Ace investor Bill Ackman has invested $2.5 billion in equities, calling it a “recovery bet” on the US economy roiled by the coronavirus outbreak.
The self-proclaimed activist investor has raised stake in several of his portfolio companies, including Lowe’s Cos, Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
The billionaire investor, who has been on a buying spree for the last few days, said that his Pershing Square Capital Management had taken off all the hedges placed to offset the effects of the coronavirus via shorts in the credit market.
“That’s about the most bullish thing we’ve done,” he told Bloomberg. “We are all long. No shorts, you know, betting on the country.”
Ackman also called for a federally mandated 30-day nationwide shutdown, instead of letting each US state decide their course of action to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
“I built a lot of confidence over the last week that the president and his team are heading in the right direction,” Ackman saidHowever, he added that he has no inside knowledge of what the federal government will do next.