Salesforce’s Marc Benioff: Face masks can end the U.S. coronavirus crisis within weeks

Internet entrepreneur Marc Benioff advised CNBC Monday that face masks have the potential to eradicate the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

“Masks are so important,” the Salesforce co-founder and chief govt advised “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. “If everyone in the United States wore a mask for 3 weeks — just 3 weeks — we would not have anymore coronavirus, because there would be no more spread, but people do not want to wear masks.”

That situation is one which Benioff, a frequent visitor on the night inventory investing present, and Cramer have teamed as much as tackle as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold quickly throughout the nation. The two are sponsoring the Next-Gen Mask Challenge, a contest launched by the international pandemic response coalition XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance.

Evidence means that correct mask-wearing can scale back transmission of respiratory viruses, like coronavirus, however a Pew Research survey discovered one-in-three individuals in the U.S. reportedly don’t put on the protecting gear often. The Next-Gen Mask Challenge is providing a $1 million prize cut up to 3 groups that can design a face masks that the normal public will undertake, in line with a press launch.

The initiative contains assets to mass produce the masks for widespread shopper use as communities attempt to restore their economies after a lockdown that threw the U.S. into recession. The competitors seeks designs that can tackle the most important causes individuals refuse to put on masks.

“We expect hundreds, perhaps thousands, of submissions,” mentioned Peter Diamandis, founder and govt chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation. “We’re then going to take the top 25 of those and find out [if] they’re manufacturable. Once we determine their manufacturability, we’re going to take the top 10 of those and go out to influencers” to gauge acceptance.

The eight-month problem invitations younger innovators, ages 15 to 24, round the globe to submit concepts that can change individuals’s views about facial masks. A panel of judges and trade professionals will choose the grand prize winner, together with two different groups in a shark-tank themed occasion, Diamandis defined.

“We want masks that are culturally cool to wear, that say something about you, that are functional and then, finally, we’re going to be — besides testing whether they’re functional with our partners, for example at Honeywell, do they provide protection — we’re then going to a shark tank,” to pick out winners, he mentioned. “The goal here is a new generation, next-generation masks that people wear because they want to wear them, not because they’re being forced to wear them.”

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