Story at a glance

  • On Monday, Apple confirmed it supported COPAN Diagnostics in manufacturing more COVID-19 nasal swabs.
  • At least $10 million was invested in the initiative.

Apple Inc confirmed on Monday that it has helped COPAN Diagnostics ship out more than 15 million COVID-19 testing kits throughout the country.

The effort was bolstered by a $10 million grant from Apple’s own Advanced Manufacturing Fund, which the company created to develop high-skilled jobs and careers to support U.S.-based technology manufacturing. 

COPAN Diagnostics worked with Apple to distribute and ship out nasal swab tests that help screen for COVID-19 infections and exposure. 

Another dozen U.S. companies were also reportedly involved with the initiative and together increased testing kit production by nearly 4,000 percent since April 2020.

“We are proud our Advanced Manufacturing Fund is supporting companies like COPAN who are playing a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 and assisting healthcare professionals and communities across the country,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in the statement. “This collaboration helped produce, ship, and deliver millions of sample collection kits to hospitals from coast to coast — and we believe it is this unique combination of American manufacturing and innovation that will help us emerge from this crisis and build a safer world for us all.”

Apple partnered with COPAN back in May 2020, when Apple's funding helped the company expedite its production of COVID-19 nasal swab kits.

Apple later partnered with COPAN to help accelerate the manufacturing of testing kits. 

The U.S. government has previously inquired about partnering with Big Tech to help conquer the pandemic. The Biden administration reportedly discussed the logistics of setting up vaccination sites with companies like Airbnb and Amazon, along with free advertising online.

Apple has invested more than $1.3 million from the Advanced Manufacturing Fund to support US companies in manufacturing and production to date.

This infrastructure could prove useful in the coming weeks as the government works to streamline COVID-19 vaccine rollouts. Pharmaceutical manufacturer Moderna announced last week that it will step up its order volume to the U.S., aiming to provide roughly 100 million vaccines by the end of March.

Current statistics reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that out of more than 75 million vaccine doses having been delivered by both Pfizer and Moderna, more than 64 million have been administered. A faltering vaccine infrastructure has taken the blame as to why some doses remain unused, a hurdle President Biden pledged to overhaul. 

Published on Feb 22, 2021