Trump is hoping on Google to develop a website that’ll help anyone that’s looking for information on how to get screened or tested for the coronavirus. The US leader stated clearly on Friday that Google will do so, but there appear to be so much discrepancies between what Mr Trump said and what Google versions of what the website will be able to do.
The website is not a direct project of Google, rather it’s to be developed by Verily, a life sciences department of Google parent company “Alphabet” that majors on research and developmental issues on health, the company said.
President Trump claimed that 1,700 engineers were currently working on the website and that they look forward to finishing it “very quickly.” Dr Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said they wanted to bring it “across the continent.”
Meanwhile, Vice president Mike Pence sounded unsure about when exactly the website will be ready as he said a better clue to when the website would be available would be known by Sunday evening.
“I want to thank Google, Google is helping to develop a website, it’s going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past, to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location,” Trump said during a news conference aimed at declaring the coronavirus a national emergency.
On the contrary, Verily shared a tweet an hour and a half after the announcement updating that the website was only in “the early stages of development.” And the site will start working in the San Francisco Bay area first with “the intention of expanding it more broadly over time.”
Dr Birx flowchart illustrates how the website will. It’ll start with a survey that request people enter their symptoms and risk factors in the spaces provided. If it determines they should get a test following the result, it will direct them to the closest testing centre available.
However, Verily spokesperson Emily Friedman has also confirmed that the site would work with a lot of testing centres in the Bay Area while it is being tested and that Verily is working with testing companies Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp on the project. Andrew Conrad, Verily’s CEO, was the chief science officer at LabCorp.
Following the Verge first report about the website, we understand that it’ll be built on Verily’s Project Baseline, which collects health data from volunteers. The Verily website wasn’t supposed to be for the general public initially, but the company has changed that plan since the announcement and would let it be now.
“We were intending to start with the highest at-risk populations, which includes health care workers, but were not planning only for them. Our aspiration is for the triage tool to be used much more broadly,” said Ms Friedman.
As a company, Verily started inside Google X, Google’s department for experimental projects. It got settled as an independent division called Verily in 2015. Among its most high-profile projects includes an effort to develop glucose-level sensing contact lenses that the company said it hoped “could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.”
The project was shuttered in 2018 after researchers couldn’t find a strong correlation between glucose levels in teardrops and those in blood.
This is not the first time President Trump has misrepresented the work of a tech company. Recall that in November 2019, just a few months back, he took credit for Apple opening a manufacturing plant in Texas.
Meanwhile, the company had been building computers in a plant belonging to one of its contractors there since 2013, although with a plan for a new Austin campus in 2022, it will not build hardware.