The Osterholm Quotes

“We aren’t much better prepared for Ebola today than we were during the crisis in West Africa, so you have to wonder. If we aren’t preparing for the outbreaks we know will happen in the near future, what good does it do to know about spillover events?”
"The billion dollar question is whether Aedes albopictus will play a role. Zika is going to continue. The real question is going to be not necessarily how big it will get in any location, but what is the geographic spread?"
"We can virtually guarantee there will be [Zika] activity, particularly along the Gulf region."
"Anybody who is vaccinated in a timely manner is one less person susceptible to the virus."
"If this thing [yellow fever] takes off in the urban areas of Brazil, we're in big trouble."
"Instead of wasting their time and energy debating the specifics of the Trump administration’s proposed budget, American lawmakers should determine what to prioritize... This includes increasing, not cutting, the CDC and NIH allocations, putting serious resources into a game-changing influenza vaccine, and promoting an international effort to combat profligate antibiotic use."
"Antimicrobial resistance is a slow-moving tsunami that within decades could bring us back to the infectious Dark Ages, when a simple scrape could kill and untreatable tuberculosis was rampant."
"In a move to increase the U.S. defense budget by 10%, Trump has lost sight of the greatest national security threat of them all: a disease outbreak killing millions of people."
"This may just speak to how misplaced international priorities are, that WHO is getting so little for these disease programs."
"If there are two children in a department store or a mall, one susceptible to measles and one infected, the bottom line is the virus will find that unprotected child."
“We want the initial response [to Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] to be overwhelming so we never give an outbreak a chance to do what it did in West Africa. We want to throw everything at it in a reasonable way and a vaccine is part of that."
"The answer used to be education—the more educated you were on the issue the more likely you were to get vaccinated. The challenge is for scientists to be humble and acknowledge that in this day and age facts will not win the day."
"No one is suggesting for a second that [autism in the community] is not an important problem. It is. But it's not about the [measles-mumps-rubella] vaccine."
"We are sitting on something big with H7N9 [avian flu]. Any one of these [recent] cases could trigger something big. By then it'd be way too late."
"It is a highly concentrated number of unvaccinated people. It is a potential kind of gas-and-match situation."
"I see these people preying on a community that wants answers, I find this just abysmal. It's the worst of human behavior."
"I’m tired of having people just talk about the problems, which is why we’ve tried to lay out answers in this book. Our key message is not to scare you out of your wits. It’s to scare you into your wits."
"I think one of the most highly successful organizational operations in the world today is IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We need an IPCC for antibiotic resistance as much as we need one for greenhouse gases."
"I am absolutely optimistic we can have a game-changing flu vaccine where [people receive] one shot every so many years. It could protect very well against the H1, H2, H3, H5, H7 and H9 viruses, which are the key ones we worry about for a new pandemic."
"We can be sitting on top of a potential catastrophic event — as we are right now in Brazil. We have the ability to make a very effective vaccine for yellow fever. The problem is no one wants to spend the money to make it because you can’t make money on it."
"The two threats that really pose the greatest challenge to the world today in terms of catastrophic outcome are pandemic influenza and antimicrobial resistance, both of which we’re doing very [little] about on a global basis."
"Today, an influenza pandemic could be more devastating than an atom bomb. We are already witnessing an outbreak of influenza in birds — the H7N9 strain, in China — that could be the source for the next human pandemic."
"With 7.4 billion people, 20 billion chickens and 400 million pigs now sharing the earth, we have created the ideal scenario for creating and spreading dangerous microbes."
"The Trump administration . . . seems to have lost sight of the greatest national security threat of all: our fight against infectious disease."
"With each passing year, we lose a percentage of our antibiotic firepower. In a very real sense, we confront the possibility of revisiting the Dark Age where many infections we now consider routine could cause severe illness."


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