It's even worse than it appears.
Friday April 10, 2020; 11:02 AM EDT
  • Testing and contact tracing is central to turning the lights back on before there's a Covid19 vaccine. Since the US government isn't doing it, we have to do it. We can't afford to wait. Lives and livelihoods are at stake. Too important.#
  • Testing#
  • Testing is doable. Since the FDA is a bottleneck maybe California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Masachusetts and any other state who cares about its people can break free, or work with the US government's FDA to loosen things up so we can get say 10 million tests done per day for the forseeable future. You should be able to get one whenever you want one. #
  • I heard on the Brian Lehrer Show this morning that the testing part apparently is doable, we can scale it up. It'll cost $100 billion to start, but if it got us out of this mess a month sooner it would be a good investment. #
  • Contact tracing #
  • Contact tracing is easily solved, very quickly. It's more of a political problem than a technological one.#
  • MIT has an app for contact tracing. It has the right privacy configuration, the information isn't shared without you sending the data somewhere. By default it never leaves your phone. But the MIT app is on very few phones. #
  • On the other hand, Apple and Google and others have very good data for contact tracing and their apps are widely deployed. World-wide. We wouldn't just be solving the problem for the US, we'd be doing it for everyone everywhere who has an iPhone or Android phone. #
  • But they are reluctant to even say they can do it for fear of the backlash. It's time to have this conversation. Maybe the surveillance aspect of the new technology is worth supporting if it saves lives and can easily be turned off, by the user, when we're no longer in crisis. #
  • My friend Doc Searls is the expert on this. I'll ask him what he thinks. #
  • Update#
  • Shortly after this piece was posted, Apple and Google announced they're going to work together on contact tracing. Wow. That's quick turnaround! 💥#

© 1994-2020 Dave Winer.

Last update: Friday April 10, 2020; 9:45 PM EDT.

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