After prominent e-commerce firm Amazon became the latest in a lineup of big tech companies throwing their support behind the US vaccine rollout plans hailed by the administration of Joe Biden as a way to reboot the COVID-19 response, ostensibly botched by Donald Trump, questions have been raised.
Critics on both the left and the right of the political spectrum have wondered why the company seemed to have waited for Democrat Biden to take office before offering assistance to the federal government.
In a letter to Joe Biden, top exec Dave Clark congratulated both the newly-elected president and his vice president Kamala Harris on their new posts following Inauguration Day, before proceeding to inform them that the company was geared up to provide its operational reach to “make a meaningful impact” on the administration’s ambitious vaccination plans.
NEW @NBCNews: Amazon has extended offer to President Joe Biden to assist with national Covid vaccine distribution.— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) January 20, 2021
In letter to @POTUS, Amazon Consumer CEO Dave Clark says "Amazon stands ready to assist you…”https://t.co/1DZ7apVy4H pic.twitter.com/DPoGi9yT4G
“We have an agreement in place with a licensed third-party occupational health care provider to administer vaccines on-site at our Amazon facilities. We are prepared to move quickly once vaccines are available,” wrote the incoming chief executive officer of Amazon’s retail unit, in a reference to the world's largest online retailer’s own effort to provide vaccines to its 800,000-plus workforce.
“Additionally, we are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration's vaccination efforts,” reads the letter, dated 20 January.
It was unclear how and if the Biden administration responded to the offer to tap into the tech giant’s logistical resources to boost help in the vaccine distribution programme.
In response to reports of Amazon's letter, two senior Trump administration officials told Fox Business that Amazon officials had never made such a direct offer to the former commander-in-chief.
Amazon did not offer any official response to speculations over the role of politics in the differing approaches to the two US administrations on the part of the company.
‘Collusion by Unscrupulous Entities’
The framing of this argument to present it as a left/right issue is detrimental to understanding the core issue at hand, says US author and writer Gary D. Barnett.
‘Big Tech helping Democrats over helping Trump’ is dismissed by him as a straw man argument, diverting attention from the question of why big tech is involved in medical and political influence in the first place, whether it be with Trump or Biden, or any other politicians.
“Why is big tech allowed to influence or control medical and vaccination policy in any manner for any administration?” queries the author.
“Big Tech has been in bed with government, funded by government, and involved in any number of policy decisions for very many years, regardless of which particular party was in power. This is a travesty in and of itself,” claims Barnett.
According to the writer, the ruling class, its ‘pawns in government’, technology giants, like Amazon, Google, Apple, pharmaceutical companies, and tax-free foundations all work and conspire as a partnership in what can be described as a ‘fascist collaboration’.
Slamming those who base the argument on purely political favouritism towards either Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden, Barnett urges to perceive the issue as a manifestation of inherent ‘collusion and corruption by unscrupulous entities’.