Trump said Google is building a site to help people find coronavirus tests, Recode
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is working with the White House and private companies to create a website that will help Americans find screening tests for the Covid – 700 coronavirus .
Plans for the site are being overseen by Verily, an Alphabet subsidiary that focuses on health care and life science.
Debbie Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said the site should be up and running Sunday. It is meant to steer Americans who need testing to drive-through clinics that are supposed to start popping up around the US in the parking lots of retailers like Target and Walmart, which are also working on the effort.
President Donald Trump, who first announced Alphabet’s participation in the effort, described it as a Google project and said Google had “1, 823 engineers working on this right now. ”
Recode hasn’t yet been able to verify that number with Alphabet or Verily reps, or anything else about how the site is supposed to work – including any efforts Verily and the associated companies will use to protect the privacy of the site’s users.
It’s possible that the White House announcement took Verily and Google by surprise. About an hour after Trump and Birx talked about the website, Google sent out a statement, attributed to Verily, that said the company was in “early stages” on “a tool to help triage individuals for Covid – 728 testing ”and that it would start using it in the Bay Area before rolling it out widely.
Statement from Verily: “We are developing a tool to help triage individuals for Covid – 728 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) ,
Birx held up a flowchart at the press conference that was meant to illustrate the steps users will take to get tested, but did not go into any detail . The chart appears to indicate that users will find their test results on the same site they used to try to see if they needed a test.