Amazon is offering to help President Joe Biden with his ambitious goal of administering 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines in his first 100 days in office — with a small request in exchange for its services. 

What You Need To Know

  • Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark penned a letter to President Joe Biden offering to help his administration distribute the COVID-19 vaccine

  • Clark also requested that many of Amazon's 800,000-plus employees, who he says are essential workers, receive the vaccine “at the earliest appropriate time" 

  • Biden on Wednesday announced the first part of his complete overhaul of the federal government’s vaccine production and distribution plan

  • It is unclear if Amazon offered the same partnership to former President Donald Trump when he was in office

In a letter penned to Biden on the day of his inauguration, Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark said the company is “committed to assisting your administration's vaccination efforts,” while also stressing the need to protect Amazon employees who are susceptible to catching COVID-19. 

“We have an agreement in place with a licensed third-party occupational health care provider to administer vaccines on-site at our Amazon facilities,” Clark wrote in the letter. “We are prepared to move quickly once vaccines are available.” 

“Additionally, we are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration's vaccination efforts,” he added. “Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19, and we stand ready to assist you in this effort.” 

Clark argued that many Amazon employees are “essential workers who can’t work from home,” having to process orders in-person at fulfillment centers, deliver packages, and work at Whole Foods markets across the country. As such, Clark said, a decent amount of Amazon’s 800,000-plus workers should receive a coronavirus vaccine “at the earliest appropriate time.” 

“We will assist them in that effort,” Clark added. 

Amazon’s offer notably came the day former president Donald Trump left office, and it is unclear if Amazon offered Trump the same assistance. His administration faced criticism from Biden’s team and local lawmakers alike for the haphazard rollout of the vaccines, with many states saying they never received their originally allotted shipments from the federal government.

Spectrum News reached out to Amazon for comment.

Biden on Wednesday announced the first part of his complete overhaul of the federal government’s vaccine production and distribution plan. The changes include setting up the first federally-supported community vaccination centers, putting forward a masking mandate on federal property and for travel, and rejoining the World Health Organization. 

While yesterday’s announcement did not address a potential Amazon partnership, Biden is expected to roll out more details of his COVID-19 mitigation strategy on Thursday afternoon. 

The new president has vowed to take far more aggressive measures to contain the virus than Trump, starting with stringent adherence to public health guidance. He faces steep obstacles, with the virus actively spreading in most states, slow progress on the vaccine rollout and political uncertainty over whether congressional Republicans will help him pass a $1.9 trillion economic relief and COVID response package.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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