Apple is donating 9 million protective face masks to help fight the coronavirus pandemic

Tim Cook

Getty/Stephen Lam

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

  • Apple is donating 9 million protective face masks to COVID-19 relief efforts in the US, the Vice President Mike Pence said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
  • The vice president said he and President Trump recently spoke with Apple CEO Tim Cook.
  • Cook is one of several tech CEOs that has pledged to donate face masks, along with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Apple is donating 9 million protective face masks to help combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Vice President Mike Pence said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

"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 store houses and is donating 9 million N95 masks to healthcare facilities all across the country and to the national stockpile. "Advertisement

Cook recently said on Twitter that Apple would be donating "millions" of masks to workers in the US and Europe, while Pence also previously said the company would be providing 2 million masks.

"Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19," Cook wrote on Twitter on Saturday. "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."

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. Advertisement

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Surgical masks, comparatively, are loose-fitting and protects the wearer from large droplets and splashes.

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