Amazon Offers Help in Distributing Coronavirus Vaccine Five Weeks Post-Rollout

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We all knew the “miracles” would start as soon as Joe Biden was inaugurated, and today’s news has borne that out. As my colleague Michael Thau covered, the WHO announced a massive change in COVID-19 diagnostic criteria Wednesday – which has to be completely unrelated to what was happening in Washington DC, right?

Then, Biden received a letter from Amazon’s Dave Clark, CEO of the company’s Worldwide Consumer division, promising that “Amazon stands ready to assist you in reaching your goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of your administration” by “leverage [their] operations, information technology and communications capabilities and expertise to assist [the] administration’s vaccination efforts.”

Another coincidence, right? Yeah. Right.

Vaccine rollout has been a big problem in heavily Democrat states like New York, New Jersey, and California. The state Dems love to hate, Florida, is leading the country in getting vaccinations into the arms of those most at-risk, partly by utilizing private pharmacies and the like – where seniors know and trust their pharmacists – instead of mass vaccination sites run by inefficient bureaucracies. Last week federal bureaucrats started pushing back; anonymous “administration” sources told the Wall Street Journal that Operation Warp Speed officials “held back” approval of a plan to distribute and administer the vaccine for two months, and that left states with insufficient time to make distribution plans. (Nevermind that all states already distribute vaccines and that they still had three months in which to plan. It’s too bad they didn’t believe the vaccine would be available before spring and dawdled instead of seriously planning.)

Anyway, if states had been “clamoring” for a way to get vaccines administered for months, and all of these insiders knew it, why did Amazon wait five weeks from the date of the first vaccine shipments to pledge its resources to assist in this unprecedented crisis? The company has arguably the most robust logistics system in the world; why weren’t they working on the distribution system from the beginning?

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Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

Amazon does have a side interest, though. On December 16, 2020 Clark wrote to a CDC advisory panel asking that Amazon’s warehouse workers, data center employees at Amazon Web Services and Whole Foods employees to “receive the Covid-19 vaccine at the earliest appropriate time.” That request has not yet been approved, so Clark reiterated his request in the letter to Biden, adding that the company already has an agreement in place with a third-party vendor to administer the vaccines at Amazon’s facilities – and sweetening his request with the offer to help with distribution.

The full letter was published by CNBC:

Dear President Biden,

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.

As the nation’s second largest employer, Amazon has over 800,000 employees in the United States, most of whom are essential workers who cannot work from home. We are proud of the role our employees have played to help customers stay safe and received important products and services at home, which is critical for people with underlying medical conditions and those susceptible to complications from Covid-19. The essential employees working at Amazon fulfillment centers, AWS data centers, and Whole Foods Market stores across the country who cannot work from home should receive the Covid-19 vaccine at the earliest appropriate time. We will 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. 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. 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.

Since the beginning of this crisis, we have worked hard to keep our workers safe. We are committed to assisting your administration’s vaccination efforts as we work together to protect our employees and continue to provide essential services during the pandemic.

Sincerely,

Dave Clark

CEO, Worldwide Consumer

So, it’s important to protect these workers and other vulnerable Americans “at the first opportunity,” but not important enough to do so while Donald Trump was still President. Don’t forget this.

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