Apple CEO Tim Cook: China getting coronavirus under control

'It feels to me that China is getting the coronavirus under control,' Cook tells FOX Business' Susan Li

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Apple CEO Tim Cook told FOX Business' Susan Li Thursday that he is "optimistic" about China managing the coronavirus outbreak, which has slowed production at the tech giant's suppliers.

"It feels to me that China is getting the coronavirus under control," Cook said. "You look at the numbers, they're coming down day by day by day. And so I'm very optimistic there."

He stressed that iPhone gets parts from "everywhere in the world," including China, which has seen 2,744 deaths among 78,497 cases, mostly in the central province of Hubei.

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"When you look at the parts that are done in China, we have reopened factories, so the factories were able to work through the conditions to open, they're reopening," Cook said. "They're also in ramp. So I think of this as sort of the third phase in getting back to normal, and we're in phase three of the ramp mode."

FILE: Cook laughs with President Trump at the White House in March 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

Apple said last week it will likely fall short of its revenue guidance in the second quarter due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus on its operations in China.

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"Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated," the company said.

Cook was in his home state of Alabama to help launch an educational initiative to bring coding opportunities to underserved communities, in a partnership with Birmingham City Schools.

It's part of the tech giant's Community Education Initiative, which is an extension of Apple's ConnectEd education program, started in 2014. The initiative is active in cities like Austin, Houston, Boise, Columbus, Chicago and Nashville.

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The Birmingham program is known as Education Farm, or Ed Farm, an Apple spokesperson told FOX Business.

Thursday's Ed Farm launch fell on Digital Learning Day, which celebrates the advantages of learning with and about technology.

"As our society continues to evolve and advance, more and more job opportunities of the future will require digital skills, and helping our communities prepare for that is our priority," Ed Farm Program Director Chris McCauley said in a Thursday statement.

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"Our partnerships with Birmingham City Schools and the Birmingham community on [Apple's] Teacher Fellows, Pathways and Student Fellows programs have already produced successful results, and we are thrilled at this initiative’s potential as it continues to move forward," he added.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring and other community leaders were on hand for the announcement.

Cook participated in a coding demo on an iPad for students and educators and also planned to visit a fourth-grade classroom using iPads.

"With the support of Apple, the city of Birmingham, the school system and corporate partners like Alabama Power, we are experiencing a real and needed step change in educational outcomes," Anthony Oni, chair of TechAlabama, which is partnering with Apple to bring Ed Farm to Birmingham, said.

"What's being done here in Birmingham is transformational and can make a difference in how all schools incorporate creative innovation into education," he added.

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The tech giant pledged $100 million to its ConnectED program to bring innovative tech learning techniques to 114 underserved schools, where every student is equipped with an iPad, every teacher is equipped with a Mac computer and iPad, and every classroom is equipped with an Apple TV, according to the company.

A March report shows how iPads significantly improved student learning capabilities and test score results.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.