UPDATE (March 23, 2020): After Tim Cook announced on Saturday that Apple would donate “millions of surgical masks” to healthcare professionals in the US and Europe, more tech CEOs have joined the ranks, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla’s Elon Musk. Masks are in short supply, even to healthcare professionals working on the front line to get the coronavirus outbreak under control.
On Sunday, Zuckerberg announced via Facebook that the company would be donating an emergency reserve of 720,000 masks — left over from the California wildfires — to health workers who “urgently need more protective gear.” Zuckerberg also stated that Facebook is working on sourcing “millions of more to donate.” Elon Musk announced on Saturday that Tesla and SpaceX have 250,000 N95 masks ready to send out and promised that both companies will dedicate their resources to manufacturing ventilators for hospitals.
Elsewhere, Marc Benioff tweeted Sunday that Salesforce donated 9,000 masks to the University of California Medical Center and is working on distributing 5 million masks this week. Microsoft President Brad Smith announced that the company is working to secure much-needed supplies for healthcare workers, including protection goggles, infrared thermometers, protective suits and more.
As businesses mobilize, our global supply chain team is hard at work securing much-needed supplies for healthcare workers. On Fri, the first 5 pallets of PPE arrived, including:
- 15,000 protection goggles
- Infrared thermometers
- Medical caps
- Protective suits pic.twitter.com/b3ShUUSfVI
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) March 22, 2020
ORIGINAL STORY (March 22, 2020): Apple is the latest in big tech to contribute towards fighting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The company has announced that it will be donating millions of surgical masks to various healthcare professionals in the US and Europe, where the virus’ outspread is increasing at a staggering rate. While there’s no specific number revealed, Vice President Mike Pence announced during a briefing that at least two million of them are coming to the US. ”Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19,” tweets Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We’re donating millions of masks for health professionals in the US and Europe. To every one of the heroes on the front lines, we thank you.”
The news comes after other tech giants such as Amazon and Facebook both pledged massive sums of money to help small businesses to stay afloat or employ those whose jobs have been affected by the quarantine and slowing economy. In a similar fashion, Elon Musk said previously that Tesla would produce ventilators for hospitals, while Alibaba’s Jack Ma has been donating all sorts of hospital equipment.
In other coronavirus-related news, GameStop has finally reversed its decision to stay open, closing all its US stores effective today.