“I think we will get four, five years from now and there won’t be a single aspect of our lives that hasn’t changed,” he said at the ongoing CNN coronavirus town hall. “It’s almost impossible to really imagine what it will be like.”
The lack of an integrated approach to dealing with a pandemic can cause problems in eradicating viruses – even with vaccines, Garrett said.
“Viruses will continue to circulate in the world, regardless of whether or not there is a vaccine – unless we commit to the strategic goal of actually getting rid of the virus from the planet by implementing the right vaccine for everyone: 7.5 billion people.”
When the effects of coronavirus are getting longer and wider, Americans can reconsider aspects of daily life: from air travel to meetings involving human contact, he said.
“All kinds of interactions and behaviors that we take for granted will look different,” Garrett said. “We haven’t really felt the effects of the great depression we are currently facing.”
Garrett contradicted Vice President Mike Pence’s assessment that the pandemic will end at the end of May, saying that he put the time closer to 36 months.
He linked the Pence timeline to the goal of the White House to restart the economy and open a business, but he had predicted the economy would feel the impact of this pandemic for years.
When health problems end, he said, the government might not be able to invest in change and companies might not have the funds to develop and innovate, he said.
Gary Cohn, a former economic adviser to President Trump, stressed on Thursday that he was optimistic about the future of the US economy and believed the country would be “very smart and very creative” in creating new opportunities, but also disagreed with the President’s assessment that next year would be outside economically ordinary.
“I think it will take more than 12 months for us to evolve to a comfortable place,” Cohn told CNN Erin Burnett. “Unless something magical happens in the medical field and we get a vaccine … it will take a long time.”
Arman Azad and Jen Christensen from CNN contributed to this report.