U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) is asking for the help of streamers when it comes to slowing the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season.
In a letter addressed to the leaders of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Hulu and HBO Max, King urged the platforms to make their content available to the masses for free during the holidays, which he believes could encourage Americans to stay home and therefore slow the spread of COVID-19.
In the letter, acquired by News Center Maine, King wrote: “Many Americans have already turned to your platforms as ‘safe at home’ tools, responsible alternatives to public gatherings at locations like movie theaters, concert venues and sports arenas. Yet as the weather grows colder across much of the country and safe outdoor recreation options are further restricted, Americans are faced with even further social isolation — and increased free time — during the holidays. This is a risk; it could also be an opportunity for creative, socially responsible thinking.”
King detailed that the platforms making their content available for free would incentivize Americans to follow guidance from the CDC and therefore refrain from traveling or gathering over the holidays.
“Unfortunately, some Americans are likely to choose to ignore public health advice and carry on their typical holiday traditions instead of remaining safely at home,” King wrote. “While your platforms would likely experience greater traffic as a consequence of extending service, we encourage you to provide temporary service at no cost to non-subscribers as a way to encourage people to make responsible choices and safely navigate this holiday season.”
According to News Center Maine, King has been a large advocate for social distancing and COVID-19 safety throughout the pandemic. Previously, King was successful in pushing eight internet service providers to better support remote technologies so that Americans could work from home more comfortably.
Read King’s full letter here.