President Biden said today that Americans will soon be able to order free COVID tests through a government-run website, which is not yet available. “We will have websites where you can have them delivered to your home,” he said of the 500 million home tests the government is buying to counter the Omicron spike.
However, details on this website are obscure. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said today, “We will have more information as it becomes available, including what the website looks like,” she said, adding, “We will make the website available as soon as these tests are available.”
President Biden also said his administration is working with Google to make it easier for Americans to find COVID-19 testing sites. “We’ve made it easier for you to find a free COVID testing site near you on Google,” he said, adding that people simply use the terms “COVID testing near me.” can enter into a Google search bar “and there are several locations nearby where you can get tested.”
Google spokesperson Lara Levin said in an email to: The edge that the arrangements the president described were part of ongoing work the company has been doing since last year “to make information about testing (and then vaccines) available in Search and Maps.” She added that the company will continue to make updates as new data becomes available, adding: “We are constantly improving the COVID information we provide on Search and Maps. We recently had an update that added information on thousands of free test sites, and we’ve been working with the administration and government agencies on these efforts.” However, Levin did not provide specific details about how Google and the Biden administration had worked together.
The various promises about websites and testing were reminiscent of comments made by former President Trump, who in March 2020 made big claims about the administration, partnered with Google on a website to offer coronavirus testing at pharmacies such as Walgreens.
“Google is going to develop a website — it will happen very soon, unlike websites of the past — to determine if a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby suitable location,” Trump said at a March 13 news conference. . , 2020, adding that Google had “1,700 engineers” work on the project. That was news to Google; the company told The edge shortly after Trump’s speech that it was not working with the government on a national COVID test website. Indeed, Google has never produced such a website; Trump had blown up the work of Verily, a separate company under Google parent company Alphabet. Verily, finally launched a website that was launched as a limited trial in the Bay Area; it was later phased out.
Biden, for his part, did his best to distance the current situation from the disastrous early days of the pandemic and the disorganized response of the Trump administration.
“This is not March of 2020,” Biden said during today’s speech. “Two hundred million people are being vaccinated. were prepared. We know more.”
Hopefully the website will actually come this time.
Update Dec 21, 5:49 PM ET: Added additional statement from Google about recent updates.