Pichai: The situation there is dire, and it’s been heartbreaking to see. I think the worst is yet to come. Being here, seeing the attention here, I realize at the highest levels from President Biden, Secretary Blinken — there’s been focus on seeing how we can help India and the other countries being affected.
On what Google is doing to help:
Pichai: Different companies have different capabilities, and the US government has its unique capabilities. From our side, we really focused on providing the most helpful information. There are 600 million people connected to the internet and they’re looking for information about vaccine and testing. So working with the Ministry of Health in India, making sure we can get the right information on the ground has been a big focus for us. As for us partnering with NGOs and public health organizations to get the messaging out. It’s important that people are able to stay home and mask and stay safe. So we’re helping get the message out in partnership.
On how other companies can make a meaningful difference:
Pichai: I think taking the expertise in your company where you can and being ready to help in a coordinated way is going to be helpful. The second, it’s very possible to provide cash and other resources to organizations on the ground I think can make a big difference.
Pichai: If you look around the world, Covid has been humbling in the sense that, when you think you’re on top of it, there can be a surge back. I think encouraging good public safety measures and paying attention to crisis is the only thing you can do in the short term. That’s the effort I’m seeing. As a company, we stand by ready to help.
Pichai: Normally we do comply with local laws, particularly in Democratic countries which through their norms and processes have passed laws. I think one of India’s strengths is a deeply rooted democratic tradition, based in freedom of expression and allowing for diversity of viewpoints. That’s a strength … We haven’t had any requests. In the past we’ve been able to work constructively with governments around the world, and we’ll continue that approach here.