Google parent company Alphabet Inc shares closed up more than 9% on Friday. It happened after US President Donald Trump said that the search giant will create a website to help determine whether individuals need to be tested for New Coronavirus. But is Google developing a coronavirus testing website?
‘I want to thank Google. Google is going to develop a
coronavirus testing website — it’s going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past — to determine if a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location. We have many, many locations behind us, by the way. We cover this country and large parts of the world, by the way. We’re not gonna be talking about the world right now, but we cover very, very strongly our country. Stores in virtually every location. Google has 1,700 engineers working on this right now. They have made tremendous progress.’
US Vice President Mike Pence said the launch date of the site will be announced on Sunday evening.
However, not everything is as clear as you may think. Yesterday, Google said its sister company Verily is working with the federal government to build a tool to help people find coronavirus testing.
‘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. We appreciate the support of government officials and industry partners. And we thank the Google engineers who have volunteered to be part of this effort.’
These statements caused a huge confusion about the specific details of the efforts, and whether they’re related. A source at Google said that company leadership was surprised that Trump announced anything about the initiative at the press conference. Almost everything Trump stated is wrong. There will be a coronavirus testing site, not from Google but from Alphabet sister company Verily.