Bezos, Musk, other tech titans join coronavirus fight

Here's how the giants of the tech world are reacting to the pandemic

Titans of the tech world have joined the fight against coronavirus by funding the search for treatments, donating face masks and more as the American public holds its breath and waits for life to return to normal.


Trump invoked the Defense Production Act last week, but FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor told "Meet the Press" on Sunday they have not had to use it and companies have volunteered. Trump touted Tesla CEO Elon Musk's interest in producing ventilators on Twitter Sunday.

Here's how the giants of the tech world are reacting to the pandemic:

Bill Gates

The Gates Foundation has been intertwined with the fight against infectious diseases after helping found the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI) in 2016. The foundation announced in early February that it will donate $100 million for treatment and protection against the coronavirus.

Bill Gates has been using his platform to raise awareness about the virus and even used social media site Reddit to answer users' questions about COVID-19 last week.

Elon Musk

Billionaire Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has offered to pitch in after claiming coronavirus panic was "dumb" earlier in March.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA INC. 193.88 +4.69 +2.48%
AAPL APPLE INC. 160.77 +3.12 +1.98%
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 100.25 +3.01 +3.10%
FB n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 280.51 +5.28 +1.92%

Tesla told employees it reduced the number of workers at its California vehicle factory to curb the spread of coronavirus as Musk said the company may start producing ventilators to ease a U.S. shortage.

Musk said he was in discussion with health care company Medtronic about producing ventilators over the weekend.

Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Saturday the company is donating "millions of masks" to health care workers in U.S. and Europe.

"Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19," Cook wrote on Twitter. "We're donating millions of masks for health professionals in the US and Europe. To every one of the heroes on the front lines, we thank you."

China, where the pandemic originated, is key to Apple's production and the company said it would shut all brick-and-mortar locations in the country earlier in March.

Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reached out to the Trump administration to offer assistance, and the ecommerce giant plans to hire 100,000 workers to handle the spike in online shopping due to the outbreak.

However, Bezos told employees over the weekend they'll have to wait for face masks after the company placed orders for "millions of face masks" for employees and contractors that have not arrived.

Since he's the richest man in the world, many have called on Bezos to increase his personal response to the pandemic.


Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has rolled out a $100 million grant program. The money will go toward 30,000 eligible small businesses around the globe in the form of cash and ad credits. Applications will be open in the coming weeks.

"We really believe in focusing on empowering individuals and small businesses," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, adding that small businesses are responsible for powering the global economy and local communities.

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, is donating $1 million directly to families in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is home to Silicon Valley. Google is making a donation of $1 million, and the company says its goal is to raise $5 million to give cash to 5,000 families with the help of mobile cash transfer platform GiveDirectly.