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Critics Question Timing of Amazon's Offer to Assist in Vaccine Distribution

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The first vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 11. On Jan. 20, the day Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, Amazon sent a letter congratulating the new president and offering to help with the distribution efforts of coronavirus vaccines. But many are questioning the timing of the company's offer to commit its considerable resources.


"Congratulations to you and Vice President Harris on your inauguration," begins the letter, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News. "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."

The letter, signed by Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon's retail business, goes on to tout Amazon's agreement with a third-party occupational health care provider and the company's ability to administer vaccines at its Amazon facilities. 

"Additionally, we are prepared to leverage our operations, IT, & communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts," Clark wrote. "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."

NBC News Dylan Byers reportedly asked an Amazon representative if a similar offer was ever made to President Trump. According to Byers, the representative said the company had been in touch with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices as well as the Department of Health and Human Services last month, but there was no mention of a similar letter ever being sent to President Trump.


The reason we have vaccines earlier than many experts anticipated is the Trump administration's prioritization of vaccines through Operation Warp Speed. But Democrats and the media seem determined to perpetuate a narrative that paints Biden as the savior who finally gets the vaccine into the hands of the American people. Millions of Americans have already been vaccinated, but how many more could have been if companies like Amazon were more interested in saving lives than playing politics?

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