Apple donating 10M coronavirus masks

Hospitals and other health-care centers are facing a shortage due to the pandemic

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Vice President Mike Pence said Apple is donating 9 million N95 respiratory masks during a Tuesday press briefing on the novel coronavirus.

Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed the donation in a Wednesday tweet but said the company is actually giving away 10 million masks.

Apple and other major U.S. companies are looking to help produce and donate masks and other medical supplies as hospitals and other health care centers face shortages because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Trump gestures for Pence to speak in the briefing room of the White House, March 9. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

"I spoke today, and the president spoke last week, with Tim Cook of Apple. And at this moment in time, Apple went to their storehouses and is donating 9 million N95 masks to healthcare facilities all across the country and to the national stockpile," Pence said during the briefing.

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It is unclear how Apple has access to 9 million masks.

"Proud to share we’ve been able to source 10M masks for the US and millions more for the hardest-hit regions in Europe. Our ops teams are helping to find and purchase masks from our supply chain in coordination with governments around the world," Cook tweeted.

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Apple closed all of its brick-and-mortar stores outside China and Taiwan earlier this month amid COVID-19 concerns and restrictions on public spaces. It has also put a two-device purchase limit on most of its devices as the company faces supply-chain and demand challenges.

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This article has been updated to include a tweet from Tim Cook.