• The Financial District


Silicon Valley is stumped as many states like New York, California, and Massachusetts, as well as large cities like Baltimore and San Francisco have shunned the contract tracing apps developed by Apple and Google, with health officials in Massachusetts hiring 1,000 people and California 20,000 to track the contacts of people who tested positive for COVID-19 while New York is looking for 17,000 tracers.

Reporting on the development in Wired, Will Knight said on May 8 that the snub has stumped Apple and Google as well as other companies that could not believe their digital systems would suffer a rebuff as states and cities have opted to use an ancient human-to-human approach in contract tracing.

Last week, two former federal health officials, Scott Gottlieb and Andy Slavitt, asked the federal government create a massive, and manual, contact-tracing program that was endorsed by 14 other doctors, scholars, and policymakers, and would include $12 billion for up to 180,000 contact tracers, $4.5 billion to house infected and exposed people in vacant hotels and $30 billion for 18 months of income support for those voluntarily self-isolating.

“There is no silver bullet in the fight against coronavirus,” Slavitt, the former head of Medicare and Medicaid, told National Public Radio (NPR.) “But if we want to get back to a more normal existence, we need to give states the tools they need to contain the virus. Those of us who have worked in public health for decades kind of cringe when we hear ‘Oh it will be easy. Anyone can do it.” #coronavirusimpact #COVID19