Donald Trump reportedly jumped the gun when he announced at a press conference last week that Google was building a national website to help with screening for the coronavirus. Now, one week after the president said that the site would be “quickly done,” it has yet to go live.
As TechCrunch reported, Trump caught the company off-guard when he delivered a speech on the federal response to the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic last week and said that the company was creating a national website that would guide people to a testing facility if they needed one. The president appeared to use the announcement as a way to criticize the Obama administration, claiming that his predecessor failed with the rollout of the Obamacare website.
According to The Verge, Trump did not give a timeline in his announcement of the Google site. However, he suggested it would be out faster than the time it took for Obama to roll out the health care site.
“Google is going to develop a 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,” Trump said. “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.”
The report noted that Google’s website is being created by a sister company and that it was initially meant to focus on just the San Francisco Bay Area — a site that did launch earlier in the week. But Trump presented it as a national resource, with the coordinator of the White House coronavirus response team even displaying a flow chart showing how it would work.
The Google site has still not launched, and in the days since Trump first announced it would be coming, the coronavirus has spread even further across the country. There are now more than 15,000 confirmed cases across the United States, with the number increasing by 33 percent between Thursday and Friday alone.
Trump, after being initially criticized for comments that critics said downplayed the severity of the outbreak, has since earned more praise for his response to the virus. As The Inquisitr reported, a majority of Americans now approve of his handling of the crisis, a flip from last week when a majority expressed disapproval.