Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on Wednesday told CNBC that the company plans to deliver another load of much-needed medical gear to New York to help in the state’s fight against the coronavirus.
The cloud giant teamed up with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group in shipping personal protective equipment, or PPE, to New York that arrived via cargo plane on Sunday.
“We brought now more than 50 million pieces of PPE throughout the entire world, and we’re working to bring more PPE in even this week,” he said in a “Mad Money” interview with Jim Cramer.
Benioff did not say how much more gear or where in the U.S. the company expected to route the next package.
The move to transport the equipment to New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., was inspired by a phone call from the head of the University of California, San Francisco. Salesforce is based in San Francisco.
Sam Hawgood, the university’s chancellor, reached out to the Salesforce co-founder weeks ago to warn about the potential shortage of supplies in San Francisco hospitals, Benioff explained.
That inspired him to collaborate with Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang on transporting gear to the United States, he said. Salesforce, a cloud customer relationship management platform provider, is a business partner of Alibaba, the largest online marketplace in China.
“This is a moment where business has to be the greatest platform for change, because you have incredible resources with enterprises that have relationships, like we do with Alibaba, who we can use to help alleviate the suffering of those who have been hurt so badly,” Benioff said.
The global pandemic is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.
Benioff tweeted a video announcing the arrival of the equipment in New York. The delivery included goggles, face shields and protective suits needed to protect health-care professionals in the state’s hospitals.
The state of New York has recorded nearly 150,700 COVID-19 cases, along with about 4,500 deaths, as of Wednesday evening. The state accounts for about 35% of the case count in the U.S.
More than 424,900 people in the state have contracted the disease.