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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Google late Friday debuted a new website devoted to information about COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus, including local information, prevention tips, search trends and additional resources for individuals, educators and businesses.

Why it matters: Google's effort, designed to help get the most accurate information before the largest number of people, has been complicated as Google has had to scramble to catch up to President Trump's pronouncements.

Details: The site is launching Friday in the U.S. and will be available in coming days in other languages and countries. Currently, those seeking information on being tested will be given the CDC's generic recommendations, though Google may add more personalized options later.

  • In a blog post, Google said it was also expanding the information it shows in virus-related search queries to include authoritative information from health authorities along with new data and visualizations.

What they're saying: "Right now the disease is the largest topic people are looking for globally, surpassing even some of the most common and consistent queries we see in Search.," Google said.

Flashback: It was a week ago that President Trump said Google was building a national website where people could enter their symptoms, find out if they needed a test and be directed to one.

However, it turned out that the effort actually under way, being done by sister company Verily, was still under development and only in the testing phase. After Trump's initial announcement, Google said it would build a national informational site in addition to the one Verily was building, with more general information.

That site was originally slated to be ready by Monday, but at that time Google said it was being delayed until later in the week.

Verily's site, meanwhile, rolled out in limited form last Sunday and offers a detailed symptom checker and local testing resources, but only for the Bay Area.

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.

Biden condemns Russian aggression on 7th anniversary of Crimea annexation

Putin giving a speech in Sevastapol, Crimea, in 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

President Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for the people of Ukraine and vowed to hold Russia accountable for its aggression in a statement on Friday, the 7th anniversary of Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea.

Why it matters: The statement reflects the aggressive approach Biden is taking to Russia, which he classified on the campaign trail as an "opponent" and "the biggest threat" to U.S. security and alliances.