Saying its drivers are part of the nation’s critical transportation infrastructure, Uber Technologies wants the Centers for Disease Control to declare them essential non-healthcare workers.
The government estimates as many as 20 million people could be vaccinated in the next few weeks, but it would take another six months or so before the vast majority of Americans could receive the treatment. It became clear during the early months of the pandemic that is declared “essential” was vital for survival. It allowed businesses to remain open while others were forced to close, a decision that resulted in dozens of major retailers being forced into bankruptcy.
In a letter, the company said, “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.” A US 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.