked against the Florida governor’s order to allow parental choice)), was vaguely predicted here in 2014:
New Yorker magazine carries an article about a young self-made billionaire whose success was partly due to having put in the effort to learn Mandarin while in high school.
Separately, the article covers the question of whether people will benefit from being able to get blood tests more easily and cheaply, e.g., without having to first visit a physician and without having a vein opened up. A doctor friend says “Never order a test unless you know what you’re going to do with the answer.” If he is correct then generally we will not be healthier if we get more numbers more frequently. The article also covers the question of the extent to which the FDA will regulate vertically integrated blood testing labs differently than labs who buy their machines from third-party vendors.
Regarding the second question, I queried a friend in the pharma industry. Here’s what she had to say…
A couple of things struck me, the first being the powerful friends/supporters that she has on her Board. I really do believe that this has insulated her from some rather obvious scrutiny. The second was the FDA representatives who appear to not have a clue regarding their own regulations.
Who was the first to expose what Elizabeth Holmes and David Boies were up to at Theranos? According to Wikipedia, it was coronaheretic John Ioannidis (excommunicated Stanford professor, author of “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False”, and colleague of Dr. Jill Biden, M.D., Ph.D.). Dr. Ionnidis, M.D., Ph.D. pointed out the red flags in February 2015 (a little later than this blog!), which was well before the October 2015 Wall Street Journal article that destroyed the company.
Circling back to the main topic… is it acceptable to run criminal trials in which defendants can be forced by judges to wear masks?
- “Elizabeth Holmes is living on the grounds of a $135 million Silicon Valley estate during her trial” (CNBC)
- Evaluating trustworthiness; lessons from Theranos
- Theranos was an immigration and H-1B story
- Management lessons from Theranos
- “Benefit of COVID-19 vaccination accounting for potential risk compensation” (Nature, John Ionnidis, August 11, 2021): unless the COVID-19 vaccine is perfect, it will turn out to be useless because of “risk compensation” (i.e., people’s behavior will change to the point where their infection risk is the same as before)