Over the weekend, a string of tech CEOs, including Apple's Tim Cook, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and Tesla's Elon Musk pledged to distribute millions of masks to front-line healthcare workers fighting coronavirus. .
Purchasing in a panic means there are no masks for hospital staff as well, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week that as a last resort, healthcare workers should use a handkerchief or scarf.
The World Health Organization warns that citizens do not need to wear masks unless they care for someone who has COVID-19 and warns that they are effective only if properly inserted and removed.
Below are the tech billionaires who have pledged to donate masks:
Apple - minimum 2 million masks
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Saturday that Apple will donate "millions" of masks to health workers in the US and Europe.
At a news conference Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence said Apple would donate two million masks to the US.
It's unclear how much else Apple plans to donate to European healthcare workers.
Facebook - 720,000, with "millions" more along the way.
In a Facebook post Sunday, Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will donate what it left of the California fires as it works to settle "millions more."
When asked by Business Insider how many millions of masks it is aiming to provide, a Facebook spokesman said:
"The situation is constantly changing and we all need to be flexible. Our commitment to the community will only be strengthened. We are actively looking for new ways to make a difference and will let you know."
Tesla and SpaceX - 250,000 masks and 1000 fans.
In an email to CleanTechnica on Saturday, Elon Musk said Tesla and SpaceX have 250,000 N95 masks ready to start shipping. " In order to start distributing them to hospitals tomorrow night, " Musk added in the email.
Responding to a Twitter user on Sunday to send help to Louisiana hospitals, Musk promised:
" We will try to get and deliver as much as possible. The N95 mask is difficult to wear as far as we know. Less tough masks are better most of the time ," he said. .
On Sunday, a researcher at the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) also received 50,000 masks from Elon Musk, reports The Seattle Times.
Musk has also pledged that Tesla and SpaceX will devote resources to producing ventilators for hospitals, though Musk has also expressed confidence that there will be a shortage of cars.
However, Musk told CleanTechnica that companies " should have over 1,000 fans within the next week . "