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Warren Buffett Praises Fauci After Berkshire Hathaway Posts Record Loss Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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Warren Buffett Praises Fauci After Berkshire Hathaway Posts Record Loss Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Warren Buffett, the world’s most famous investor, didn’t want to talk politics at the Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) annual shareholder meeting, but he couldn’t go without praising Dr. Anthony Fauci.

"In school, I did okay on accounting, but I was a disaster in biology and I’m learning about these various matters the same way you are," Buffett said Saturday during the opening minutes of the meeting. "And I think personally I feel extraordinarily good about being able to listen to Dr. Fauci."

Berkshire's Record Loss

Berkshire Hathaway on Saturday posted a record quarterly net loss of nearly $50 billion. Berkshire said most of its 90+ businesses are facing "relatively minor to severe" negative effects from the coronavirus (COVID-19). Berkshire's cash raised to a record $137.3 billion during the first quarter of 2020.

"The BNSF railroad saw shipping volumes of consumer products and coal fall, while Geico set aside money for car insurance premiums it no longer expects to collect," according to Reuters. "Some businesses cut salaries and furloughed workers, and retailers such as See's Candies and the Nebraska Furniture Mart closed stores."

With Berkshire’s businesses taking a hit, Buffett was able to stay lighthearted in his praise of Fauci: “I think we're very very fortunate to have somebody at 79 years of age who appears to be able to work 24 hours a day and keep a good humor."

Debt Of Gratitude

"I do feel that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. Fauci for educating and informing me, along with my friend Bill Gates, too. I know I get it from a straight shooter whenever I get it from either one of those."

Fauci was appointed director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1984. He oversees a research portfolio to prevent, diagnose and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, as well as emerging diseases. He has served as an advisor to every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan.

"I don’t know anything you don’t know about health matters but I do think the range of possibilities has narrowed down," Buffett said about the coronavirus. "We’re not getting a best case and we know we’re not getting the worst case."

Yahoo Finance is broadcasting the annual meeting here.

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