Online giant Amazon offered President Joe Biden its services to help with COVID-19 vaccine efforts across the country. In a letter sent to Biden, Amazon committed its help in COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
Letter to Biden
The letter, signed by Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark, read “Congratulations to you and Vice President Harris on your inauguration. As you begin your work leading the country out of the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon stands ready to assist you in reaching your goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of your administration.” Amazon is the second-largest US employer, with over 800,000 employees. Clark said most of its workers are essential and need to stay at work. In return, Amazon asked that their workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine the soonest.
Clark’s letter offered to leverage Amazon’s “operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise” to assist in the vaccination efforts. He said the company’s large scale allows it to immediately make an impact on vaccine efforts. A licensed third-party occupational health care provider will help administer vaccines on-site. “We are prepared to move quickly once vaccines are available,” Clark said.
After Trump Left
Noticeably, Amazon sent its offer to help on the day President Donald Trump left the White House. Trump is a long-time critic of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post. Over the years, Trump accused Amazon of benefiting from the US Postal Service and not paying taxes. Also, Trump is not a fan of the Washington Post, which he accuses as a purveyor of fake news.
Previously, Amazon asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for vaccines for Amazon and Whole Foods workers. However, it did not say if the company offered the same assistance they gave Biden. Last October, Amazon said 19,816 out of 1,372,000 front-line employees tested positive for COVID-19. The company said it invested millions to protect its workers from the virus. However, many, including its own employees, criticized these efforts.
The COVID-19 vaccine efforts experienced problems and delays due to limited supplies. Via Operation Warp Speed, the US signed deals for vaccines while under development. Among these companies, only Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna received FDA emergency clearance. While they can start delivery, manufacturing capacity remained limited.
Many states face shortages as their initial supplies are quickly running out. In addition, delivery issues led to holdups in the state programs. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota already sent a warning to the government last week. Unless more vaccines arrive, they might cancel mass vaccination clinics. With companies like Amazon offering to help, the vaccination program might speed up. Another company, coffee chain Starbucks, will assist with COVID-19 vaccine efforts for Washington state.
FEMA and National Guard Assistance
Biden announced a vaccination plan that includes mobilizing federal help. He proposed asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Guard to help with the vaccine efforts. He also plans to invoke the Defense Production Act to help produce needed equipment like syringes and vials. Biden’s objective is to set up 100 federal vaccination sites by the end of his first month. These will assist state efforts to inoculate more residents.
Despite the plans, the challenge lies with pharmaceutical companies to continually produce and deliver the vaccines to augment the limited supply. Approving more vaccine brands and giving emergency approvals might help clear the backlog more.
Watch the Fox Business video reporting that Amazon sent President Joe Biden an offer to help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution:
Do you agree with private companies offering help to distribute vaccines? Do you support the offer, even if it includes an underlying motive of getting their workers vaccinated quickly? Let us know what you think about Amazon and other companies’ offer to help with vaccination efforts.