White House Launches Supercomputing Consortium to Fight Virus

March 24, 2020 Updated: March 24, 2020

The White House on March 23 announced the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, allowing researchers access to U.S.-based supercomputers that can significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the CCP virus.

According to a statement, the new consortium is headed by the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy, and IBM and also includes others like Microsoft and Google, as well as federal agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation, who have volunteered free computing time and resources for CCP virus research.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

“America is coming together to fight COVID-19, and that means unleashing the full capacity of our world-class supercomputers to rapidly advance scientific research for treatments and a vaccine. We thank the private sector and academic leaders who are joining the federal government as part of the Trump administration’s whole-of-America response,” said Michael Kratsios, U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

Researchers can submit COVID-19-related research proposals to the consortium via an online portal which will then be reviewed and matched with computing resources from one of the partner institutions. An expert panel of top scientists and computing researchers will work with proposers to quickly assess the projects that will have the most immediate impact and the powerful computing assets will be allocated to them.

The sophisticated computing systems available through the consortium can process massive numbers of calculations related to bioinformatics, epidemiology, and molecular modeling, accurately simulating how a virus will behave, and what vulnerabilities it may possess.

This can help scientists better understand complex questions about COVID-19 in hours or days as opposed to the weeks or months it would take on less powerful computers or by hand.

In total, 16 supercomputers will be used, offering 775,000 CPU (central processing unit) cores, which read and execute program instructions, and 34,000 GPUs (graphics processing unit), which work with the CPU to accelerate calculations involving massive amounts of data.

The supercomputers will also provide more than 330 petaflops of computing power to researchers. A petaflop is a unit of measurement used for measuring the performance of a processor’s floating point unit, a specialized coprocessor that manipulates numbers more quickly than the basic microprocessor circuitry.

According to IBM, the medical researchers at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have already used the world’s most powerful Summit supercomputer to screen 8,000 compounds to find those that are most likely to bind to the main “spike” protein of the CCP virus. They were able to identify 77 promising compounds which could potentially impair the virus’s ability to infect human cells.

Currently, there are 381,653 global confirmed cases of CCP virus, while 16,558 deaths have been attributed to the disease. According to Epoch Times investigations, China’s confirmed cases and deaths are more than 10 times higher than reported while Iran’s figures are unverifiable.