March 22—CNBC reported Cisco Systems will donate $225 million to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The corporation is splitting its charitable allocation between cash and access to its networking resources. The firm is one of many large technology companies to take an active role in dealing with COVID-19 recently.
Cisco’s Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak
CEO Chuck Robbins explained his company is donating $8 million in cash to nongovernmental organizations dealing with the outbreak. The networking hardware giant is giving away $210 million in products to support healthcare, educational, and government agencies working to “prevent, detect, and manage the spread of COVID-19.”
Cisco will also direct the remaining $6 million to its Country Digital Acceleration program, which will help governments and businesses deploy coronavirus related technological solutions. Robbins said some of the firm’s donation would go to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The corporation has been proactive in addressing the coronavirus’s global impact since the beginning of this month. On March 13, Robbins organized a conference call with executives from Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, and the San Francisco 49ers to discuss how they would use their resources to address the viral outbreak.
The networking gear company has also strived to support its employees as the pandemic has spread across the globe. On March 6, Cisco’s chief executive announced his firm would pay its hourly workers their regular wages regardless of facility closures or remote work mandates.
Big Tech Steps Up to Mitigate COVID-19 Impact
As COVID-19’s impact on global society has intensified, Big Tech has stepped up to provide support for those in need.
Amazon recently made efforts to purge its platform of products falsely claiming to cure or treat coronavirus infection. Subsequently, the e-commerce giant changed its policies to allow its corporate staffers to work from home and gave its hourly workers sick leave. The company also established a $25 million fund to provide financial assistance for its logistics personnel.
Apple addressed COVID-19 by establishing a $15 million fund to aid organizations combating the disease across the world. The company also shuttered all of its retail stores outside of mainland China to slow the spread of the virus.
Electric car maker Tesla has joined the fight against the coronavirus by donating truckloads of personal protective equipment to medical facilities in California and Washington.
IBM has also done its part to mitigate the deleterious effects of COVID-19. In tandem with the White House, the corporation organized a group of technology companies and institutions to pool their computing resources. As a result, scientists now have access to 330 petaflops of processing power to research new coronavirus treatments.
Social media giant Facebook has also endeavored to do the right thing in the face of the global health crisis. This week, the corporation donated its emergency cache of 720,000 protective masks to frontline medical personnel. The company also pledged to give all 45,000 of its employees a $1,000 bonus to help them with unexpected expenses.
Because of its immense resources and influence, the technology sector has received intense scrutiny from politicians and the public. However, Big Tech should be lauded for its meaningful and extensive response to the coronavirus outbreak.