During a White House briefing on Monday detailing new recommendations regarding public health from the administration’s coronavirus task force and the CDC, President Trump was asked by a member of the press corps about reports that the White House is in “daily” contact with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos regarding the COVID-19 epidemic.
Trump’s answer wasn’t exactly a clear confirmation, but did seem to indicate that the Amazon founder and chief executive has been working with the White House in some capacity as the situation develops. Upon request for clarification, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that “Jeff Bezos has been in contact with the White House” regarding the coronavirus epidemic.
“Well I’ve heard that’s true,” Trump said during the briefing. “I don’t know that for a fact. But I know that some of my people have, as I understand it, been dealing with them or with him. And that’s nice. We’ve had tremendous support from a lot of people that can help, and I believe he was one of them.”
Last week, Fox Business first reported that the White House would be meeting with large tech companies in an effort to help coordinate efforts to contain the virus, and that those meetings would include Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, Apple and Microsoft.
It’s still not clear in what capacity Bezos is working with the White House on the coronavirus pandemic, but Amazon is clearly feeling the impact of the global virus outbreak, including a surge in demand that’s led to it seek to hire 100,000 additional employees for warehouse and delivery in the U.S.