Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution

Airbnb on Friday sent a letter to the Biden administration offering to help with the coronavirus vaccine distribution especially in rural communities. 

The vacation rental company offered to identify homes that could be used as vaccine distribution sites in communities with limited access to health care facilities as rollout efforts continue nationwide. 

“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,’ ” Airbnb’s senior vice president for global policy and communications Christopher Lehane wrote in the letter

Additionally, the company offered to house workers traveling to distribute vaccines if they need housing support.

The letter did not detail if the Airbnb “vaccine depots” or houses used to host workers distributing the vaccine would be offered for free or discounted rates.

A White House spokesperson was not immediately available for comment in response to Airbnb’s letter. 

The offer follows Airbnb’s efforts launched last year under its Frontline Stays program to allow hosts to open their homes to front-line health care workers responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The program allows health care workers to stay at Airbnb spots closer to their work and distanced from family members in their own homes for free or discounted rates. 

At the onset of the pandemic last year, Airbnb also reached out to congressional leaders and then-Vice President Pence, who was leading the White House’s coronavirus task force at the time, offering to help address the federal government’s efforts with the pandemic. 

President Biden unveiled his administration’s strategy to address the coronavirus pandemic Thursday. The plan aims to vaccine 100 million Americans within his first 100 days in office. 

Amazon earlier this week sent a letter to Biden, on his first day in office, also offering to assist the new administration with its coronavirus vaccine distribution. The e-commerce giant offered to help by leveraging Amazon’s operations, information technology and communications capabilities

Amazon also again urged the government to prioritize the company’s essential workers across warehouse facilities and data centers in vaccine rollouts. 

Tags Airbnb Airbnb COVID-19 pandemic COVID-19 vaccine vaccine distribution

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