Silicon Valley promised 9M masks, but should hospitals rely on corporate philanthropy?

Morgan Haefner -

Apple and Salesforce are among technology companies vowing to donate at least 9 million protective masks to hospital workers who are dealing with a supply shortage — but there could be risk in relying on corporate philanthropy to solve this critical supply issue, according to Vox's Recode

There is concern around relying on generosity from Silicon Valley that could disappear at any time, rather than a more long-term solution from the federal government. While companies like Tesla and Apple are accountable to shareholders, they aren't held accountable by American voters, and may not always be as transparent about the specifics and time frame of donations. 

The announced donations — 5 million masks from Salesforce, 3 million from Apple, and hundreds of thousands from other tech companies like Tesla and Facebook — are also much fewer than is needed by the healthcare system. Based on projections from NewYork-Presbyterian in New York City, the hospital alone would burn through 9 million masks in six months. 

"More masks will obviously help the medical professionals combating the virus," according to the article. "But because the masks go quickly, the real breakthrough needed is helping the American government secure a replenishing supply — especially because the need from hospital workers is not going away anytime soon."

Read the full report here.

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