Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is in touch with the White House offering assistance to combat the growing new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is spreading across the US, President Donald Trump has said. Bezos, who owns The Washington Post which is a staunch critic of Trump and his policies, was not part of top CEOs like from Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger and Costco who met Trump last week to discuss their roles in helping fight the crisis. Trump on Monday said White House officials are in touch with Bezos.
"I've heard that is true but I don't know that for a fact, some of my people, as I understand it, have been dealing with them or with him and that is nice," said Trump during the White House coronavirus briefing. "We have had tremendous support from a lot of people that can help and I believe he was one of them," he added. It is not clear in what capacity Bezos is working with the White House on tackling the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 81 people in the US.
Amazon's Cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) lost the prestigious $10 billion Pentagon Cloud project last year to Microsoft because Trump called the publication "Amazon Washington Post" and has repeatedly criticised it for his and his party's coverage. Amazon later alleged in its complaint, filed against the US government's decision to award Pentagon Cloud project to the "less competitive" Microsoft, that Trump abused his position to put "improper pressure" on decision-makers for personal gains and show his hatred towards Bezos who owns The Washington Post.
"The stakes are high. The question is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends," said the company. The US Department of Defense (DoD) is finally seeking court permission to reconsider certain aspects of its decision to award the Cloud contract to Microsoft. A US judge last month granted Amazon's request to temporarily halt the project.