By TAYLOR DUNN and CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Amazon sent a letter to newly inaugurated President Joe Biden on Wednesday offering to use its vast resources to assist with federal COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
“Congratulations to you and Vice President Harris on your inauguration,” the letter, signed by Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark, stated. “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.”
The letter added that Amazon has over 800,000 employees in the U.S. — making it the nation’s second-largest employer — and most are essential workers who cannot work from home. It urged that those essential workers, including those at Whole Foods Markets, “should receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the earliest appropriate time” and pledged to “assist them in that effort.”
“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 added. “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.”
Clark added that their scale “allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19.”
The e-commerce giant’s offer to help the government notably comes the day Donald Trump departs office.
In October of last year, Amazon revealed in a blogpost that 19,816 front-line employees (out of 1,372,000) had tested positive or been presumed positive for COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 19, 2020. The company said it has said it has invested million in its pandemic response to protect its employees, but the response has still courted controversy from some workers.
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