Bezos to shareholders: Mass testing on a global scale needed 'get the economy back up and running'

Bezos to shareholders: Mass testing on a global scale needed 'get the economy back up and running'
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Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosFree speech, Whole Foods, and the endangered apolitical workplace Space: One important thing that might retain bipartisan focus Virtual realities may solve Fermi's paradox about extraterrestrials MORE said Thursday that mass coronavirus testing on a global scale will be needed to “get the economy back up and running" amid the pandemic.

"For this to work, we as a society would need vastly more testing capacity than is currently available," Bezos wrote in his yearly letter to shareholders.

"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."

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Bezos's letter to shareholders also included steps Amazon has taken in response the coronavirus.

The online retail giant has promised to provide face masks and daily temperature checks for warehouse workers, delivery drivers and Whole Foods employees.

Despite the measures, 70 Amazon facilities have had at least one employee test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Workers at several locations have walked off the job, demanding deeper cleans and more protective gear.

Amazon announced last week that it is developing a diagnostic test to determine whether a person has the virus, as opposed to a blood test that could detect antibodies made by the immune system when a person is exposed. 

It has also pledged to increase cleaning and enforce social distancing measures at its warehouses in the face of criticism.