Amazon is offering to help President Joe Biden with distribution in order to achieve his goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in his first 100 days in office.
Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon's Worldwide Consumer division, said in a letter to Biden that Amazon is "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."
Clark also said that Amazon has more than 800,000 employees. He said most of them work at Amazon fulfillment centers, Amazon Web Services data centers and Whole Foods stores and, therefore, cannot work from home. Clark said those workers should receive the vaccine "at the earliest appropriate time" and that the company is ready to move quickly to vaccinate its workers on-site when the vaccines are available.
A number of states are reporting they are running out of vaccine, and tens of thousands of people who managed to get appointments for a first dose are seeing them canceled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about half of the 31 million doses distributed to the states by the federal government have been administered so far. Only about 2 million people have received the two doses needed for maximum protection against the virus.
The U.S. is averaging about 201,000 new cases and about 3,000 deaths each day. The nation’s death toll since the start of the pandemic now stands at about 403,000.