Billionaire Trump donor Peter Thiel‘s tech company Palantir has been awarded a government contract to develop HHS Protect Now, a platform for the Department of Health and Human Services to track coronavirus.
The Daily Beast reports: “Palantir’s involvement in the creation of a new government coronavirus data platform system underscores the Trump administration’s reliance on close political allies of the president to respond to the global pandemic. Thiel was Trump’s earliest and highest-profile backer in Silicon Valley, and delivered a prime-time speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention. A top donor to conservative causes and the first outside investor in Facebook, Thiel was, according to The Wall Street Journal, instrumental in pushing the social networking giant to allow politicians to lie in advertisements on the platform. It’s a policy that many outside observers believe will help the Trump campaign—which Thiel has again pledged to support. Palantir, which Thiel helped found—and still retains a sizeable stake in —has watched its already-lucrative government business skyrocket in the Trump era.”
TDB adds: “On April 10, Palantir received a $17.3 million contract with HHS for a different and older data integration tool called Gotham. It’s unclear if Gotham, which started out as a tool for intelligence and law enforcement to track targets, will be separate from HHS Protect or will aid in performing contact tracing. That HHS contract is nowhere near Palantir’s most lucrative. In February, the firm scored half of a Pentagon data-management contract worth over $800 million. “
Much more at TDB.