By Matt Binder
This weekend, Google launched its dedicated coronavirus site. While the information provided by the company is helpful, it’s not even close to what Trump was promoting it as.
Google’s COVID‑19 Information & Resources site is very basic. How basic? For example, here are the listed coronavirus symptoms.
People may experience:
• difficulty breathing (severe cases)
This isn’t a knock at the website. It does provide accurate, helpful information regarding symptoms, prevention, and more. But this isn’t the site that the president hyped it up to be.
“Google is helping to develop a website, it’s gonna 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 on March 13.
There is a dropdown menu where users can pick their state and Google will provide a link to that state’s health website. The site also includes links to the CDC and World Health Organization, as well. Videos provide tips for working from home and cooking, to help people cope with life under quarantine.
The Data and Insights section of the website provides trending search terms related to coronavirus and which countries are showing the most search interest. There’s also a separate that breaks down the number of confirmed coronavirus cases by country.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, does have a life and sciences division called Verily that’s working on something more in line with what Trump was talking about. However, Trump’s more than a week ago caught the company by surprise as the tool was in the development phase and only for the Bay Area for now.
Google also told the Verge that it’s working on providing more information on their coronavirus resource portal, as well as a Spanish language version of the site. The company is also promoting the information found on the site at the top of coronavirus related search queries on Google.