Fast on the heels of now-President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday morning, Amazon Consumer CEO Dave Clark sent a letter on behalf of his employer to the incoming administration pledging its help with Federal government’s ongoing COVID pandemic response, per NBC News. “Amazon stands ready to assist you,” the statement reads.
In his letter, Clark notes that Amazon and its subsidiary Whole Foods, have already partnered with a third-party company in order to to rapidly inoculate its 800,000-person workforce and will do so “once vaccines are available.” From there, Clark pledges to “leverage our operations, IT, & communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts," in an effort to “to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19.”
Despite the company’s proclamation, critics have previously raised concerns about Amazon management’s treatment of warehouse workers, noting the dangers of direct medical harm of the COVID-19 virus itself as well as some secondary health conditions warehouse workers may face. That is despite the company essentially doubling its profits since the start of the pandemic. Amazon has issued swift reprisals to employee whistleblowers.
Of course, there has been no love lost between Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, and the Trump administration. Back in 2018, the aspiring dictator ordered a review of the USPS’ deal with Amazon (two full years before Trump hamstrung the postal service to influence the presidential election) after getting into a spat with the online retail behemoth. He also may have influenced the Pentagon’s contract award process in denying Amazon a $10 billion deal for the JEDI program. Amazon has characterized as the ex-president’s “personal vendetta” against the company.