- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2020

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos issued a dire message to employees that the worst is yet to come from the havoc wrought by the coronavirus outbreak.

The company’s founder posted the message online over the weekend, saying he was “wholly focused” on coronavirus and Amazon’s role in combating the crisis.

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

Mr. Bezos wrote that Amazon would hire for “100,000 new roles” and planned to raise wages for its hourly workers during the coronavirus outbreak. He said the company has responded to the coronavirus outbreak by changing its logistics, purchasing, supply chain, transportation, and third-party seller processes.

“We’ve placed purchase orders for millions of face masks we want to give our employees and contractors who cannot work from home, but very few of those orders have been filled,” Mr. Bezos wrote. “Masks remain in short supply globally and are at this point being directed by governments to the highest-need facilities like hospitals and clinics.”

Amazon is also reportedly being preyed upon by bad actors looking to exploit the coronavirus outbreak for personal profit. The company has removed tens of thousands of products from sellers raising prices on supplies such as face masks and hand sanitizer. Elsewhere, Amazon was inundated with self-published books containing plagiarized information from the internet purporting to guide readers on how to prevent and dodge the virus, according to the Guardian.

Amazon did not respond to request for comment on what, if anything, it is doing to fight the spread of misinformation through its platforms.

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