Elizabeth Holmes and the forgotten patients

It was not so long ago that Elizabeth Holmes was the media’s favorite wunderkind. Born in 1984, she seemed to represent the best of the Millennial generation. Holmes was a young woman who was whip-smart, excelled at science, and she was a billionaire. She was the CEO of Theranos, a start-up company that promised to revolutionize blood testing. 

Then it all came crashing down, and we discovered that it was a colossal fraud from the get-go.

The case against Holmes has focused on the defrauding of investors. Holmes was, indeed, guilty of that, and that’s bad enough. But there’s more.

While this never became a medical disaster on the scale of Thalidomide, numerous patients were given false test results—for pregnancy, HIV, and other life-changing diagnoses. 

If you’ve ever had one of those heart-wrenching appointments with a doctor yourself, or been through it with a relative, you’ll appreciate the sheer evil of the deceit perpetrated here.

It baffles the mind, then, that Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), among others, is pleading for clemency for Holmes, who has been sentenced to 11+ years in prison. 

What if your father, mother, or child had received an inaccurate blood test because of the shenanigans at Theranos? These were the same shenanigans that made Elizabeth Holmes a billionaire, I should add. 

Senator Booker wrote the judge presiding over Holmes’s trial, claiming that Holmes is “thoughtful” and wanting “to make a difference in the world”. Where was that sense of charity and love for humankind when she was deliberately marketing defective blood tests?

Holmes is an attractive, (still) youngish woman with long blonde hair and a pretty smile. She brings out a certain tendency in some men to see the good in any attractive woman, even if she is a convicted murderer…or a medical fraud artist who bilked investors and endangered lives. 

Convicted murderer Jodi Arias received numerous marriage proposals while in prison. WTF??

How much sympathy would Elon Musk receive in the same situation? Or, for that matter, an older, less attractive woman who did not remind some men (such as certain Democratic senators from New Jersey) of the classic damsel in distress?