The incoming CEO of the retail unit of Amazon wrote that the organization is ‘prepared to maximize our practices, information technology and communication capabilities and expertise’ in vaccinating the people.
Amazon.com Inc. is promising to help the Biden administration speed up the delivery, even to its own staffs, of Covid-19 vaccines.
Dave Clark, the new chief executive officer of the retail unit of Amazon, gave his congratulations to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in a letter dated Wednesday.
He repeated a request made last month by Amazon to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ask that frontline staff obtain vaccines at the “earliest appropriate time” among the company’s more than 800,000 U.S. employees.
The company’s warehouses, cloud storage data centers and Whole Foods Retail stores have remained open through the pandemic, even though most of the white-collar corporate staff of Amazon at its Seattle headquarters and other offices toil from home.
Clark said Amazon has a contract to manage vaccines at its facilities through an occupational health provider.
“We are prepared to move quickly once vaccines are available,” he wrote.
Earlier on Wednesday, Reuters reported on the letter.
“Additionally, we are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts,” Clark went on.
“Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately” in the fight against the disease, he wrote.
Jay Carney, a former Biden staffer who now oversees Amazon’s policy and marketing departments, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television earlier this month that the organization had provided assistance to officials working on the presidential transition.
“We’ve offered suggestions, our experiences, and we’re open to any ideas the administration might have, the incoming administration might have, in how we can help,” he said.
Amazon is under pressure over its increasing power from regulators and Congress, and it is not clear if the Biden administration will step up the scrutiny.
America’s second-largest private-sector employer has made drastic changes to its spreading logistics network to accommodate social distancing after the epidemic started spreading across the U.S.
Still, Amazon said last year that in the first six months of the pandemic, about 20,000 of its workers had tested positive for the virus. The response of Amazon to the crisis has been criticized as inadequate by some staff, lawmakers and labour officials.
Source: Al Jazeera