Apple Donates Millions of Surgical Masks to Combat U.S. and European Shortage

Companies like LVMH and celebs such as Rihanna are pitching in to help during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Getty Images

Watching the news about the Coronavirus Pandemic can be, let’s admit it, really depressing. But what sometimes gets lost in the churn of stories about rising death tolls and draconian economic measures is the fact that corporations and people—often celebrities—who have the means have seen that it’s time to step in and help out. Including one of the wealthiest companies on the planet, Apple.  

Tim Cook tweeted an announcement about the assistance on March 21st, writing “Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19. 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.”

Needless to say, if any company could afford to help, it’s Apple. But they’re not alone. luxury goods giant LVMH, also known as LVMH Moët Hennessy—Louis Vuitton SE, converted perfume factories to begin manufacturing hand sanitizer, then followed that up with an order of 40 million surgical masks to distribute to French medical workers, according to HighSnobiety.


Celebrities are stepping up as well. Via her charitable Clara Lionel Foundation, Rihanna donated $5 million to the fight against the pandemic, joining the likes of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds

…and Ciara and Russell Wilson.

And that’s just a handful of the notables chipping in.

It’s a trying time for many, but studies have shown there is a general human tendency to actually want to help in a crisis. From the Harvard Business Review:

The bottom line: Practical, useful acts of kindness are good for humanity, and good for business. Acts of kindness are also good for the people who do them — and the more tangible the act, the better. Academics who study “prosocial” behavior (as opposed to “antisocial” behavior) often note the power of “helper’s high,” or what is less charitably called “impure altruism.”

The satisfaction that comes from doing things for others benefits us as well. “It’s hard to do something truly altruistic,” argues University of Houston professor Melanie Rudd, “because we always feel good about ourselves after we’ve performed that act of kindness.”

So maybe Mr. Rogers was onto something in telling kids to “look for the helpers.” Sometimes they really are there.