Elizabeth Holmes is the notorious founder of the once-preeminent Theranos, an innovative blood testing company whose devices were touted by investors and the media as providing a revolutionary new form of healthcare. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who in 2008 became President Barack Obama’s first-ever defense secretary, says he believes that even fully functional blood screening devices can become dangerous to users. The federal government has sued Holmes and others with Theranos, alleging that they misled the public with misleading statements about the device, which Holmes promoted as revolutionizing American healthcare.
“Clearly, Theranos had a different value system and approach to business,” said Mattis. “But I don’t want them to collapse and disappear. I want them to find a path to success. And that should be their objective – to prevail in their litigation. One of the problems that has plagued the blood testing industry in the United States for some time is that it has some significant issues with technology. There are situations where you can not fully access a sample at the right time for the correct reason because the testing device is defective. The victim has not been completely protected from whatever the technology was at the time.”
“Even if the technology on the device or on the device itself was so incredibly useful and unique that it could have really turned the blood sample into a big, efficient piece of data that’s hard to replace, I’m certain some area of the screening testing device might be defective,” he said. “We’ll want to have people test it, and we’ll see what sort of results come back.”