Science journalist Laurie Garrett has been warning about a pandemic like Covid-19 for decades and predicts the coronavirus pandemic could possibly last for three years.
“Each community and each part of the country has to be ready and know, yes, maybe you got things under control right now in May. Maybe in June. But be ready. It's coming back again and again,” Garrett, author of “The Coming Plague,” told CNN’s John Berman in an interview.
Garrett said we should look at places like South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, which have been able to stem the pandemic.
“These places have figured out this virus will come in waves. It's not going to be a giant tsunami that just sweeps over America all uniform all at once, then retreats, then all comes back all at once across America again. It's going to be more like little brush fires popping up here, there, and everywhere,” she said.
Garrett also slammed US coronavirus policies and the Trump administration’s decision to not implement the Centers for Disease Control’s 17-page draft recommendation for reopening America. "The CDC ought to be in leadership," she said.
“It’s just madness. We're acting as if you can wish away an epidemic. You can't just say, ‘I want the economy going and the virus will cooperate.’ It doesn't work that way,” Garrett said.
She said that the pandemic has changed the world’s perception of the US.
“Now, we're the laughingstock of the planet. We're the only one that refuses to engage with everybody else in a cooperative agreement on developing vaccines and drugs. We're the only one that says we won't work with the WHO. And we refuse to pay our dues. And we're the only one acting like whatever we do today may be different from what we do tomorrow, but it's what we do, so the heck with the rest of you,” she said. “I can't even tell you how upsetting this is. This is as if we stood on the sidelines and watched somebody else make the first landing on the moon," she said.
The idea of testing everyone is not realistic and possibly not necessary, Garrett said, but it needs to be targeted to be effective.
“We're going to have to do testing that's really smart, that's targeted, that follows basic principles of science,” she said. “…We're not doing any smart testing. There's only a handful of places in the country where testing is following the kind of scientific principles that means that what the results of what the testing are are valid.”