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"This is a war where we could all be on the frontline," Langone said. "The pharmaceutical industry, American business in general is performing incredibly admirably."
"All this talk about what is going to happen in three months, in six months, in nine months. … You're all guessing," he said. "Right now we ought to be focused on one thing: complying with what the government and the scientists, the doctors want us to do. I can tell you one thing: the quicker we comply, the sooner this crisis will end."
Ryan Ball wears a mask and gloves as he shops at Target in Washington, D.C., March 17. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Langone's comments come as the U.S. has reached more than 55,000 confirmed cases of the virus, with more than 26,000 of those in Langone's home state of New York.
Major donor Langone is the namesake of New York University's Langone Health medical center. New York City is one of the cities hit hardest by the virus.