Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

An Uber vehicle takes part in a demonstration in Los Angeles on Aug. 20, 2020.

MIKE BLAKE/Reuters

Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday sent letters to the governors of all U.S. states, asking for its ride-hail and food-delivery drivers to get early access to COVID-19 vaccines as essential workers.

The company also said it will send a letter to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.

The letters come less than a week after Uber sent a similar letter to a committee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Story continues below advertisement

Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, in a letter seen by Reuters, urged Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to classify Uber’s workers as essential, entitled to vaccines immediately after health-care professionals and long-term care facility residents.

“Over the last nine months, these workers have been a lifeline to their communities. They have transported healthcare workers to hospitals, delivered food to people socially distancing at home, and helped local restaurants stay in business,” the letter said.

Khosrowshahi also said Uber’s app could offer vaccination information to Americans.

With initial vaccine doses limited and strong federal guidance lacking, it has fallen to U.S. states to determine who will be first in line to be vaccinated. More than 20 large industries have urged public officials to prioritize their workers.

Uber said its U.S. drivers who have done at least three trips since the pandemic began in March stood at over 1.5 million.

Florida, where Uber has the most pandemic drivers at around 236,000, expects to receive vaccine doses for 500,000 to 1 million residents this month. The state has more than 1 million licensed healthcare professionals and some 146,000 long-term-care residents, according to state health department data.

U.S. officials have said if vaccines get approved quickly they will distribute enough doses to inoculate 20 million people by the end of the year, roughly covering all U.S. healthcare workers. Doses for some 100 million people are expected by the end of February.

Story continues below advertisement

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies