Google and the social network Facebook have announced that they will work together “to stop the spread” of the deadly new coronavirus.
In a blog post published on Wednesday, Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, and Facebook’s chief technology officer, Ben Oehler, said they were forming a global initiative to tackle “the spread of pandemic disease and pandemic contagion.”
The two companies said that by working together, they would work “together to make sure the world’s most popular services can operate efficiently, and that they can protect our data.”
“We have a responsibility to ensure that people can communicate safely and securely and that our products work for everyone, even the people with whom we disagree,” the blog post said.
“We also believe in our shared values, and believe it is our responsibility to work hard to make these values a reality in the digital world.”
Pichai and Oehlers have been in close contact since the new pandemic struck the US, where they both worked at Google.
Pichio, who has also worked for Facebook, said in his blog post that the two companies were “ready to work side by side to solve the challenges posed by the new coronivirus” and that “we’re committed to solving these problems together”.
“We are in this together, and we’ll be working to make this a success, so we can make sure everyone has the same opportunity to share and make a difference in their lives,” he wrote.
The announcement follows the announcement of a $1bn (£770m) plan by Google, Facebook and others to invest in “breakthroughs” in data protection.
The two big tech companies also promised to help the US government build a vaccine for the coronaviruses that has the potential to prevent a new pandemics.
But they also pledged to work with partners, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other public health partners, to find a vaccine.
Pechai said that they were “confident” that the pandemic could be “finally stopped” in the US.
“It’s time to put our money where our mouth is and take action to end this epidemic,” he said.