Vacation rental company Airbnb on Friday offered the Biden administration assistance with distributing the coronavirus vaccine nationwide.
“In the context of President Biden’s call for the United States to go on a ‘full scale war time effort’ to defeat COVID-19, we are writing you to see if Airbnb can be helpful in identifying homes that could be used as vaccine distribution sites in communities where there may be a dearth of either pharmacies or medical facilities,” Christopher Lehane, Airbnb’s senior vice president for global policy and communications, wrote in the letter. “These Airbnb ‘vaccine depots’ could be available in locations where there are limited or no health care facilities or pharmacies, so-called ‘health care deserts.’ In addition to being available to work with you to support the creation of vaccination sites, Airbnb and our community of U.S. hosts stand ready to support you and your team’s critical work in terms of housing workers traveling to distribute vaccines, should they need housing support.”
The Biden White House has not commented on the tech giant’s offer at this time.
Airbnb’s letter follows Amazon extending its hand to the Biden White House, also offering to help distribute coronavirus vaccines.
“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,” Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s consumer business, wrote in a Wednesday letter, which was obtained by NBC News.
“We are prepared to leverage our operations, IT, & communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts,” Clark continued. “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.”
Clark has requested employees at Amazon fulfillment centers and Whole Foods grocery stores “who cannot work from home,” receive the vaccine as soon as possible.
The two offers come as the United States will soon begin the process of approving additional coronavirus vaccines.
Appearing on NBC News’ Meet the Press, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the nation is “weeks away, not months away” from fully evaluating vaccine candidates from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca as Biden plans to ramp up distribution after criticizing the Trump administration’s vaccine rollout. He went on to say:
I would imagine within a period of a week or so, or at the most, a couple of weeks, they’re going to be getting their data together and showing it to the [Food and Drug Administration]. They’re going to have to get their data and safety monitoring board to look at it to see if it is appropriate to start, you know, essentially putting the package together to get an emergency use authorization. But we’re weeks away, not months away, for sure.
The U.S. has administered 13.7 million shots since inoculations began on Dec. 14 with healthcare workers for an average of 847,387 doses per day, according to Bloomberg.
The UPI contributed to this report.