- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2020

Apple will manufacture and ship 1 million face shields each week to health care workers fighting the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Twitter the tech company is making the protective gear in China and the U.S., and he hopes to soon expand distribution beyond America’s borders.

“We’ve launched a company-wide effort, bringing together product designers, engineering, operations and packaging teams and our suppliers to design and produce and ship face shields for health workers,” Mr. Cook said. “Our first shipment was delivered to Kaiser Hospital facilities in the Santa Clara Valley this past week and the feedback from doctors was very positive.”

While Apple’s retail stores remain closed, Mr. Cook said his company is working with government officials to route the protective supplies to medical professionals that need them most.

Apple is far from alone among Big Tech’s efforts to help combat the coronavirus. Last week, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was going to build factories for the manufacturing of seven vaccine candidates.

“Even though we’ll end up picking, at most, two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven and just so we don’t waste time in serially saying, ‘OK which vaccine works?’ and then building the factory,” Mr. Gates told The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah. “Because to get to the best case that people like myself and Dr. Fauci are saying is about 18 months, we need to do safety and efficacy and build manufacturing and they’re different for the different [vaccine] constructs.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Mr. Gates said he would “waste” a few billion dollars building the manufacturing capacity for potential vaccines that are not used in hopes of expediting a solution to the coronavirus outbreak.

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