On March 21, Vice President Mike Pence announced Apple would be donating 2 million industrial masks to hospitals across the nation struggling with the coronavirus pandemic. Apple CEO Tim Cook later confirmed the news by tweeting that his firm would supply “millions of masks for health care professionals in the U.S. and Europe.”
Executives from Facebook and Tesla have also provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to U.S. medical professionals battling COVID-19.
Apple’s Coronavirus Mitigation Efforts
Because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus through the United States, American medical facilities have quickly depleted their PPE supplies. In particular, health care workers have started running out of N95 respirator masks, which prevent their wearers from inhaling 95 percent of very small particles. Because of their high-efficiency rate, N95s play a crucial role in helping medical professionals provide treatment for COVID-19 patients.
Last Friday, the White House and Apple announced they would be working together to distribute millions of masks to medical professionals to address the shortage.
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
As the coronavirus outbreak has reached pandemic proportions, the iPhone maker has taken several steps to mitigate its impact. On March 13, the Cupertino, California-based conglomerate pledged $15 million to the global COVID-19 response, made flexible work arrangements for its corporate employees, and provided a pay alignment for its hourly staffers. The company also shuttered all of its stores outside of Greater China to help halt the spread of the disease.
On March 19, Cook revealed his firm would make a “substantial donation” to first responders, medical personnel, and volunteers in Italy.
The Silicon Valley giant has also taken steps to help its customers cope with the pandemic.
Digital Trends notes the firm’s Siri digital assistant will help users determine if they’ve contracted the coronavirus. Siri will provide users with advice based on information provided by the U.S. Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, the company is offering a range of free e-books to help adults and children deal with social distancing related boredom.
Thankfully, Apple isn’t the only Big Tech firm to step up amid the global health crisis.
Facebook, Tesla Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 22, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed his corporation would donate 720,000 masks to health care workers in need. The executive explained the social network had acquired an emergency PPE reserve in light of the recent California wildfires. Zuckerberg also noted his company is in the process of locating millions of additional masks for donation.
“Ant-Man” director Peyton Reed recently tweeted that electric car maker Tesla is doing its part to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. The filmmaker wrote the Fremont, California-based firm sent a “truckload” of PPE to the UCLA Health Medical Center. Bloomberg states the automobile company also sent 50,000 N95 masks to the University of Washington School of Medicine and plans to deploy more PPE to medical professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area.
With a crisis as wide-ranging as the coronavirus pandemic, no one entity can address the problem alone. As such, the tech sector’s mobilization of resources in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak is reassuring.