Amazon offers assist with US COVID-19 vaccine distribution
SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon is offering its colossal operations network and advanced technologies to assist President Joe Biden in his vow to get 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations to Americans in his first 100 days in office.
“We are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts,” wrote the CEO of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer division, Dave Clark, in a letter to Biden. “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.”
Amazon said that it has already arranged a licensed third-party occupational health care provider to give vaccines on-site at its facilities for its employees when they become available.
Amazon has more than 800,000 employees in the United States, Clark wrote, most of whom essential workers who cannot work from home and should be vaccinated as soon as possible.
Biden will sign 10 pandemic-related executive orders on Thursday, his second day in office, but the administration says efforts to supercharge the rollout of vaccines have been hampered by lack of cooperation from the Trump administration during the transition. They say they don’t have a complete understanding of the previous administration’s actions on vaccine distribution.
Biden is also depending on Congress to provide $1.9 trillion for economic relief and COVID-19 response. There are a litany of complaints from states that say they are not getting enough vaccine even as they are being asked to vaccinate a broader swath of Americans.
According to data through January 20 from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from 2,677.3 on January 6 to 3,054.1 on Wednesday. More than 400,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19.