Apple Helps Source Over 10 Million N95 Masks for Healthcare Providers in the U.S.

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Apple over the weekend announced plans to donate millions of N95 masks to hospitals in the United States and Europe, and according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple has been able to source more than 10 million N95 masks in the U.S. and millions more in Europe.


Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Saturday that Apple was aiming to donate supplies to healthcare providers fighting COVID-19, and clarified today that Apple's ops teams are working to find and purchase masks from Apple's supply chain in coordination with governments worldwide.


The ongoing outbreak in the United States and other countries has led to a shortage of N95 masks, and there have been reports of healthcare workers doing their jobs without adequate protection due to the supply issues, which is why Apple made an effort to source mask supplies and provide them to hospitals.

Update: A previous version of this article stated that Apple had stockpiled nine million masks, and it has been updated with more accurate information.





Article Link: Apple Helps Source Over 10 Million N95 Masks for Healthcare Providers in the U.S.
 
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centauratlas

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Jan 29, 2003
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Hmmm....perhaps the hospitals have a shortage because Apple bought over 9 million units.
... and if other large companies (Google, FB, etc) did the same...the law of unintended consequences. Squeeze the water balloon on one side, the other side bulges.

Of course if that isn't why, it was a good unintended consequence to have so extra many on hand. Then again, if there are wild fires in 2020 again, did Apple save enough?
 

ronntaylor

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Pence confused the total number from all tech companies combined with Apple's share. It's 9 million total, not simply from Apple. IIRC from a couple days ago, Apple's share is 2 million masks. FB 720,000.
 
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DanBig

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The number was likely set based on needing a new mask every day for an expected use within a year. Apple also has quite a few offices (buildings) besides the main campus.
 

Spungoflex

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this is stupid. you realize that when they do repairs they have to wear protection. masks are common for computer repairs. especially with all the dust and dirt in computers.
Not to mention these aren't even the same type of masks hospitals buy. They are typically used only for construction, but can be used for medical purposes in an emergency. That's my understanding anyway.
 

Westside guy

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Hmmm....perhaps the hospitals have a shortage because Apple bought over 9 million units.
This seems unlikely - production probably ramped up back then after Apple, Facebook and others ordered millions of masks. Just like it's ramping up now.

Modern inventory management generally precludes the warehousing of huge inventory stockpiles. It saves the companies money... but, as we're seeing, it's not exactly the best fit for unforeseen sudden spikes in demand.
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Not to mention these aren't even the same type of masks hospitals buy.
Actually the CDC does approve N95 masks for certain applications. Do a web search on "CDC N95" - they've even got lists of approved vendors.
 
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Weaselboy

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Not to mention these aren't even the same type of masks hospitals buy. They are typically used only for construction, but can be used for medical purposes in an emergency. That's my understanding anyway.
I read something that said functionally they are the same, but some of the companies making them for construction use did not want to spend money and jump through hoops getting the certifications needed to produce the medical use masks. I think that requirement is being waived now so those companies can produce more masks and and sell them for medical usage.
 

Naaaaak

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Turns out Tim Cook is the biggest prepper ever.

The spaceship campus cost $5 billion, but $1 billion of that was for his personal boogaloo bunker underneath.
 

konqerror

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I read something that said functionally they are the same, but some of the companies making them for construction use did not want to spend money and jump through hoops getting the certifications needed to produce the medical use masks. I think that requirement is being waived now so those companies can produce more masks and and sell them for medical usage.
There's some differences particularly in that the nicer industrial ones have an exhale valve that makes the mask last longer and more comfortable by bypassing the filtration but obviously ruins biological isolation. Kind of ironic if you spent the extra cash for worker comfort.

True but N95 masks are more stringent than surgical masks.
There's actually three types: industrial N95, surgical masks, and surgical N95. The latter is the combination of both.

 

Sasparilla

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It was nice to see this, probably won't last very long (I'd read previously 4 hrs is how long a medical n95 is supposed to last before your breath starts making it less effective), but great to see.

I was wondering where / why these tech companies had these.
 

Westside guy

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I was wondering where / why these tech companies had these.
Hmm... I bought about 10 of these a few summers ago when the British Columbia wildfires were pumping smoke into our state. I think I only used one... I should probably try to find them and see if a local hospital would like them.

They have an exhalation valve, so they wouldn’t be helpful for an infected person.
 

stylinexpat

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I read this article and it still did not state where these make came from. Did they come from a manufacturer in the US or China? Also they stated N95 masks but did not state that they were 3M N95 masks. Picture could have been used just as an image example.
 

CarlJ

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True but N95 masks are more stringent than surgical masks.
This. Surgical masks are designed to protect the patient (who may have their chest open on an operating table at the time) from the physician (even just moisture from the surgeon's breath could contaminate the patient's insides). Their protection for the wearer is incidental. N95 masks are designed to protect the wearer by filtering the outside air on the way in. This is what healthcare workers need now when they're taking care of infected patients.
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I read this article and it still did not state where these make came from. Did they come from a manufacturer in the US or China?
The masks could be from a variety of sources. It's entirely likely that a bunch of them were from China (simply because so many things are manufactured there), but likely purchased a year or more ago, and have been sitting in their warehouses since then.
 
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