Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
The White House gathered representatives from major tech companies for a teleconference Wednesday on coordinating their response to the coronavirus outbreak.
participated, according to a White House press release.
US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios led the meeting, calling on the companies to leverage technological assets to help glean medical insight from a new database of scholarly coronavirus-related literature. Kratsios previewed the new database, which the White House said will be released in the coming days.
"The White House's top priority is ensuring the safety and health of the American people amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Cutting edge technology companies and major online platforms will play a critical role in this all-hands-on-deck effort. Today's meeting outlined an initial path forward and we intend to continue this important conversation," Kratsios said in the release.
A Google representative confirmed the company's participation. Among the participants named by the White House, neither Amazon, Apple, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, TechNet nor Twitter immediately responded to requests for comment.
Watch this: Coronavirus and COVID-19: Everything you need to know
Tech companies have already been reacting to the outbreak by canceling conferences, taking steps to combat misinformation on their platforms and instructing employees to work from home.
The new strain of coronavirus, which can develop into a respiratory illness known as COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December. It's now infected more than 120,000 people and caused more than 4,300 deaths globally. The US has more than 1,000 confirmed cases.