The leading hotel trade group is offering properties to President-elect Biden’s transition team for use as COVID-19 vaccine administration sites across the country.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) said in a Thursday letter to Biden’s incoming coronavirus coordinator, Jeffrey Zients, that its members are uniquely positioned to help with vaccine rollout during the next phases of distribution.
The group noted that there are over 50,000 hotels nationwide that operate around the clock and have the cleanliness protocols, infrastructure like parking and outdoor capabilities, and refrigeration in place to accommodate vaccine distribution.
“By quickly mobilizing an existing network of sites, hotels can help strengthen the delivery and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in communities across the country to better streamline and build on current state efforts,” AHLA CEO Chip Rogers wrote to Zients.
Rogers added that AHLA early last year launched the “Hospitality for Hope” initiative, which identified over 20,000 hotels and a total of 2.3 million rooms to provide temporary housing for emergency and health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Through this program, the hotel industry has already successfully partnered with federal and local governments to provide assistance to those in need, including frontline and emergency workers as well as state and municipal public health departments,” he wrote.
AHLA also sent the letter to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Health and Human Services Department, National Governors Association, Operation Warp Speed, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Senate Democrats earlier this week demanded that the Trump administration provide states with a plan “to fix the significant failures of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution” rollout.
The Democrats said the country’s vaccination effort is moving too slowly and blamed the administration’s failure to develop and implement a comprehensive national vaccine plan.
The Trump administration pledged to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of 2020. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 9 million people have received their first dose, and nearly 25.5 million doses have been distributed.