Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday, March 21, urged Americans to donate medical masks to health care professionals fighting the CCP Virus (Wuhan coronavirus) as fears grow they will run out of essential medical equipment.

“It’s a great time to go to your storeroom, and if you have N-95 masks, if you’ve got 100 of them, if you’ve got 10,000 of them, is to load them up, drive them over to your local hospital,” Pence said during a White House press briefing, directly addressing American businesses and construction companies.

“The American people are all doing this now, so allow me to say on behalf of the president, thank you for what you’re all doing today,” Pence added. “We want to encourage people in business,  people in dentistry in particular, look at those supplies in N-95 masks, park up as many as you can spare, drop them up to your local hospitals, it would be great service to your country.”

The vice president announced that Apple was donating masks to help address the needs of health care workers in areas hit hard by the CCP Virus.

“This is another story of great American industry,” Pence said. “The president and I literally heard directly from Apple that they’re donating 2 million industrial masks to this effort around the country and working with our administration to distribute those.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook alluded to the donation in a tweet later Saturday, saying Apple is donating “millions of masks for health professionals in the U.S. and Europe.”

In hard-hit areas like Washington state—an epicenter of the CCP Virus pandemic in the United States, health care workers are grappling with shortages of personal protective equipment such as masks. The masks not only prevent the spread of infection but also protect those on the front lines treating patients from falling ill and dropping out of the workforce. 

N-95 masks are used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend that the general public wear N-95 masks to keep from being infected by the virus.