Apple donating 9M face masks to US healthcare facilities amid coronavirus outbreak

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2020
Clarifying earlier statements made over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday said Apple is donating 9 million N95 face masks to healthcare facilities in the U.S. as medical workers fight to stave off COVID-19.

Pence
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addresses the coronavirus outbreak.


Pence, who serves as chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, announced Apple's contribution during a press briefing.

"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."

Whether Apple plans to make similarly large donations to other stricken countries is at this point unknown. Cook on Saturday said the company is giving "millions" of masks to health professionals in the U.S. and Europe.

Healthcare workers in the U.S. and abroad are in dire need of the essential protective gear, stock of which has quickly depleted as COVID-19 continues its steady march across the globe. Some have been told to fashion makeshift solutions such as bandanas in lieu of proper safety equipment.

Business Insider reported on Pence's statements earlier today.

The figures detailed on Tuesday stand in contrast to those discussed just three days ago during a similar White House briefing. At the time, Pence said Apple pledged 2 million masks, to be provided to those working in the hardest hit areas of the country.

Cook confirmed the donation in a tweet on Saturday.

"Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19," Cook's tweet reads. "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."

Cook first brought word of Apple's efforts to combat the virus in January when he announced unspecified donations to "groups on the ground." Earlier in March, Apple said its monetary commitments surpassed $15 million as the company began to match employee donations on a two-to-one basis.

Last week, Cook pledged a "substantial donation" to Protezione Civile, the Italian Government's official emergency response department.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Good for Apple. They have plenty of cash so they may as well use it for a worthwhile purpose. I'm not sure if it will help lessen the company image of Apple supposedly over-charging consumers for its products but it's definitely worth a shot. It would be nice if a good percentage of those masks came to New York City because it appears we're going to need them as I believe New York City has the highest number of infections in the U.S. which kinda sucks. I still don't quite understand how that happened. Maybe it's because of the high population density.
    lkrupptyler82kuduanantksundaram
  • Reply 2 of 18
    kent909kent909 Posts: 730member
    Where have these masks been for the last month? Why are they just being donated now? Why does Apple have 9m?
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 3 of 18
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,532member
    "Greedy Apple" back to their old tricks!

    /s
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 269member
    kent909 said:
    Where have these masks been for the last month? Why are they just being donated now? Why does Apple have 9m?
    The article said Apple was looking to its suppliers to source them. Apple doesn’t have them stockpiled. I hear about 3 weeks ago that Foxconn and others were changing production to masks. Perhaps they had extras or enough to sell to Apple, who in turn donated them. 
    anantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    Apple has 130,000 employees or so.  It is rather mind boggling that they stockpiled (over) 9 millions masks for just this type of emergency.  Makes you wonder what else they stashed away for a rainy day.  Since we don't hear of every other major company donating equipment at this scale, one has to assume that Apple is an outlier in this respect.  I'd love to know more about when went into the decisions to prepare this extensively.  Is it a Cook thing?  Was it started under Jobs?  In any case, good job, unsung hero, whomever you are.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    I don’t think Apple had 9 million masks lying around.  

    Some of the masks Apple probably had in warehouses intended for Apple Stores and repair centers.  The glue (etc) is toxic after continued exposure.  My guess is Apple had 2 million, and went through their supply chain to locate more.

    The government tends to create alternative facts, so only the numbers spoken by Cook are reliable.  Let’s just say 2+ million masks were donated.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 732member
    Apple has 130,000 employees or so.  It is rather mind boggling that they stockpiled (over) 9 millions masks for just this type of emergency.  Makes you wonder what else they stashed away for a rainy day.  Since we don't hear of every other major company donating equipment at this scale, one has to assume that Apple is an outlier in this respect.  I'd love to know more about when went into the decisions to prepare this extensively.  Is it a Cook thing?  Was it started under Jobs?  In any case, good job, unsung hero, whomever you are.
    Indeed....other tech giants should do the same for America 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    kent909 said:
    Where have these masks been for the last month? Why are they just being donated now? Why does Apple have 9m?
    Cook said Apple was sourcing suppliers for the health supplies and then donating them. It could’ve been a mix of storage and buying them from suppliers. Don’t assume you know the whole story. 

    Cook is the king of the supply chain and he can find anything.
    GeorgeBMacmike1Taintmasterrandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,907member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    Apple has 130,000 employees or so.  It is rather mind boggling that they stockpiled (over) 9 millions masks for just this type of emergency.  Makes you wonder what else they stashed away for a rainy day.  Since we don't hear of every other major company donating equipment at this scale, one has to assume that Apple is an outlier in this respect.  I'd love to know more about when went into the decisions to prepare this extensively.  Is it a Cook thing?  Was it started under Jobs?  In any case, good job, unsung hero, whomever you are.
    Indeed....other tech giants should do the same for America 
    It's a nice gesture from Apple but to be honest, other tech giants are doing this (plus many other things) but not only for America. Apple's gesture also goes beyond America.

    It shouldn't have been necessary as we have known this was coming, and have done for years and governments have been caught flat footed, but the good news is that we will be far better prepared for the next one.

    In the meantime, the more companies pull together, the better.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    Corporate contributions to the effort should be a supplement to federal action on providing critical supplies, not a substitute for federal action. A couple of million masks is a drop in the bucket.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    1st1st Posts: 443member
    good apple. when you have scale of apple, supply chain turn around fast. Tim Apple is logistic man for apple when Jobs hired him. Now USA is benefit from his skill. Thx Apple to save life.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Why wait for controlled tests of exiting drugs for Covid 19.

    We already have a real one.

    As of 24 March 42164 Cases and Deaths 471 with 16000 per day being tested.

    The fact  that this country does not have a national health data base is criminal.

    However, CVS and Walgreens do have such bases from their drug sales.

    The attached list of potential drugs should be run against the drug company files of both those testing positive and those testing negative.

    In my experience the answers will pop out of the cross matched data.

    The reason I write is that I am not connected in Washington.

    If any of your are please forward.

    Regards

    Mick Blackledge
  • Reply 13 of 18
    kent909kent909 Posts: 730member
    the monk said:
    kent909 said:
    Where have these masks been for the last month? Why are they just being donated now? Why does Apple have 9m?
    Cook said Apple was sourcing suppliers for the health supplies and then donating them. It could’ve been a mix of storage and buying them from suppliers. Don’t assume you know the whole story. 

    Cook is the king of the supply chain and he can find anything.


    It still seems odd. If these masks existed somewhere than why did Apple have to track them down. If I had masks I would have started contacting hospitals myself to sell them weeks ago. It is not like nobody knew they were needed.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 14 of 18
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,532member
    1st said:
    good apple. when you have scale of apple, supply chain turn around fast. Tim Apple is logistic man for apple when Jobs hired him. Now USA is benefit from his skill. Thx Apple to save life.

    Americans will still shit on Apple and root for the knockoff brands to put Apple out of business.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 18
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,587member
    kent909 said:
    the monk said:
    kent909 said:
    Where have these masks been for the last month? Why are they just being donated now? Why does Apple have 9m?
    Cook said Apple was sourcing suppliers for the health supplies and then donating them. It could’ve been a mix of storage and buying them from suppliers. Don’t assume you know the whole story. 

    Cook is the king of the supply chain and he can find anything.


    It still seems odd. If these masks existed somewhere than why did Apple have to track them down. If I had masks I would have started contacting hospitals myself to sell them weeks ago. It is not like nobody knew they were needed.
    Because these masks probably didn't exist in the U.S.   Someone else claimed that Foxconn switched production to masks.  If that's accurate, the question is whether they did it on their own or with Apple's strong encouragement   Why does everything have to be about questioning Apple's motives when they're trying to do something positive?    And call up a hospital and tell them you have stuff to donate.  See how easy that is.   It's not, even in this crisis.   
    Beats
  • Reply 16 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,186member
    Anilu_777 said:
    kent909 said:
    Where have these masks been for the last month? Why are they just being donated now? Why does Apple have 9m?
    The article said Apple was looking to its suppliers to source them. Apple doesn’t have them stockpiled. I hear about 3 weeks ago that Foxconn and others were changing production to masks. Perhaps they had extras or enough to sell to Apple, who in turn donated them. 
    One of my Chinese factory sources emailed me two days ago to offer as many 500 lot cases of N95 level masks as I'd like to order. Apparently given the weeks-long need in China for their own pandemic episode factories had already ramped up production. Not as critical a need there now so there may well be a growing surplus flowing from Chinese suppliers. 
    edited March 2020 GG1watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 18
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,030member
    zoetmb said:
    kent909 said:
    the monk said:
    kent909 said:
    Where have these masks been for the last month? Why are they just being donated now? Why does Apple have 9m?
    Cook said Apple was sourcing suppliers for the health supplies and then donating them. It could’ve been a mix of storage and buying them from suppliers. Don’t assume you know the whole story. 

    Cook is the king of the supply chain and he can find anything.
    It still seems odd. If these masks existed somewhere than why did Apple have to track them down. If I had masks I would have started contacting hospitals myself to sell them weeks ago. It is not like nobody knew they were needed.
    Because these masks probably didn't exist in the U.S.   Someone else claimed that Foxconn switched production to masks.  If that's accurate, the question is whether they did it on their own or with Apple's strong encouragement   Why does everything have to be about questioning Apple's motives when they're trying to do something positive?    And call up a hospital and tell them you have stuff to donate.  See how easy that is.   It's not, even in this crisis.   
    1) It's very possible they had Foxconn switch development. They already cut and stitch watchbands and covers, and being experts at sourcing materials and orchestrating massive builds I imagine that they could design and make an N95 mask with ease. I bet Apple could make these for a lot less than they can buy them.

    2) It's also possible that they had 9 million masks on hand. CA gets forest fires that can affect an area for months. Someone (maybe not this thread) pointed out that they have 160k employees which means about 2 months worth for those employees. Of course, it would affect all employees at once, but Apple has a long history of issuing supplying to a community so it's not crazy to assume they kept enough for a community to get through the worst-case-scenario of smokey days.

    3) Another very real possibility is what GatorGuy stated above.
    edited March 2020
  • Reply 18 of 18
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 837member
    From an article I read today, Apple was required to purchase N95 masks related to the California fires last year. 
    watto_cobra
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