By Rob Copeland
Google was thrust into the coronavirus spotlight Friday with an announcement by President Donald Trump that the company was building a website to help stem the pandemic.
Though Mr. Trump was first to disclose the initiative publicly, Google late Thursday notified employees about the project, telling them in an internal note that it was being built under parent Alphabet Inc.'s tightly held Verily Life Sciences arm, according to a current employee.
The coronavirus effort is connected to Verily's "Project Baseline," an effort for patients to give Google their personal health information with an eye toward aggregation and better treatment of disease.
Few details were released in either the internal note or Mr. Trump's announcement.
Mr. Trump said, "Google is helping to develop a website that's going to 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." He said that Google assigned 1,700 engineers to the project.
Google spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment. CNBC earlier reported Verily's involvement.
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