Shortly after President Joe Biden was sworn in on Wednesday, Amazon congratulated him on his inauguration and offered its vast resources to help the new administration with its vaccination efforts.
“As you begin your work to pull the country out of the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon stands ready to help you reach your goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of your administration,” Dave Clark , CEO of Amazon Global Consumer Business, wrote in a letter to Biden Wednesday.
“We are ready to leverage our operations, our information technology and our communications capabilities and expertise to aid your administration’s immunization efforts,” Clark continued. “Our scale allows us to have a significant impact immediately in the fight against Covid-19, and we stand ready to assist you in that effort.”
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Amazon’s offer was well received by many following a slow rollout of the recently approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to provide an official explanation as to why the company has not offered help to the Trump administration.
Amazon told Fox News the company has been in contact with U.S. government officials over the past nine months about the response to COVID-19. An Amazon spokesperson also pointed to a letter Clark sent to a CDC advisory board on Dec. 16 regarding vaccine distribution.
“We ask that [Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] continue to prioritize those essential workers who cannot work from home, such as those who work in Amazon fulfillment centers, AWS data centers, and Whole Foods Market stores, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine earlier possible, ”Clark wrote to ACIP President Dr. Jose R. Romero.
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Clark’s December letter contained no offer of assistance with vaccine distribution.
On Wednesday, Clark offered Amazon’s “operations, information and communications technology capabilities and expertise” to help distribute the vaccine.
Clark also reiterated on Wednesday that “essential employees working in 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 sooner. possible”.
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On December 11, the FDA issued the first emergency use authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna’s vaccine was approved on December 18.
More than a month after the start of distribution of the two vaccines, only 16,525,281 Americans received the first dose, according to the CDC. 35,990,150 doses have been distributed to date.
The responsibility for disorderly deployment has changed over time. The Trump administration has been heavily involved in the vaccine development process through Operation Warp Speed, but has left it up to the states to distribute the vaccine themselves.
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“It is up to the states to distribute the vaccines once brought to the areas designated by the federal government,” tweeted former President Trump in late December. “We not only developed the vaccines, including putting money in to move the process forward quickly, but we got them to the states.”
President Joe Biden has vowed to step up federal government involvement in the immunization process, saying he will invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine supply, while using the National Guard and the Federal Agency emergency management team to distribute them.