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Read the letter Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just sent to employees about the coronavirus: ‘Things are going to get worse before they get better’

Jeff Bezos

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Saturday shared a memo sent to Amazon employees regarding the coronavirus.
  • In the letter, Bezos notes that the company is hiring 100,00 workers and says Amazon is taking steps to protect essential personnel that can’t work remotely.
  • He encourages those who have been laid off as a result of the pandemic to consider working for Amazon. 
  • The memo comes after an Amazon warehouse worker in Queens, New York, tested positive for the coronavirus last week. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In a memo sent to Amazon staff, CEO Jeff Bezos outlined the steps the retail giant is taking to keep essential personnel safe and encouraged those who have been laid off during the pandemic to consider working for the online retail giant.

Bezos shared the letter to employees on his personal Instagram profile on Saturday.

“Across the world, people are feeling the economic effects of the crisis, and I’m sad to tell you I predict things are going to get worse before they get better,” Bezos wrote. 

The letter comes as businesses around the world, and in the US, grapple with closures to combat the spreading coronavirus, which has now killed 273 people in the United States and infected more than 19,700. Around the world, there have been more than 12,000 deaths from the virus and more than 300,000 reported cases. 

Washington state, home to Amazon’s Seattle-based headquarters, has been hit particularly hard by the virus. With 83 reported deaths, it has the highest coronavirus death toll of any state, with New York and California following. Amazon also closed a warehouse in Queens, New York, after a worker tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, as The Atlantic first reported. 

In his memo, Bezos noted that the company is taking measures including increasing the intensity of cleaning and ensuring that social distancing measures are being implemented in its fulfillment centers.

The company is also trying to obtain face masks for staff who cannot work remotely, and Bezos says Amazon has placed orders for “millions”. However, masks are in short supply and governments are currently directing them to facilities where they’re needed most, like hospitals. 

Bezos also reiterated that Amazon is hiring for 100,000 new roles.

“My own time and thinking is now wholly focused on COVID-19 and how Amazon can best play its role,” Bezos wrote. “I want you to know Amazon will continue to do its part, and we won’t stop looking for new opportunities to help.”

Read the full memo below. 

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