Biden looks past anger at Silicon Valley to get help on vaccines

And one of the most ambitious efforts by technology companies to fight the pandemic – the urge from Apple and Google to advance digital development Contract tracking standards – largely fell flat under Trump due to a lack of coordination between states and a lack of federal guidelines.

Amazon drew Criticism from the right about the idea that the company was waiting for Biden to be sworn in to offer his assistance, an idea that Amazon strongly rejectedIt provided logistical support for the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed ​​but was “diverted to the States.”

Other complications could make it difficult for even highly acclaimed Silicon Valley companies to achieve quick wins on the vaccine front.

For example, strict federal contractual obligations to reduce fraud and waste, such as: B. tedious, required paperwork slowing the pace of vaccination efforts by technology companies.

In the meantime, the federal government must worry about the fair distribution of the coronavirus vaccine to racial, geographic, and other populations.

Still, companies want to show that they have the logistics and know-how to help.

Dave Clark, an Amazon executive who is widely credited with building the company’s delivery apparatus, sent a letter to Biden on inauguration day demonstrating his much-touted skills in distributing packages across the country, communication skills and expertise. “

Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Seth confirmed that the company is speaking with the Biden administration about introducing vaccines.

“We are determined to assist governments in the vaccination effort as we work together to protect our workers and continue to provide vital services during the pandemic,” Seth said.

Some critics have feared that Amazon’s offer of aid is an attempt to take on a role in public health that it may not be willing to give up on the post-pandemic. And Amazon is a frequent target of those pressuring Biden from the left to take the hard line in Silicon Valley as president that he promised as a candidate. Biden has promised to be “the most union-friendly president”, for example at a time when Amazon employees have and are complaining about the company’s treatment urge to organize.

The White House stressed that it is talking to a number of companies from different industries about getting involved in efforts to fight the pandemic.

And for tech, the pandemic response doesn’t just involve distributing vaccines. The government said it was also speaking to social media platforms about tackling online misinformation about the novel coronavirus vaccine.

That’s despite Biden being particularly vocal about the social media companies, arguing that their behavior is so egregious that the companies no longer deserve the liability protection known as Section 230. When asked last week what Biden was up to against extremism in the US, White House press secretary Jen Psaki pointed to the president’s openness to “the role of hate speech on social media platforms.”

In early February, Facebook announced that it had also reached out to the Biden administration for assistance Combat vaccine misinformationincluding by providing US $ 120 million to public health authorities.

Airbnb defines its geographic reach. Shortly after the inauguration day, the company offered to identify homes that could serve as vaccine distribution locations in places where there are few pharmacies or other permanent health locations.

Chris Lehane, an Airbnb executive and former Clinton administration official, said in a statement that the company can play a role, “much like we have done in the past in working with our hosts across the country, always have reopened their homes in times of need. “

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