U.S. Vice President Mike Pence clarified a statement released over the weekend Tuesday saying Apple is donating 9 million N95 masks to U.S. medical facilities to support health workers fighting COVID-19 on the front line,media outlet AppleInsider reported. Pence, who heads the White House’s Coronary Virus Task Force, announced Apple’s contribution at a news conference.
“As I said today, the president spoke with Apple’s Tim Cook last week,” Pence said. At this point, Apple staff went to their warehouses and donated 9 million N95 masks to medical facilities and national stockpiles across the country. “
It is unclear whether Apple plans to make similar large donations to other affected countries. Cook said Saturday that the company is providing “millions” of masks to health professionals in the U.S. and Europe. Medical personnel in the United States and abroad are in dire need of basic protective equipment, which has rapidly run out as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world.
Business Insider reported Pence’s statement earlier Tuesday. Tuesday’s details are in stark contrast to those discussed three days ago in a similar White House briefing. Pence said at the time that Apple had pledged 2 million masks to provide people working in the worst-hit areas of the country.
Cook confirmed the donation in a tweet Saturday. “Our team at Apple has been working hard to deliver supplies to healthcare providers fighting COVID-19,” Cook wrote on Twitter. We are donating millions of masks to health professionals in the United States and Europe. We are grateful to every hero on the front line. “
When Cook announced an unspecified donation to “field groups” in January, he first mentioned Apple’s efforts to fight the virus. In early March, Apple said it had pledged more than $15 million as the company began matching employee contributions in a two-to-one way. Last week, Mr Cook pledged to make a “big donation” to TheTezione Civile, the government’s official emergency department.