And Abbott spent $295 million on it.
(This is a follow up from ‘Texas just told counties to stop reporting their coronavirus numbers.’)
Here is the link to the Collin County Commissioner meeting. You want to fast-forward to the 35-minute mark, where they discuss how DSHS told them to stop reporting and contract tracing. More importantly, they also discuss how the contact tracing has been awarded to a private contractor. Mind you, Collin County is red, and even they don’t seem very happy about it.
This is privatization of monitoring, reporting, and contact tracing. As we all know, when government functions and healthcare related activities are privatized, people are hurt for the purpose of profit.
Who is this contractor?
MTX Group, who is originally from Albany, NY. However, they recently moved their headquarters to Frisco. This entire situation is strange.
MTX Group is NOT a healthcare-related company, they are a cloud and AI development firm who has developed a cloud-based AI called Maverick.IO. They had 3 employees in 2015 and grew to 200 employees by 2019.
In September of 2019, they were a $10 million company. For a $10 million company to suddenly get a $295 million contract, that’s a huge jump.
The Houston Chronicle originally reported about this $295 million contract on Monday. More so, the San Antonio Express is reporting that last Wednesday MTX Group paid high-profile Austin lobbyists Andrea and Dean McWilliams $50,000 each. That means that this entire $295 million deal was put together between last Wednesday and Monday. 5 days.
The RWNJs are raising their red-flags, too.
Although, for different reasons. Empower Texans, because of the amount of money and Open Texas because they’re apparently against contact tracing, (can you see me rolling my eyes?).
We definitely need contact tracing to help stop the spread of coronavirus, we have needed it for months.
We should be concerned about the privatization of monitoring, reporting, and contact tracing because when these types of functions are privatized, there will be little to no oversight.
Why do we need oversight?
- Will they be reporting the cases accurately?
- Will they be lying about the numbers because of some back-room handshake with Greg Abbott to make Texas look better?
- What happens when this company has our data, our personal information?
- Can we trust they are going to be responsible for the data and follow all of HIPPA’s guidelines?
An election canvassing app.
According to MTX Group’s website not only have they made this contact tracing app, (which is being used by 17 other states as well), they also made an app for election canvassing. Both of these apps use the same technology platform, Maverick.IO.
Now, knowing everything that we know about Greg Abbott’s repeated attempts to suppress voting rights here in Texas; we should all be a little uncomfortable that Abbott put together a $295 million deal for contact tracing in 5 days with a technology company that also made an election canvassing map on the same AI platform.
What’s the outcome here? Maybe everything is on the up and up, and one thing has nothing to do with the other. Or maybe there is more to it. Without oversight, we may never know, either way.
You know the drill.
Call your congressperson!
Tell them that you DO NOT want contact tracing outsourced to a private contractor.
To find out who your representatives are, go HERE!
Make sure you’re registered to vote!
Are you registered to vote? Not sure, find out HERE!