Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic is bringing out Silicon Valley's penchant for problem solving.

The big picture: Tech companies, entrepreneurs, and investors have rushed to find ways to apply their skills, resources, and creativity to tackling the virus and its public health and economic impact.

A number of health care startups, including Everlywell, Carbon Health and Nurx, shifted quickly to working on developing COVID-19 testing kits.

  • A ban by the FDA on the collection of at-home samples halted some of these efforts.
  • Telehealth startups like Ro and American Well are also providing assessment services that attempt to aid patients figure out their likelihood of infection.

Other companies are tapping into their existing supply chains and expertise.

Many software companies decided to offer some products for free to those coping with the crisis.

  • They include messaging service Slack, meditation app Headspace and business information provider Yext.

Investors jumped into action as well.

Tech giants also moved swiftly to finish projects and build solutions.

  • Companies like Apple and Google set out to procure supplies and stood up websites providing information and guidance to the public.
  • Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and other companies sponsored a coronavirus-focused hackathon.
  • Facebook quickly rolled out information about the coronavirus to its users and banned ads for face masks and cures, while Twitter issued strict rules about spreading misinformation about the pandemic.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that Facebook will help pay for housing, child care, transportation and other costs incurred by retired health care professionals who agree to work during the pandemic.

Yes, but: Some tech leaders have also been criticized for their armchair epidemiology on Twitter.

The bottom line: Most Silicon Valley leaders and workers understand that the key fight right now belongs to medical science and healthcare professionals, but they're eager to pitch in — and have plenty of both ideas and resources.

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America's bungled political and social response to the coronavirus exists side-by-side with a record-breaking push to create a vaccine with U.S. companies and scientists at the center.

Why it matters: America's two-sided response serves as an X-ray of the country itself — still capable of world-beating feats at the high end, but increasingly struggling with what should be the simple business of governing itself.

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Joe Biden formally introduced Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Wednesday, telling a socially-distanced gymnasium in Wilmington, Del.: "I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America."

Why it matters: Harris is a historic pick for vice president, becoming the first Black woman and first South Asian woman to be named to a major-party U.S. presidential ticket. "Kamala knows how to govern," Biden said. "She knows how to make the hard calls. She is ready to do this job on day one."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 20,439,274 — Total deaths: 744,941— Total recoveries: 12,632,604Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,180,226 — Total deaths: 165,510 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin called her, White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.