Trump Administration Asks Tech Companies for Help Combating Coronavirus

The White House on Wednesday asked tech companies to help fight coronavirus disinformation while also helping the government with its response to the growing outbreak, reports Politico.

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The Trump Administration asked Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and IBM for help in a meeting that saw representatives from each of the companies speaking with White House officials and representatives from government agencies that include Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Labor Department, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, and others.

Coordination efforts and information sharing were key topics during the meeting, with the White House urging tech companies to work together to remove harmful content. Companies have also been asked to use their "technical expertise" to help those "grappling with the fallout from the coronavirus," and to provide the government with any data that can help manage the spread of the virus.

The White House is working to release a database of research related to the coronavirus and wants tech companies to help medical researchers analyze it for insights with AI techniques.

"Cutting edge technology companies and major online platforms will play a critical role in this all-hands-on-deck effort," U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, who convened he conference call, said in a statement afterward. "Today's meeting outlined an initial path forward and we intend to continue this important conversation."

In the United States, the coronavirus outbreak has led to the closure of schools, concerts, sporting events, and more, and today, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic.

Tech companies have already been working to combat false information about the coronavirus. Facebook and Twitter have disallowed coronavirus related ads, and Amazon has banned marked up health products like hand sanitizer and masks along with preventing companies from selling items related to the coronavirus.

Apple is rejecting coronavirus apps that aren't provided by health organizations and government institutions, and has launched a coronavirus hub with reliable news information in the Apple News app.

Apple and other tech companies are also having most of their employees work from home for the foreseeable future to cut down on the spread of the virus, and Apple is providing unlimited sick leave to hourly employees become sick with COVID-19.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

dogslobber Avatar
32 months ago
Best thing to combat this virus is for Trump to resign.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genovelle Avatar
32 months ago
So...wait...I thought Trump said it was a Hoax. Now it a serious problem. Odd
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
32 months ago
Yes, we don't want disinformation. Like the fact that it'll go away when it gets warm, or the mortality rate is way under 1%
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eoblaed Avatar
32 months ago
Oh, the irony.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
32 months ago
Twitter should deactivate accounts that spread propaganda and disinformation—starting with Trump himself. That would be a great start.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
32 months ago

Awww and I bet you guys STILL want the government to run our healthcare. But I know it’ll be ok cause it’ll be your team running it. Zero scandal healthcare, just like China.
Medicare works great. Just ask your parents or grandparents, or any person over the age of 65. It’s not a partisan program. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers support it. It’s not run by one “team” or the other. It’s run by both teams. And in any case, it’s not helpful to see everything through the filter of your “team”. Illness and disease affects everyone.

Don’t assume nothing works, just because this administration is incompetent at running the federal government. Medicare’s been around a long time, Trump hasn’t had time to screw it up (yet).
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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