Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos published a letter to employees on Saturday in which he revealed the company had placed orders for millions of face masks for employees who cannot work from home and who are providing a vital service to people everywhere – an obvious reference to the coronavirus pandemic.
Very few of those orders have been filled due to short supply globally, he wrote, as supplies are being directed by governments to facilities like hospitals and clinics.
“It’s easy to understand why the incredible medical providers serving our communities need to be first in line,” he said. “When our turn for masks comes, our first priority will be getting them in the hands of our employees and partners working to get essential products to people.”
“People are depending on us,” Bezos told employees, and wrote, “I’m not alone in being grateful for the work you are doing.”
He predicted things were going to get worse before they got better, and wrote, “Much of the essential work we do cannot be done from home. We’ve implemented a series of preventative health measures for employees and contractors at our sites around the world.”
He said Amazon has increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning.
And he said Amazon has adjusted its practices in fulfillment centers to ensure the recommended social distancing guidelines.
You can find Bezos’s full letter on the AboutAmazon.com blog.