Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son-in-law has informally advised his campaign’s coronavirus response plan, while serving in a senior advisory role with a venture capital firm that was fielding business pitches related to the outbreak.
Howard Krein is married to Ashley Biden, Joe and Dr. Jill Biden’s 39-year-old daughter, who has largely remained out of the spotlight.
Krein’s primary position is as a physician focused on facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology, a type of head and neck surgeon most commonly associated with an ear, nose and throat doctor.
He operates out of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., where he also serves as chief medical officer to StartUp Health, a venture capital firm that began focusing on technologies and other solutions to the coronavirus pandemic after the outbreak hit the US.
The next month, according to Bloomberg, Krein, 53, was among those who took part in daily calls during the month of April with Biden during which he was briefed on the pandemic and health policy.
Over the course of April while those calls were taking place, StartUp Health announced plans to invest $1 million in 10 startups related to the novel virus within a month.
Questions about a potential conflict of interest for Krein in advising the campaign were first reported by Politico Tuesday.
Reached by The Post for comment, a Biden official said Krein does not serve in an official capacity with the campaign and does not plan to serve in a Biden administration.
The official also described Krein’s work with StartUp Health as more of a consultant position. When pressed for more details, they explained that Krein’s work is not related to looking for potential investments, but instead focused on advising about the medical efficacy of potential investments.
In his work at the hospital in recent months, Krein had joined the front lines of the COVID crisis, the official explained with regard to what information Krein had passed along to the former vice president.
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Because of his exposure to the front lines, he had passed along what information he had gathered to the Democrat in an informal, more familial capacity.
The Biden campaign pointed to a statement the ex-VP gave in 2019 about his family to Politico: “I have never discussed, with my son or my brother or with anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses. Period. And what I will do is the same thing we did in our administration. There will be an absolute wall between personal and private [business interests] and the government.”