Apple announced Sunday it’s launched a companywide effort to design, produce and ship face shields to medical workers battling the video posted to Twitter.outbreak. The first shipment was delivered this week to a Kaiser facility in the Santa Clara Valley, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a
“Teams across Apple have been working hard on ways we can support our heroic front-line medical professionals,” Cook said, explaining that the fully adjustable shields pack flat and can be assembled in two minutes. “The feedback from doctors was very positive.”
“We plan to ship over 1 million by the end of this week, and over 1 million per week after that,” he said.
Cook said the company is coordinating with health and government officials across the US to get the shields delivered where they’re needed and hopes to expand distribution beyond the US quickly.
Cook also said that the number of face masks it’s procured from its supply chain has risen to more than 20 million.
“This is truly a global effort, and we’re working continuously and closely with governments at all levels to ensure these are donated to places of greatest need,” he said. “For Apple this is a labor of love and gratitude.”
The new coronavirus causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. In March, the World Health Organization declared the virus outbreak a pandemic. As of Thursday, 1 million people worldwide have been infected and over 51,000 lives have been lost. The outbreak has caused cities and entire countries around the globe to issue lockdowns, shuttering stores, canceling events and ordering citizens to stay at home to help contain the coronavirus.
Apple’s push to produce and distribute face shield is just the latest effort by the company to help during the pandemic. The company has donated millions of dollars to help combat the coronavirus.
Apple has also partnered with actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs to launch a new organization to raise money “to feed the country’s most vulnerable populations” impacted by the novel coronavirus. The with $12 million as part of an effort to collect money for groups that help feed children who rely on school lunch programs, low-income families, the elderly, individuals facing job disruptions and other people impacted by the pandemic.
CNET’s Shara Tibken contributed to this report.
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