Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe Tim Cook, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg have reportedly promised to donate as many as 18 million face masks to help fight the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
Business Insider reports that over the course of the last week, tech CEO’s including Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Tesla’s Elon Musk have promised to deliver millions of masks to healthcare workers in an effort to aid in the coronavirus pandemic. Masks are currently in short supply due to panic buying, last week the Center for Disease Control and Prevention instructed healthcare workers to use a bandana or a scarf as a makeshift mask if necessary.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced over the weekend that Apple will be donating “millions” of masks to healthcare workers in the United States and Europe but did not clarify exactly how many Apple would be providing.
Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19. 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.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 21, 2020
In a press briefing, Vice President Mike Pence stated that Apple will be donating two million masks to the United States. In a post to Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook will be donating the masks it had left over from the California wildfires while it works on sourcing “millions more.”
Facebook did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on how many millions of masks the company would be donating. Tesla and SpaceX will reportedly be donating 250,000 N95 masks according to CEO Elon Musk.
In a reply to a Twitter usres on Sunday asking Musk to send more N95 masks to hospitals in Louisiana, Musk appeared to promised to do so but also criticize the N95 masks for being unwieldy, stating: “We’ll try to get & deliver as many as possible. N95 masks are a pain to wear btw [by the way]. Less onerous masks are better most of the time.”
We’ll try to get & deliver as many as possible. N95 masks are a pain to wear btw. Less onerous masks are better most of the time.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 23, 2020
It was further reported that researchers at the University of Washington Medical Center received 50,000 masks from Musk. Musk has been criticized recently for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus and fighting orders to close factory production during the pandemic.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted on Sunday that the company had donated 9,000 masks to the University of California Medical Center and is working on distributing a total of 5 million masks this week.
Thank you to our Ohana for delivering our first 9000 masks to UCSF. We are working hard across all of our resources & relationships to deliver an additional 5 million masks this week plus additional critical PPE. All of us need to focus on getting PPE to our local hospitals. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/y7mgL0KhrT
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 23, 2020
Outside of Silicon Valley, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has promised masks to 90 countries and has stated that his charitable organization will be donating one million masks and 500,000 coronavirus testing kits to the United States.