Google supposedly partnered with the Trump administration to create a website that will help you get tested for coronavirus as quickly as possible.
President Donald Trump on 13 March issued an emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic, and during his press conference, he and several other US government officials revealed a new site “made in partnership with Google” is coming – for the purpose of allowing people to enter their symptoms, and if they need to be tested, they’ll be directed to the nearest drive-through testing facility.
President Trump claimed that 1,700 Google engineers are actively working on the COVID-19 website project, though he didn’t announce what the website is officially called or where one could go to access it or even when it will launch. Debbie Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, described some of the website’s features with a flowchart, which you can see in the photo above.
From what we can tell, this site will be able to tell people the results of their tests.
We contacted Google for more information about the screening website. It confirmed to the media it is not working with the US government on building a nationwide website, despite what President Trump said. But it looks as though a trial “tool” made by Verily is in the works. Verily is owned by Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and its tool is launching first for people in the San Francisco.
A Google communications Twitter account confirmed the situation in a tweet:
Statement from Verily: “We are developing a tool to help triage individuals for Covid-19 testing. Verily is in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time.
— Google Communications (@Google_Comms) March 13, 2020
The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is considered a “very high” global risk by the World Health Organization, as there are more than 125,000 cases across 90+ countries at this time of writing. As a safety precaution, some tech companies are cancelling their upcoming annual conferences and events. Here’s a list of all the major shows that have been canceled so far.
COVID-19 has taken the lives of roughly 5,000 people as of 13 March 2020.