March 18, 2020 / 12:56 PM / 11 days ago

Investor Ackman tweets to Trump: Close down the country

BOSTON, March 18 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor William Ackman, who has long worried about the deadly effects of the coronavirus, on Wednesday called on the Trump administration to seal off the United States for a month to stop the spread of the virus.

“The only answer is to shut down the country for the next 30 days and close the borders,” Ackman said in a tweet, adding “Tell all Americans that you are putting us on an extended Spring Break at home with family.”

Ackman, who has some 31,000 Twitter followers but rarely sends tweets, stepped onto President Donald Trump’s preferred communication platform to reach the administration and the country with his plan for proposed action.

“The moment you send everyone home for Spring Break and close the borders, the infection rate will plummet, the stock market will soar and the clouds will lift,” Ackman said in a second tweet.

The manager, who has ties to top banking and money management executives around the world and has attended U.S. central investor advisory committee meetings on financial markets, does not have any special relationships with the Trump administration and has not reached out to anyone behind the scenes, a person who knows him said. Rather he feels that it is urgent for citizens like him to appeal to the government now to take more forceful action, the person said

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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