By Mike Murphy
Amid a shortage of protective equipment for health-care workers treating coronavirus patients, Apple Inc. has donated more than 20 million face masks worldwide and has started manufacturing 1 million face shields a week, Chief Executive Tim Cook said Sunday.
“This is a truly global effort, and we’re working continuously and closely with governments at all levels to ensure these are donated to places of greatest need,” Cook said in a Twitter video posted Sunday afternoon.
Cook said Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +1.13% has launched a company-wide effort that includes product designers, engineers and suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for health workers.
Cook said the first shipment of face shields was delivered last week to some hospitals in Silicon Valley.
The adjustable, plastic face shields can be assembled in less than two minutes, Cook said, and ship 100 to a box.
“We plan to ship over 1 million by the end of this week, and over 1 million per week after that,” Cook said, adding that Apple is coordinating with medical professionals around the country to get the equipment to where it’s needed the most, and that Apple hopes to soon expand distribution beyond the U.S.
“In both these efforts, out focus is on unique ways Apple can help, meeting essential needs of caregivers urgently and at a scale the circumstances require,” Cook said. “For Apple, this is a labor of love and gratitude, and we will share more of our efforts over time.”
In other developments involving Silicon Valley‘s response to the pandemic:
• Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +6.30% engineers showed a video of how work on their new ventilator — made largely with Tesla car parts — is progressing. “There’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re giving it our best effort to make sure we can help some people out there,” one engineer said. Tesla has pledged to donate the ventilators to hospitals, and intends to use its New York factory to produce them.
• Salesforce.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200515854/composite CRM +1.18% Chief Executive Marc Benioff tweeted a video of a cargo plane “FULL of PPE incl goggles, face shields, & protective suits donated to New York State,” courtesy of Salesforce and partner Alibaba Group Group Holding Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201948298/composite BABA +3.70% and its CEO, Daniel Zhang.