Major Tech Investor Is Providing Silicon Valley Insiders With Access To Private COVID-19 Tests

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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A California-based capital investment group acknowledged Wednesday that it provided many of the Silicon Valley companies and entrepreneurs it works with access to private coronavirus tests.

Venture capital fund Data Collective DCVC gave their clients the opportunity to get tested if they are “experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are unable to get tested,” the group wrote in an email Tuesday. The group republished the email on its blog after rumors of the email leaked online.

“Through a unique relationship with one of our portfolio companies, we will expedite delivery of a test kit (simple, fast, safe saliva/cheek swab) that should provide results within 1-3 days via return by mail,” Data Collective noted in the email.

DCVC was turning its partners on to a health care delivery provider called Carbon Health and a lab called Curative, where they could get access to the tests.

Health care worker tests people at a drive-thru testing station run by the state health department, for people who suspect they have novel coronavirus, in Denver

Health care worker tests people at a drive-thru testing station run by the state health department, for people who suspect they have novel coronavirus, in Denver, Colorado, U.S. March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Recode reporter Teddy Schleifer said in a tweet Wednesday that the group published the blog after he obtained a copy of the email Tuesday night. DCVC has not yet responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about the email or Schleifer’s claim.

Matt Ocko, one of DCVC’s founders, told Recode that the email was meant to make the group look stylish and mysterious. The group planned to refer its partners to companies where they could get in the line with everyone else waiting for a test, according to Ocko.  
“We thought we were looking mysterious and cool to our limited partners — on whose capital and goodwill we depend — so looking mysterious and cool, like you have preferential access to things, is not necessarily a bad thing to do when you’re trying to maintain your cool quotient with people,” he said. “But the net is, no one is jumping in line.”

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington alerted his Twitter followers to the email’s existence in a tweet Tuesday, saying: “Got the email today that a lot of Silicon Valley insiders received. That we can have access to private testing immediately.”

He added: “I HATE that certain people can get immediate testing based on who you are or who you know.”(RELATED: Twitter Gives Tech Billionaire Elon Musk A Pass After He Falsely Says Kids Are ‘Essentially Immune’ To Coronavirus)

The NBA received scorn after the Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder used private companies to test their players for the virus, which began in Wuhan, China, and has killed more than 17,000 people worldwide at the time of reporting.

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