So look, I’m gonna admit I just don’t know what the heck happened here. Let me give you a run down of the sequence of events. El presidente comes out and says he got Google to help with figuring out who should get coronavirus testing:
Trump also added that he’s pulling the private sector together to respond to the need for testing. This will include biomedical laboratories like Labcorp and Roche who will be doing much of the testing, along with retail stores like Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and others who will make their parking lots available a quicker ‘drive-thru’ style testing. Trump also noted that Google has 1,700 engineers working on a website that will link all of this coronavirus testing for the public.
His announcement was a shock to the people he enlisted in the effort:
Officials in California were stunned Friday to see their graphic for a modest pilot program California has been developing with Google’s parent company Alphabet presented by the White House as if it were a nationwide Trump administration initiative that is ready to go…
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 14, 2020
Apparently, it was one of Trump’s well-known exaggerations:
“The 1,700 engineers Mr. Trump mentioned were actually just Google employees who said a day earlier that they would be happy to volunteer their time on the project if needed.” https://t.co/JTyhZYrpr4
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) March 15, 2020
Of course, Brian Stelter pounced on it:
The Trump administration is lying to the country about the current scope of Google’s coronavirus screening website. pic.twitter.com/gLF3NTOyl5
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 14, 2020
THEN GOOGLE SAYS YES THEY ARE HELPING WITH WHAT TRUMP SAID THEY WOULD:
“We are fully aligned and continue to work with the US Government to contain the spread of COVID-19, inform citizens, and protect the health of our communities. (1/6) https://t.co/eI1uXra6AB
— Google Communications (@Google_Comms) March 15, 2020
Now look, it’s easy to say that Trump was right all along and the media was wrong. But honestly, it’s hard to know. Did the Trump administration demand they come out afterward and increase their involvement? Did they pressure them to come out and make this statement? I don’t know. But I do know that Trump exaggerates a lot. And this is not a time for exaggeration. In any case, that’s the timeline of what happened. Draw your own conclusions.