Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday the company has “sourced [and] procured” 10 million N95 ventilator masks for the U.S. and “millions more” for the hardest-hit regions in Europe, that would be distributed to the medical community fighting the coronavirus pandemic. He also urged his followers to “stay at home whenever possible” to help curb the spread of the disease.
Cook’s comments came in a Twitter video posted Wednesday morning.
Proud to share we’ve been able to source 10M masks for the US and millions more for the hardest hit regions in Europe. Our ops teams are helping to find and purchase masks from our supply chain in coordination with governments around the world. pic.twitter.com/uTsA6eA5ks
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 25, 2020
Working from home — as are many Apple employees and the public due to the coronavirus — Cook confirmed the donation in the U.S., one million more than the Trump administration reported Tuesday.
He mentioned in his Twitter text message that the company would also be contributing “millions” more masks to “the hardest-hit regions in Europe,” but did not elaborate.
Cook said the masks had been “sourced [and] procured,” likely meaning Apple had bought additional masks from outside sources in addition to millions it had from its own stock.
Cook reminded the public to take precautions from becoming COVID-19 positive…
“Do what the experts are suggesting that we all do to stay at home whenever possible and when not possible, make sure you’re placing six feet of distance between you and anyone else out there.”
He commented that medical workers, delivery people, local supermarket and pharmacy employees deserved a “debt of gratitude” for all of the work they are doing on the front lines.
“It’s in these toughest times that we show our greatest strength,” he said. “I know that will rise to the occasion. Thank you and stay safe and healthy out there.”
Apple donations add up
Masks are in short supply worldwide as the coronavirus spreads and health workers are in need of items to care for the sick.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced Tuesday that Apple has donated nine million N95 respirator masks.
Pence said, “Apple went to their storehouses and is donating nine million N95 masks to healthcare facilities all across the country and to the national stockpile. There is a level of generosity that I know is inspiring to the president and is truly inspiring to all of us who are working on the White House coronavirus task force.”
Apple also donated two million industrial respiratory masks to help health-care workers last Saturday. Cook confirmed on Twitter then that the company had been working behind the scenes to find supplies of masks for healthcare workers in both the U.S. and Europe.
Cult of Mac reported Wednesday through a CNBC report that executives of both Apple and Facebook (who contributed 700,000 masks, though not all of them are N95) confirmed they had masks in storage as a result of the 2019 wildfires in California and were required to have them by state law.
In 2019, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted a regulation forcing employers to provide respiratory equipment, including N95 masks, for workers when the Air Quality Index reached unhealthy levels.
Worldwide there are over 459,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus with more than 20,800 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., there are over 62,000 confirmed cases and 869 deaths.