Apple is donating 10 million protective face masks to help combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the United States, CEO Tim Cook said in a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday.
“These people deserve our debt of gratitude for all of the work that they’re doing on the front lines,” Cook said of the medical community in his video.
Along with the announcement about Apple’s contribution, Cook also urged the general public to follow the advice from health experts and stay home as much as possible. The Apple chief executive also said he’s currently working from home.
Cook’s remarks come after Vice President Mike Pence said during a press briefing on Tuesday that the tech giant would donate 9 million N95 faces maks to US relief efforts.
“And I spoke today, and the president spoke last week, with Tim Cook of Apple,” Pence said.
“And at this moment in time, Apple went to their storehouses and is donating 9 million N95 masks to healthcare facilities all across the country and to the national stockpile. “
Apple is one of several technology giants donating masks as the US grapples with supply shortages as the coronavirus spreads.
Doctors in at least two hospitals in New York City, which has been a hotspot for COVID-19 infections, have been told to reuse their masks to preserve their supply, Business Insider’s Jacob Shamsian reported earlier in March. In Los Angeles, some doctors are turning to seamstresses in the city’s garment district for new masks.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also recently said the company will be donating the 720,000 masks it had purchased as a protective measure against the California wildfires and plans to source millions more.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also recently said in an email to CleanTechnica that he’ll be donating at least 250,000 N95 masks.
N95 respirators are different than surgical face masks in that they’re able to form a tight enough seal to filter out at least 95% of particles in the air, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Surgical masks, comparatively, are loose-fitting and protects the wearer from large droplets and splashes.
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