Warren Buffett said Saturday he is optimistic that the U.S. economy will re-emerge even after being dealt a body blow by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nothing can basically stop America,” said Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, from the conglomerate’s first virtual shareholder’s meeting from Omaha, Nebraska. “The American miracle, the American magic has always prevailed and it will do so again.”
“In World War II, I was convinced of this,” he said. “I was convinced of this during the Cuban Missile Crisis, 9/11, the financial crisis.”
More than 1 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. The outbreak has led to states shutting down their economies, which has resulted in unprecedented job losses.
The Labor Department said Thursday that 3.84 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending April 25. That brings the six-week total to more than 30 million.
The outbreak also sent overall economic activity spiraling lower during the first quarter, with a 4.8% GDP. contraction. That was the biggest U.S. economic downturn since the financial crisis.
Buffett himself said the economy still faces an extraordinary range of outcomes. He also highlighted how different this downturn is compared to the one more than a decade ago.