The Osterholm Quotes

"Last year we spent over a billion dollars researching new HIV vaccines … an important investment. But the best estimate we can come up with is we only spent about $35 million globally on … research on new game-changing flu vaccines."
"Did we do anything to prepare, like make a new or better flu vaccine? No."
"I don't think the actual premise for the PREDICT project—that it will make us better prepared for a pandemic—holds water."
"We're in a hyperinfectious disease world."
"The study today does not refute that vaccination could have some impact on reducing transmission from infected health care workers to patients. But it clearly shows there's no well-conducted study that demonstrates that at this time. Our public policy should be guided as such."
"What we're learning about H5 is, that whether its H5N6, H5N8, H5N2, or H5N5, this is a very dangerous bird virus."
“This is a vaccine that desperately needs to be redone. Influenza is a serious disease that desperately needs to be addressed both from a seasonal flu status and pandemic status."
"I can't say that all the momentum has been lost. But it’s pretty hard to run a semi-truck on a lawnmower motor. There’s not enough push and pull right now."
"There was a sense that we’re all done. We've taken care of it. We've got a 100% effective vaccine. There is still a lot of work, with a lot of very hard questions and some important financing, that still needs to be done to get us to a point of Ebola preparedness."
"The CDC always gets in trouble with Congress when it talks about contraception or bullets. And abortion? You talk about third rails in politics? Abortion is the fifth rail. They can’t touch it. If the CDC had pushed the envelope any farther, its funding would have been at risk."
“Until we get more data, frankly I think the very best approach is to try to make sure we get flu vaccine into people just before flu activity starts, not something convenient to [do] when the marketers want to get people in the door of department stores and grocery stores."
"The appointment of Robert Kennedy, Jr, to head up a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity is a lot like putting a person who believes the world is flat in charge of the leading global geographic information system initiative. . . . [It] is a potentially a dangerous decision if it sends a message to parents that vaccines are not safe and not necessary."
"[A universal influenza vaccine] would be the single most important thing we can do in public health today."
“2017 not only brings a new president to the White House, but also a new director-general to the World Health Organization and a new United Nations secretary general. . . . As a result, there is tremendous uncertainty about the future practice and policies of global and domestic public health."
"I wouldn’t sit here and say, 'Such studies shouldn’t be done,' but I still fail to see at this point how it's going to better prepare the human race for the next infectious disease that jumps from animals to humans."
"By the time we realize the hurricane is here, we’re already in the eye of it."
"If the world is going to come to grips with the inevitability of antimicrobial resistance, we need a new game plan to deal with it. This meeting represents the first critical step in any journey moving forward."
"That's just wrong. To get a true picture of what’s going on in Florida, you want to know, among anyone who was in Florida, who acquired [Zika] there. ... That's how it should be counted. If they're not, then that sounds to me like they’re trying to minimize their number of cases."
"If we use up our [yellow fever] vaccine supply and we end up with transmission in more cities, then all bets are off. It's like having your headlights out when you're driving on a road with hundreds of deer. It's only a matter of time before you crash."
"D.A. [Henderson, who died on Aug 20] was a giant intellectually, he was a giant in his personality, and he didn’t shy away from controversy. . . . He always stressed the fact that without comprehensive disease surveillance, you just couldn’t run an effective public health program."
"Some of these products, particularly some vaccines, may take 500 million to a billion dollars. And they could lose many more along the way. And so with that, it could take years [for a Zika vaccine to reach market]."
"If citizens merely clean up any little small body of water — one little bottle cap, a discarded dish is a beautiful incubating place for the Aedes mosquito that transmits Zika — you can do a lot [to combat Zika]."
"When cases like this occur, it's critical that there be rapid epidemiological investigations to determine the likely location where the mosquito exposure occurred. Only with that can you identify the breeding sites and eliminate them."
"We'd all like it to be the peak of the outbreak, that would be wonderful. At the same time, I see nothing that supports that."
"The bottom line message is: If you’re going to share body fluids with Zika, there’s a risk."


Newsletter Sign-up

Get CIDRAP news and other free newsletters.

Sign up now»


Unrestricted financial support provided by

Bentson Foundation 3MGilead Become an underwriter»