Amazon Held Back COVID Help Until After Biden was Inaugurated

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Tristan Justice at The Federalist reports that Amazon offered the Biden administration vaccine distribution assistance with its vast trove of nationwide resources moments after President Joe Biden was sworn into office on Wednesday. Amazon, the company said, was “ready to assist” with the new president’s goal to vaccinate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of the new administration.

“We are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts,” Amazon’s CEO for worldwide consumer business Dave Clark wrote. “Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19.”

Justice notes there was no good explanation from Amazon as to why the company waited, more than a month after two vaccines had been cleared by the FDA for emergency use, to offer help until right after Biden took office.

Amazon refused to provide an on-the-record answer to The Federalist about whether the company had given the Trump administration the same offer it gave Biden Wednesday, though Trump officials told Fox News that the previous White House, which conducted the historic Operation Warp Speed, was given no such letter proposing assistance.

Amazon did tell The Federalist the company had been in contact with Operation Warp Speed and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but offered few details and did not say the company had extended a helping hand to facilitate public vaccination efforts. One letter addressed to the CDC, dated Dec. 16, requested that the government prioritize essential workers in its vaccination guidelines to give protection to its own employees.

“We request that [the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] continue to prioritize these essential workers who cannot work from home, like those working at Amazon fulfillment centers, AWS data centers and Whole Foods Market stores,” Clark wrote to ACIP Chairman Dr. Jose R. Romero, according to Fox News.