US President Joe Biden’s administration is considering a new approach as it struggles with a messy vaccine rollout, setting aside his harsh criticisms of the tech industry and taking Silicon Valley up on its latest offers to help fight the pandemic, reported Politico.
Amazon is pitching its expertise in IT and operations to help in vaccine distribution. Airbnb is suggesting it can help create “vaccine depots” using its vast network of real estate across the country. And Google is looking to give free ad space to public health authorities.
Companies like Amazon are well placed to get the vaccine into exactly the right trusted churches, clinics, and corner pharmacies, said Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“FEMA does not have that capacity. The National Guard does not have that capacity. Amazon might,” said Morrison, who served at the State Department during the Clinton administration.
And the White House is taking the idea seriously. Biden’s team said it is in talks with Amazon and other tech companies about how they can help.