'This is a slog': Economist tells CNN that Trump's predictions of 'rocket ship' economy are a fantasy
HARRISBURG, PA - APRIL 29, 2017: President Trump giving a two thumbs up gesture as he exits the stage of his campaign rally. Held at The Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. (Photo by Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump believes that he can pivot to reopening the American economy and quickly get back to the same low level of unemployment that the country enjoyed at the start of the year.

But Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told CNN's John King on Thursday that it will take years for the jobless rate to get back to where it was in early 2020, and that the economy would essentially be in a holding pattern until a vaccine is developed for COVID-19.

"This is going to be a slog," he said. "I really don't think the economy kicks into gear until we get a vaccine or some kind of therapy that everybody feels comfortable about. And even then it is going to take several years to get jobs back. Businesses will have to reform because a lot of businesses fail between now and then."

King seemed surprised by the gloominess of Zandi's forecast.

"Mid-decade? Wow," he said.

Watch the video below.