Trump announced a collaboration with Google a website that the search engine first denied and later qualified. US President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency at a massive press conference on the White House lawn. In his speech, he explained, along with several people in charge of his administration, the government’s plans to allow citizens with symptoms of the infection to access tests to detect COVID-19.0
The central axis of those plans was a website in which, according to Trump, more than 1,700 Google engineers would already be working . Google, however, initially assured that it does not have any projects in development. On Saturday, however, he did claim to work on a website to give information about the disease.
During the press conference, Debbie Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, showed a diagram of how this website would work in theory. Citizens will be able to introduce the symptoms they suffer, their relationships with risk groups in the last days and receive advice on whether they need additional tests.
In case you need a test to detect COVID-19, the website will indicate the center to which you should go and the test can be carried out in many cases without leaving the car, in collaboration with various pharmacies and supermarket chains in the country. The results will be delivered to citizens between 24 and 36 hours later.
But according to the American technology publication Wired , which quotes internal sources, the announcement was a surprise at Google headquarters. No one had any idea of the existence of this project.
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has another company specialized in health services known as Verily and that company is carrying out a tool similar to what was described in the press conference, but on a much smaller scale .
Verily is working on a website that allows assessing the possibility that a patient has coronavirus from a questionnaire and, if they are within the risk group, show nearby centers where they can perform a test. This tool, however, is not intended for the general public but for healthcare professionals and only provides answers to users in the San Francisco Bay Area .
In view of Trump’s announcement, Verily has decided that the tool can also be used by other users as of Monday, when he planned to launch the first tests, but the process will not be easy, since it is a website that works on a proprietary platform designed to manage clinical analyzes, baseline.
The company also explains that at the moment it only offers data on health centers in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco area and not on the entire national territory as implied in the press conference, something to which they are open but it will take longer to develop. Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s president, this week asked Google employees for collaboration in developing these tools, but there is no indication that 1,700 engineers are working on the project, as Trump explained.
The plan for this website announced by Trump is part of a government initiative with the country’s large logistics, food and laboratory companies to try to give a joint and coordinated response to the epidemic, which is already present in 37 of the 50 North American states.
During the speech, the President stressed that not everyone has to be tested for COVID-19. but in the subsequent press conference he acknowledged that he will probably be tested in the next few days. Trump has recently been photographed with several people who have been found to be infected with the coronavirus, including the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.