Biden administration faucets personal corporations, enterprise teams for assist in Covid combat

United States President Joe Biden speaks about the 50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine administered in the United States during a landmark event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on February 25, 2021.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

On Friday, White House officials will unveil a new partnership between the administration and senior business groups to help with the national coronavirus response and vaccine roll-out, said Andy Slavitt, White House senior advisor on Covid Response.

The partnership includes the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, and executives at Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American and other minority companies, Slavitt said.

The purpose of the partnership, a White House official told CNBC, is to urge businesses of all sizes to “promote public health actions to remove barriers to vaccination for employees and public health reporting related to masking.” and to improve vaccinations for their clients and communities. “The New York Times previously reported on the partnership.

Outside of the partnership, Walgreens and Uber are launching a pilot program to offer pharmacies free rides to get a Covid-19 vaccine. Other companies like Dollar General, Best Buy and Target have announced that they will compensate their employees with paid time off for the vaccination.

Slavitt added that Lyft is working with CVS and the YMCA to offer 60 million free or discounted rides to help people get vaccinated. And Ford and The Gap have vowed to donate more than 100 million masks for free distribution.

“I wouldn’t portray these as a federal effort,” Slavitt said. “I would portray this as efforts by organizations across the country that we encourage others to take stock of in some cases.”

The White House, with its new business partners, will push more companies to do the same, he said.

Slavitt said administrative officials would be making calls to corporate groups over the next few weeks asking them to help with the federal response to the pandemic. He said the White House will urge them to oblige staff to follow public health precautions and educate the public about the importance of vaccination.

“First, masking and social distancing must be required to protect workers, customers, and others on the premises,” Slavitt said. Second, reduce barriers to vaccination. Make a plan to vaccinate employees and make it easier for employees to vaccinate by providing incentives such as paid time off or compensation for employees who get vaccinated when they attend Row are. “

Jay Timmons, the president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, said in a statement, “No American is safe from COVID-19 until all Americans are safe”. The group represents more than 12 million employees and 130,000 companies. “Manufacturers are proud to join the Biden administration in this call to arms.” He said the group and its members are determined to help end the pandemic.

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