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 Massive science fraud at Theranos exposed by whistleblower who was viciously threated to stay silent

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PostSubject: Massive science fraud at Theranos exposed by whistleblower who was viciously threated to stay silent   Tue 22 Nov 2016, 16:06

Massive science fraud at Theranos exposed by whistleblower who was viciously threated to stay silent
Monday, November 21, 2016




(NaturalNews) The grandson of a former top Nixon and Reagan official was threatened and coerced for exposing the massive scientific corruption at Theranos, a consumer healthcare technology company founded by Elizabeth Holmes at age 19.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Tyler Shultz – grandson of former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who was the director of Theranos until 2012 – quit the company in April 2014, after complaining to executives that the company was doctoring research and failing quality-control checks.

After laying out his observations and complaints in an email to Holmes, the younger Shultz – who has a degree in biology – received a withering reply from the company's president, Sunny Balwani, who belittled his basic understanding of mathematics and laboratory science, and even took a swipe at the elder Shultz.

"The only reason I have taken so much time away from work to address this personally is because you are Mr. Shultz's grandson," Balwani wrote in an email, a copy of which was examined by the WSJ.

Blowing the whistle

That same day, Tyler Shultz quit, and as he was leaving the Theranos HQ in Palo Alto, Calif., he told the paper that he received a frantic phone call from his mother, who told him Holmes had just called the elder Shultz to warn him his grandson would "lose" if he tried to blow the whistle on the blood-testing startup company.

Now 26, the younger Shultz was one of many employees who attempted to express their concerns about what they viewed as troubling, dishonest practices within the firm. However, according to Shultz, he was the first to contact a state regulator and actually blow the whistle. He told the paper he wanted to expose the scientific fraud taking place at the company to protect patients' health and his grandfather's reputation.

The elder Schutz, now 95, was Treasury and Labor secretary under President Nixon. He was also the first Office of Management and Budget director and secretary of state for President Ronald Reagan, with whom he shared a close relationship. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian honor, by Reagan in 1989.

Tyler Shultz used an alias when he contacted New York state's public-health lab, alleging that Theranos manipulated a process that is known as proficiency testing, which federal and state regulators rely upon to ensure and monitor lab test accuracy. The WSJ said that this was the first known complaint about Theranos' lab practices. In early 2015, Shultz began speaking to a WSJ reporter as a confidential source.

He says he met Holmes at his grandfather's home in 2011, when he was a junior at Stanford University. He says he "fell in love" with Holmes' vision of virtual pain-free blood testing using a proprietary machine called Edison, which Shultz says frequently failed quality control tests and had widely varying results, an allegation that was corroborated in March, when federal regulators banned Holmes from blood-testing for at least two years.

Private investigators, legal intimidation, threats

In one instance, Shultz said that a validation report about an Edison test to detect a sexually-transmitted infectious disease claimed that the test was sensitive enough to detect the disease 95 percent of the time. But when Tyler Shultz examined two sets of experiments from which the report was compiled, they only showed sensitivities of 65 percent and 80 percent, meaning that of 100 people tested, as many as 35 of them could be led to mistakenly believe they were disease-free.

When Tyler told his grandfather about what was going on, he seemed to dismiss him, telling him only that the younger Shultz should probably just move on with his life – which he did. Several months later, he and his parents went to Thanksgiving Dinner at his grandfather's house, and Holmes was there, along with her parents. Small talk ensued, but nothing was discussed about what had transpired.

Over the course of months, he was threatened with legal action, and was tipped off that private investigators were watching him. His relationship with his grandfather has been permanently damaged.

But he refused to give in to the intimidation, and is now working with a team of researchers to build a portable device capable of diagnosing a dozen diseases using a person's saliva, blood and vital signs.

As for Holmes, besides her blood-testing ban, the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign distanced itself from her, and she lost her net worth of $4.5 billion.
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