Palantir tapped for White House coronavirus data analysis, report says

The company is known for working with military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including anti-terrorism work.

Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala Former Senior Writer
Laura wrote about e-commerce and Amazon, and she occasionally covered cool science topics. Previously, she broke down cybersecurity and privacy issues for CNET readers. Laura is based in Tacoma, Washington, and was into sourdough before the pandemic.
Expertise E-commerce, Amazon, earned wage access, online marketplaces, direct to consumer, unions, labor and employment, supply chain, cybersecurity, privacy, stalkerware, hacking. Credentials 2022 Eddie Award for a single article in consumer technology

Data-mining firm Palantir is reportedly set to contribute to a US government program that crunches coronavirus information and helps inform policy decisions.

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Data-mining company Palantir will contribute to a US government program that helps top officials make recommendations to President Donald Trump, according to a Daily Beast report Tuesday. The program, reportedly called HHS Protect Now, crunches data to help officials understand the coronavirus pandemic, in which more than 850,000 people in the states have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, and more than 47,000 people have died from the disease.

The company's founder, Peter Thiel, is a longtime supporter of the president and brokered a meeting with several other Silicon Valley leaders at the start of the Trump administration. Palantir has counted government agencies as customers, and has worked on counter-terrorism efforts.

The move appears to put Palantir at the heart of a program that could be central to White House decision-making. Officials on the president's coronavirus task force reportedly told the Daily Beast that Trump relies on presentations from task force leader Deborah Birx when making policy plans, and Birx gets information from HHS Protect Now.

Palantir didn't respond to a request for comment. A representative for the US Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment, but directed CNET to two contracts between the agency and Palantir.

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