In a video posted on Twitter over the weekend, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, revealed that the company has sourced more than 20 million face masks for healthcare workers through its global supply chain. The company had earlier donated more than 6 million N95 masks to healthcare professionals in the US and sourced around 10 million masks in all for the medical community in the country.
Cook further claimed that Apple has also designed custom face shields for medical workers, with the first shipment of these devices having already been delivered at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara Valley last week. It isn’t immediately clear if these face shields have received FDA or CDC approval, but Cook says that the company is aiming to procure 1 million of these masks by the end of this week and a million per week thereafter.
Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers. pic.twitter.com/3xRqNgMThX
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 5, 2020
Cook further said that Apple is coordinating with medical professionals and government officials across the US to get these face shields to COVID-19 hotspots in the country, and added that the company is hoping to expand distribution of the custom-designed PPE (personal protective equipment) beyond the US in the coming days.
“Our focus is on unique ways Apple can help, meeting essential needs of caregivers urgently and at a scale the circumstances require. For Apple, this is a labor of love and gratitude, and we will share more of our efforts over time. In the meantime, each of us can stop the spread of the virus by following expert advice to stay home and practice social distancing”, he said.