- Companies like Facebook, Apple and Goldman Sachs donate their face mask supplies, including N95 respirators, to healthcare workers.
- Companies have these masks in preparation for forest fires or previous epidemics like bird flu or swine flu.
- There is a shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in the United States.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Large institutions such as Facebook, Apple and Goldman Sachs donated masks to healthcare workers during the coronavirus outbreak, several news agencies reported.
Facebook donated 72,000 masks from its emergency reserve. Reuters reported; Apple donated 9 million masks, said Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday. and last week Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Goldman Sachs donated 100,000 masks to his state. CNN reported.
Leslie Shribman, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs, emailed Business Insider that the company is donating 100,000 N95 masks to both New York and New Jersey. The company will also donate 50,000 N95 to the NHS in the UK.
Shribman also said that they also work with hospitals in states such as California and Utah to send masks "based on where the needs are most acute".
N95 masks are an important piece of protective equipment that is used by health care workers related to the coronavirus. According to the Centers for disease control and prevention, These masks can filter out at least 95% of the particles in the air.
These organizations had these mask supplies to protect employees from other threats such as forest fires.
"To help, Facebook donated our emergency reserve of 720,000 masks that we bought in case the forest fires continue," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post.
In addition, Regina Phelps, president of emergency management and security solutions, told the Wall Street Journal that some financial institutions had started collecting face masks 15 years ago given the bird flu outbreak in China. Facial masks were thought to protect people from infection with a respiratory disease. In view of the swine flu pandemic, companies continued to store these materials in 2009.
A spokesman for Goldman Sachs informed the WSJ that the company's mask supply was "sourced from previous epidemics."
"At that point, Apple went to its warehouses and donated 9 million N95 masks to health care facilities across the country and to national inventories," said Pence.
Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, also said he would donate 250,000 N95 masks in an email to CleanTechnica.
Other organizations such as Nasdaq Inc. and Mastercard have also committed to donating masks, The Journal reported.
Healthcare workers and experts across the country have said there is a lack of personal protective equipment to help doctors and nurses fight the coronavirus outbreak, Business Insider previously reported.
There are more than 54,000 COVID-19 cases in the United States with at least 700 deaths.
Facebook and Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.