Biden administration to tap private companies, business groups for help in Covid fight

US President Joe Biden speaks about the 50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine shot administered in the US during an event commemorating the milestone in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, February 25, 2021.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

White House officials on Friday will unveil a new partnership between the administration and top business groups to help with the national Covid-19 response and vaccine rollout, a senior administration official told CNBC.

The partnership will include the Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers as well as leaders in the Hispanic, African American, Asian American and other minority business organizations, the official said.

The purpose of the partnership, according to the official, is to call on businesses of all sizes “to promote public health measures to help reduce barriers to vaccinations for employees, and to help amplify public health messaging around masking and vaccinations to their customers and communities.” The New York Times reported on the partnership earlier.

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

The White House, with their new business partners, will urge more companies to do the same, the official said.

“Over the coming weeks, the Biden administration, in partnership with these groups, will provide businesses with toolkits and best practices on Covid-19 to help organizations provide accurate and up to date information to their employees and customers,” the official said. “Together, these organizations will reach millions of businesses and tens of millions of employees to promote efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

The administration will also highlight the various ways companies are working to assist in the response to Covid-19, the official said. Administration officials are expected to discuss the initiative more at the White House Covid-19 briefing at 11 a.m. ET.

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