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Photo: Google

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Friday that his company is donating more than $800 million in cash and advertising to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus and ease the impact on small businesses.

Why it matters: It would appear to be the largest donation yet from a tech giant. The ad credits also could help keep business flowing through Google's ad system amid what is expected to be a sharp downturn in advertising.

Details: The donation consists of:

  • $250 million in ad grants to help the World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 100 government agencies around the world provide information about the virus. That's up from $25 million announced last month. Google is also providing $20 million in ad grants to community organizations so they can provide information about relief funds and other resources for small businesses.
  • A $200 million investment fund that will help non-profits and financial institutions provide small businesses with access to capital. That's in addition to $15 million in cash grants already being provided by Google.org. the company's philanthropic arm.
  • $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all small and midsize businesses with active Google accounts over the past year. The credits can be used any time this year.
  • $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to use Google's computing resources on COVID-19 related projects.
  • Financial support and know-how to help ramp up production of personal protective equipment and lifesaving medical devices. Google said it is working with longtime supplier and partner Magid Glove & Safety to produce 2-3 million face masks in the coming weeks that will be donated to the CDC Foundation.

Meanwhile: Apple on Friday announced a new website and app designed to help people easily find accurate information about the virus and determine if they should seek testing.

Go deeper

6 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

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