White House asks tech leaders for help with coronavirus response

On Wednesday, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios convened representatives from a number of the tech’s biggest companies to gameplan a response to the worsening global coronavirus pandemic.

According to The Washington Post, the meeting, held remotely over the phone and through video calls, served as a brainstorming session for tech and the White House on coordinating against coronavirus misinformation, potentially aiding in the analysis of relevant new medical research and how to lend tech’s resources to support the federal government to track travelers and other complex data-driven tasks.

As Politico and the Post reported, the White House is seeking help from Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Cisco and Twitter on the efforts.

Major tech companies have been proactive in protecting their own workforces from the coronavirus epidemic, even as a federal response lags. On Tuesday, Google asked all North American employees to work from home, expanding its previous guidance for Washington state-based workers. That same day, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative would work with Bay Area health research teams to quadruple the coronavirus testing capacity in the area.

In a statement following the virtual meeting, Kratsios described the coronavirus response as an “all-hands-on-deck effort.”