Apple,Tesla, Others in Silicon Valley Work on Solutions

Tim Cook of Apple is one of the leaders stepping up for the United States in a time of crisis. (Source: Twitter video)

The resources of the government, both state and federal, along with the power of U.S. corporations is beginning to make a dent in the lack of medical protective equipment that the country lacks to treat victims of COVID-19. From 3M to Apple, executives have pledged to pitch in any way they can.

Mobilizing their supply chains, employees, and partners are working to funnel personal protective equipment to medical workers and others working to stop the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, Apple  has sourced more than 20 million face masks and is now building and shipping face shields, according to a Twitter statement from chief executive Tim Cook. A article by Jonathan Shieber details how some of the corporations are offering help nationwide.

As Cook noted, the masks pack flat and ship 100 to a box. They can be assembled in less than two minutes and are fully adjustable. Cook said that the company would ship 1 million by the end of the week and will expect to ship an another 1 million face shields weekly, with a goal to expand distribution beyond the U.S.

“For Apple this is a labor of love and gratitude and we will share more of our efforts over time,” Cook said.

Apple is joining an effort that several 3D printing startups and maker facilities have already been working on.

Even Elon Musk has seen the light after expressing doubts at first about the pandemic.

A month ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed skepticism about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped Tesla engineers from working to create ventilators to end the shortage in American hospitals facing an influx of COVID-19 cases.

In fact, now the company is aiming to repurpose its large supply of auto parts to build ventilators that Tesla hopes can help boost the nation’s supply of the life-saving breathing machines. And they expect to produce the lithium batteries required to run some of these ventilators. Tesla is working with Medtronic to produce their version of ventilators.

Companies like Massachusetts-based Markforged and Formlabs and Brooklyn’s Voodoo Manufacturing are all 3D-printing personal protective equipment like face shields.

In addition to producing ventilators, Musk bought 1,255 from China and donated them to Los Angeles hospitals. He also donated 50,000 N95 masks. produced a video describing the impact on and efforts by Silicon Valley companies.