Trump: Google Building Coronovirus Website To Aid Testing

‘They have made tremendous progress,’ the president says of Google’s effort involving 1,700 of its engineers


Google is looking to deploy its technology in the fight to stem the spread of coronavirus by building a website that helps people determine whether they should seek a test, President Donald Trump said Friday at a press conference in which he declared the pandemic a national emergency.

“Google is helping to develop a website – that is 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 at the White House.

Google’s putting 1,700 engineers to work on the project, he said. Google did not immediately reply to CRN’s request for comment.

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[Related: Google Urges North American Staff To Work From Home To Reduce Coronavirus Risk]

“They have made tremendous progress,” Trump said. “Our over-riding goal is to stop the spread of the virus and to help all Americans who have been impacted by this.”

Key to the U.S. response to the coronavirus is making sure that only citizens that meet certain criteria take the coronavirus test, said Trump.

“We don’t want everybody taking this test,” he said. “It is totally unnecessary. This will pass. This will pass and we are going to be even stronger for it.”

Google partners like Los Angeles-based SADA systems are doing their part to match the example set by the Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant.

“We feel duty bound to do everything in our power, using what Google Cloud makes possible, to be there for our people, our customers, and our partners in these trying times,” SADA CEO Tony Safoian told CRN.

That includes limiting visitors to its offices and implementing remote work policies for its staff while ensuring there’s no disruption in customer service.

“You should expect no lapse in exceptional service during this critical time. You may need more support during this time, and we’re here for you with all hands on deck in every region and on every team,” Safoian said in a statement to his customers.

SADA is leveraging Google Cloud’s productivity tools at scale to allow its support teams to ensure customers don’t suffer downtime. That in turn enables those customers to execute their own remote work policies using the same Google collaboration solutions, Safoian said.

Earlier this week, Google sent a memo to staff in all North American offices advising all those whose “roles allow” to consider staying home.

Google has also established a COVID-19 fund that will allow temporary workers and vendors around the world to take paid sick leave if they have symptoms of the deadly virus or need to be quarantined. The fund will also pay for a commitment the company made last week to fully compensate hourly service workers who see their hours reduced.

UPDATE: Google sister company Verily later corrected Trump’s claims about the planned coronavirus website.