Nevada to receive testing materials, assistance from UAE via private sector task force Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · April 17, 2020 at 6:30 am Nevada will receive COVID-19 testing materials from the United Arab Emirates and begin a scientific collaboration with a leading technology company in Abu Dhabi through an agreement reached by the private Nevada COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force. The scientific collaboration is with the UAE’s G42, an artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, which will work with University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas. The goal is to develop Nevada’s first high-volume COVID-19 testing laboratory to support the processing of patient samples from hospitals, doctor’s offices, curbside testing locations, and other health care providers throughout the state. In a statement, G42 officials said the COVID-19 testing materials and equipment being provided will serve as a catalyst in Nevada’s plans to increase its testing capacity both in the short- and long-term. The task force, which was set up in March by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and former MGM Resorts International chairman and CEO Jim Murren, is enlisting the private sector to help in Nevada’s recovery from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Sisolak, in an effort to halt the viral spread, ordered the shutdown of the state’s gaming industry, its schools, and all non-essential businesses through a stay-at-home order that expires April 30. Earlier this month, the task force said it had raised more than $10 million to assist community organizations throughout the state, “The core mission of the task force is to utilize our global relationships for the benefit of Nevadans,” Murren said in a statement Thursday. “My relationship with the UAE dates back more than a decade, and over that time a trust and mutual respect has developed between their leadership and Nevada.” Dubai World, the investment arm of the UAE, is 50% percent owner of the CityCenter complex on the Las Vegas Strip in a joint venture with MGM Resorts International. Murren developed the relationship during the development of CityCenter, which opened in 2009. In 2017, MGM Resorts announced plans to be part of a 26-acre beachfront development on Jumeriah Beach in Dubai, which would include non-gaming versions of an MGM Hotel, Bellagio Hotel, and MGM Residences. Murren said he reached out to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. “The resources from G42 will substantially increase our ability to conduct COVID-19 testing and research to help us mitigate the effects of this virus on our citizens and visitors during the current crisis,” Murren said. In a statement, Al Nahyan said the long-standing relationship between the UAE and the U.S. is one of “support, collaboration and respect.” Murren said the support of the UAE will help in Nevada’s recovery. “Today, as in the future, we stand by the people of the United States and trust they will overcome the current situation shortly,” the Crown Prince said in a statement. “The UAE will continue to provide its support to the international community and promote stronger relationships between countries with the goal of increasing the effectiveness of the global response to the current crisis.” G42 has already been addressing the COVID-19 pandemic by utilizing technology to ensure that medical supplies reach the areas of greatest need to mitigate the spread of the virus. The company is also providing access to rapid stereotyping that could accelerate the sharing of vital data between researchers. G42 executives state that one of the greatest challenges they have encountered in their studies of the virus has been the slow pace of testing globally. Competition for scarce COVID-19 testing materials and equipment have thwarted the expansion of testing both in Nevada and nationwide. “We are proud of UMC’s ability to build upon our extensive laboratory capabilities, to work with G42 and our other partners in Clark County and throughout our state to collectively strive to keep our residents and visitors safe and healthy,” UMC CEO Mason Van Houweling said in a statement. The monetary contributions raised by the task force does not include direct donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies, including N95 masks, gowns, and sanitizer. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.