In a press briefing today, Vice President of the United States Mike Pence announced that Apple will be donating 2 million masks. Update: Apple CEO Tim Cook has now confirmed on Twitter that it is helping to source supplies to aid Europe and United States healthcare systems.

In the wake of the current coronavirus pandemic, the US healthcare system needs resources for patients and resources for doctors. Masks are one such resource that are in short supply. This week, a new law was signed that makes it much easier for companies to make industrial masks without fear of liability. It appears Apple is joining the cause.

Update 3/24: VP Pence now says Apple is donating 9 million N95 masks to medical workers.

The United States healthcare system is estimated to need up to 3.5 billion masks, depending on how bad the coronavirus pandemic becomes.

Following the change in legislation, many companies have committed to donate and manufacture N95 masks to help make up the shortfall in supply.

Apple’s initiative to help source supplies is its latest contribution to helping the fight against the pandemic. On March 13, Apple said it had committed $15 million in donations to help treat the sick and lessen economic impacts of the crisis.

Tim Cook tweeted two days ago that Apple is making a substantial donation to Protezione Civile in Italy, “including medical supplies”.

Apple Stores outside of Greater China are currently closed until further notice to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The company is also assisting with public education. It is currently hosting a coronavirus advisory message from the White House across its content services, including the Apple.com homepage.

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