Andrew Kerr, DCNF
A medical investment firm staffed by former Vice President Joe Biden’s son-in-law, Dr. Howard Krein, and co-founded by Howard’s brother, Steven Krein, received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in April, less than two weeks before Biden publicly criticized the Trump administration’s management of the program.
Howard Krein, who is married to Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden, and also serves as an informal advisor to the Biden campaign, is the chief medical officer of StartUp Health, which as of September 2018 had built up an investment portfolio valued at over $31 million. The firm received a PPP loan valued between $150,000 and $350,000 on April 12 to retain the jobs of 18 people, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“It is unacceptable to have a small-business program that is leaving minority business owners out in the cold, or that firms with fewer than 20 employees received only about 20% of the money — even though they make up about one third of payroll,” Biden wrote.
The Paycheck Protection Program was intended to send help to the small businesses that needed it most, but President Trump adopted an approach to help his high-priced friends. We’ve got to do better.
Here’s what I would do if I were president: https://t.co/NXMrGe56Pg
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 21, 2020
The Biden campaign and StartUp Health did not return requests for comment.
Biden is no stranger to StartUp Health, according to its founders.
Steven Krein recalled to the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) in 2015 how StartUp Health had announced its launch at an event at the White House in 2011 after Biden personally helped set up a meeting between the firm’s co-founders, Steven Krein and Unity Stoakes, and former President Barack Obama.
“I happened to be talking to my father-in-law that day and I mentioned Steve and Unity were down there,” Krein said, according to the PACT piece. “He knew about StartUp Health and was a big fan of it. He asked for Steve’s number and said, ‘I have to get them up here to talk with Barack.’ The Secret Service came and got Steve and Unity and brought them to the Oval Office.”
Krein’s brother talked with Obama about reforming the efficiency of the medical industry through the use of electronic health records and medical technology.
“The president loved it and it became a talking point for him,” Steven Krein said, according to PACT.
Major investors for StartUp Health include Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, and America Online co-founder Steve Case, according to PACT.
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