Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also pledged to donate protective gear to hospitals in the United States

By Eric Todisco
March 25, 2020 10:20 AM
Tim Cook
JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty

Apple will donate nine million N95 protective masks to hospitals across the country to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Vice President Mike Pence made the announcement during a White House press briefing on Tuesday.

“I spoke today, and the president spoke last week, to Tim Cook of Apple and at this moment of time, Apple went to their storehouses and is donating nine million N95 masks to healthcare facilities all across the country and to the national stockpile,” said Pence, 60.

“There is a lot of generosity that I know is inspiring to the president and I know is inspiring to all of us who are working on the White House Coronavirus Task Force,” the vice president added.

On Saturday, Cook, 59, said on Twitter that the giant tech company was “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,” Cook wrote. “To every one of the heroes on the front lines, we thank you.”

According to the Center of Disease Control’s website, N95 protective masks are respirators that filter out at least 95% of particles in the air.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Facebook Sunday that the company was also contributing protective gear to combat the pandemic.

“Health workers urgently need more protective gear. To help, Facebook donated our emergency reserve of 720,000 masks that we had bought in case the wildfires continued. We’re also working on sourcing millions of more to donate. I hope you’re all staying healthy and safe!” Zuckerberg, 35, wrote.

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Mark Zuckerberg
AMY OSBORNE/Getty Images

Bethenny Frankel is also aiding in relief efforts amid the pandemic through her disaster relief initiative, BStrong, and their partner, Global Empowerment Mission.

The former Real Housewives of New York City star, 49, revealed to Radio.com in an interview published Sunday that she expects to supply over 1 million masks to benefit hospitals that are in limited supply.

Frankel said the masks will be available within the next few days and will go immediately to the medical professionals who need them most.

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Bethenny Frankel
John Lamparski/Getty

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Frankel said she is using a grid system to decide where her resources would be best allocated and is producing the N95 masks with the help of five different suppliers.

“We have suppliers all over the world,” she said. “We have suppliers and manufacturers in China, we have an Israeli company we’re working with.”

In addition, Simon Huck’s emergency preparedness kit JUDY recently donated 25,000 N95 masks to the New York Department of Health.

JUDY, which launched in January, is a collection of “ready for anything” kits and resource tools that can help individuals and families when they need it most. The kits include an assortment of products across emergency categories, such as first aid, warmth, safety, food, water and tools.

Nate Berkus’ post
Nate Berkus/Instagram
Cindy Crawford’s post

On JUDY’s Instagram Friday, the company announced its donation and urged anyone with access to protective gear to also donate and “support the thousands of selfless heroes who are on the frontlines to save lives.”

Several stars, including Cindy Crawford and Nate Berkus, have since shown their support for the organization by sharing the post on their Instagrams.

“Thankful for the organizations doing their part — even in a small way, to support our healthcare heroes,” wrote Crawford, while Berkus reposted the image with three applause emojis.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were at least 59,502 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, and 804people in the country have died from coronavirus-related illness, according to the New York Times.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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