Vice President Mike Pence urged Americans at a White House press briefing on Saturday afternoon to donate medical masks for healthcare professionals battling the coronavirus.
“It’s a great time to go to your storeroom, and if you have N-95 masks, if you’ve got 100 of them, if you’ve got 10,000 of them, is to load them up, drive them over to your local hospital,” he said, speaking directly to American businesses and construction companies.
Pence also urged dentists to donate masks to hospitals struggling with shortages and praised mask donations from volunteers.
“The American people are all doing this now, so allow me to say on behalf of the president, thank you for what you’re all doing today,” Pence said.
President Donald Trump and Pence announced that companies like Hanes were switching to medical mask production and that Apple was donating masks to the cause as well.
Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for Health and Human Services, also said that medical masks in the strategic national stockpile were being deployed.
Pence said that millions of surgical masks will be delivered within weeks.
“We want to make sure that the people who are providing healthcare services to people who may have contracted coronavirus have the protection to keep themselves and families healthy,” Pence said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said it would be “sooner than weeks.”
“It’s going to be days, I would hope,” Fauci said. “We’re going to try to make it days to the best possible way we can.”