Apple has pledged to donate two million industrial respiratory masks to help health-care workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and Europe, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence revealed during Saturday’s White House press briefing.
Pence called on other companies to step up and follow suit with more physical donations. Pence was optimistic about the supply of masks and said clothing-maker Hanesbrands is retrofitting some of its factories to make masks.
“It’s a great time to go to your storeroom, and if you have N95 masks, if you’ve got 100 of them, if you’ve got 10,000 of them, load them up and drive them over to your local hospital,” Pence said.
Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed Saturday that the company had been working behind the scenes to find supplies of masks for healthcare workers in both the U.S. and Europe…
Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19. 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.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 21, 2020
Bloomberg reports that medically-themed TV shows like Gray’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor donated extra supplies of masks, gowns and gloves this week. Considering pretty much all TV show and movie productions have halted, they’re probably not going to need them anytime soon.
Apple’s coronavirus aid efforts
Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees in a recent memo that Apple has already donated $15 million to countries hit hardest by the COVID-19. The company is also matching employee donations two-to-one.
Cook tweeted earlier this week that Apple made a substantial donation including medical supplies to Protezione Civile in Italy. The aid will go to help first responders, medical personnel & volunteers working to save lives. Apple is also making big donations to Silicon Valley Strong, a new organization in the San Francisco Bay Area that supports families and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 12,760 people worldwide with a reported 303,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., there are now 285 reported deaths and more than 24,100 confirmed cases.