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Cisco commits $225 million in fight against coronavirus as Silicon Valley initiates investment blitz

Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco Systems, speaking at the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020.

Adam Galica | CNBC

A technology giant is committing $225 million to assist in efforts aimed at combating the coronavirus while the rest of Silicon Valley initiates an investment blitz to help in the fight. 

Cisco, a company that focuses on crafting telecommunications equipment and networking hardware, among other items, is putting up the massive investment, according to a blog post that was written by its CEO, Chuck Robbins Sunday night.

The $225 million is “in cash, in-kind, and planned-giving to support both the global and local response to COVID-19,” Robbins says in the post

“As part of our commitment, we are allocating $8 million in cash and $210 million in product to the global coronavirus response. We are focusing these resources on supporting healthcare and education, government response and critical technology,” he said in the post.  “Part of this will go to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) worldwide efforts to help prevent, detect, and manage the spread of COVID-19.”

This new effort by Cisco comes as Silicon Valley has started to invest into a variety of groups that are looking to fight the coronavirus, which has impacted all 50 states and Washington D.C. in the United States.  There are at least 26,000 cases in the U.S. and over 340 deaths. 

Robbins recently hosted a call with tech and other Silicon Valley business leaders to discuss ways they can use their money and vast resources to help fend off COVID-19. 

CEOs and executives from Facebook, Apple, the San Francisco 49ers, Twitter, Netflix, Alphabet and Salesforce were invited to take part.

Since then, Facebook has announced it will offer $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. The social media giant is also giving $1,000 bonuses to each of their employees as they work remotely. 

“We heard directly from them that they were in need, very nervous, and not able to pay a lot of their employees, and worried their doors would shut,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer,  told CNBC in a recent interview. “We’re trying to help businesses pay their employees but also shift their businesses online.”

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