Uber Asks CDC to Consider Drivers Essential, Wants Early Vaccinations
On Thursday, Uber Technologies made a request with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that its drivers be deemed essential and up first for the COVID-19 vaccination. While slightly presumptuous, it’s hardly the only business to make such a plea. Delivery services, the trucking industry, food producers, and more have asked the CDC to make sure their employees have first whack at being inoculated.
With lockdowns still occurring, nobody wants to be made subject to new restrictions — especially if it hampers their ability to make money. Unfortunately, estimates leave widespread vaccinations a logistical impossibility until the middle of 2021.
“Early access to a vaccine would help drivers and delivery people continue to play their essential role while also reducing the risk that they may inadvertently contract, or possibly transmit, the virus,” read the letter, signed by Uber’s head of federal affairs, Danielle Burr.
The CDC Advisory Committee is drafting recommendations for who should be prioritized for distribution, and on Tuesday said healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities should receive the vaccine first.
A U.S. government agency in August included ride-hail, taxi, delivery and car rental services in a list of essential critical infrastructure workers that also included more than 300 other job categories.
A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.
More by Matt Posky