As the coronavirus pandemic has upended our daily lives, there is cause for longer-term optimism. Improved testing will produce data needed for better management of the crisis. The FDA authorized a test by Abbott Labs that can tell if someone is infected with Covid-19 in as little as five minutes. More than 1,000,000 tests have now been administered. Equipped with better data, we can more rapidly identify where resources must be deployed while gradually reopening parts of our economy.
A global race to develop a treatment or vaccine for Covid-19 is underway. Two companies in our portfolios, Regeneron and Johnson & Johnson, are at the forefront of new drug development. Many of the vaccine and drug development efforts are building on past achievements. The increasing use of two existing generic drugs administered in combination is producing promising anecdotal results. Trials are underway.
Meanwhile, policy makers are trying to mitigate the impact of the virus on our economy. There have been both monetary and fiscal responses. On the monetary side, central banks are providing unlimited liquidity to keep the financial system working. On the fiscal side, governments are rushing to the aid of individuals and small businesses with direct payments, expanded unemployment benefits, and low interest loans. These coordinated actions are designed to stabilize the economy as we work to contain the spread of the virus.
The market will eventually find its footing as testing increases, policy measures take hold, and we gradually re-open for business. In this interim period of heightened market volatility, we remind clients of the importance to remain invested and resist the emotional urge to sell. Timing markets has proven to be impossible on a consistent basis, especially amid these massive daily and weekly swings. Focus on the long-term and remember that markets tend to recover months before the economy improves.
Now is a once in a decade opportunity to find new, highly desirable companies that meet our criteria. We are actively researching a list of high-conviction companies that have come through our valuation model. To date, we’ve added two new names and look forward to adding more to the portfolios in the coming weeks.
At this time, our thoughts are with you and your families as we eagerly look forward to the resumption of our ordinary lives. Now more than ever, we thank you for the confidence you have placed in Cardinal. We continue to wish you and your family safety and good health.