Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today on his personal Facebook page that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are funding two charities they co-manage to dramatically improve their new coronavirus detection capabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area,media reported. The Zuckerbergs are funding virus detection in the Bay Area through their charities, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.
Among them, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is the Zuckerbergs’ leading charity dedicated to the treatment and research of various diseases and has collaborated with the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford University. The Zuckerbergs launched the disease research program in 2016 and provided $600 million through the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative.
According to media reports, the charities are in fact buying two diagnostic devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to detect the new coronavirus. The University of California, San Francisco, will be responsible for these tests, while Stanford University will be the second site for testing when the testing in San Francisco is overloaded.
Mr Zuckerberg’s move comes after Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates took a similar step, using private money to make up for the severe limitations of the federal CDC’s current virus testing. The CDC has significantly bottled early testing tools and has failed to release more forward-looking testing programs that could have significantly reduced its spread in the United States in the first few weeks of the discovery of the new coronavirus.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Monday that it will work with the University of Washington to provide residents in the greater Seattle area with a new coronavirus family test package, which is the first time the virus has landed in the U.S. in the region. The region has recorded record numbers of confirmed cases and deaths in the United States. The Gates Foundation will fund the Seattle Flu Study, a research organization that reduces contact between medical professionals and potential infections, and provides extensive testing resources to the worst-hit areas of the United States. There is no date for the Gates Foundation’s action, but a representative of the organization told the media, “Our team has been and will continue to actively engage in this initiative to contribute to local virus detection.” “
Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is expected to begin increasing the Bay Area’s virus detection and diagnostic capabilities as soon as March 16. Here’s zuckerberg’s full statement:
“As part of our plan to develop a new coronavirus outbreak, our Chan Zuckerberg Initiative team is working with the University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford University to quadruple the detection and diagnostic capabilities of the Bay Area. We are funding the acquisition of state-of-the-art new coronavirus diagnostic instruments, which will greatly improve the Bay Area’s virus detection and diagnostic capabilities. We will also establish links with clinical laboratories at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco to help manage testing task assignments in the region. “
“Following my announcement last week that Chan Zuckerberg Initiative had developed the infectious disease sequencing tool IDSeq, researchers in Cambodia sequenced the new coronavirus and confirmed the country’s first case. You can view this data on IDSeq’s website (http://public.idseq.net). The new data will continue to provide scientists with valuable insights into the spread and spread of the virus and promise to open up new discoveries about therapies. “