Jeff Bezos Makes Case for More COVID-19 Testing
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is out with his annual letter to shareholders. It’s filled with the usual list of accomplishments and assertion that it is still “Day 1” at the company that regular readers have come to expect. However, it also references actions the company is and may take regarding employee testing and a promise to share insights from what it learns as it builds testing capacity.
“A next step in protecting our employees might be regular testing of all Amazonians, including those showing no symptoms. Regular testing on a global scale, across all industries, would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running,” Bezos wrote. “For this to work, we as a society would need vastly more testing capacity than is currently available. If every person could be tested regularly, it would make a huge difference in how we fight this virus. Those who test positive could be quarantined and cared for, and everyone who tests negative could re-enter the economy with confidence.”
Bezos said Amazon has begun the work of building incremental testing capacity with a team of research scientists, program managers, procurement specialists and software engineers who have been relieved of their normal duties to focus on the task of building a scalable testing infrastructure.
“We have begun assembling the equipment we need to build our first lab and hope to start testing small numbers of our frontline employees soon. We are not sure how far we will get in the relevant timeframe, but we think it’s worth trying, and we stand ready to share anything we learn,” Bezos wrote.
Read the full letter here.