The Osterholm Quotes

"Public Health has to not only reassure the public, it has to tell the truth."
"[The US military has] done an amazing job. No one does logistics quite like the military. Our country was slow to respond, but now I am proud . . . [No other country] has responded quite the way the US has."
"When you have so few [Ebola] cases, it gets very hard to show that vaccines work."
"What we really need is a new [influenza] vaccine. What we’re doing is tinkering—but I don't know how to tinker with this current vaccine and make it any better. It's like we're trying to fix a horse and buggy when what we really need is a modern 2015 vehicle."
"This should be another clarion call for why we need new and better flu vaccines. Twenty percent clearly is better than zero, but it's a long way from what we need and must eventually have."
"Think of this epidemic [Ebola] as a big forest fire . . . you have to suppress all of it or it will come back."
"We need informed, heightened awareness about Ebola. We don't need overreaction, but we don't need apathy, either."
"Extreme measures are needed to ensure a massive coordinated effort among vaccine manufacturers, government regulatory authorities, government public health agencies, non-governmental organizations and global, national and local leaders."
"We had very bad matches [of vaccine to circulating flu viruses] and the vaccine performed as we would expect on an average basis, and we've had years where there's been a really good match and the vaccine provided little to no protection."
"I still say get your flu shot, it's the best tool that we have. But . . . there just is no comprehensive, compelling data that say when you get your flu shot that it even reduces the severity of illness or hospitalization."
"We couldn't find any correlation between the 'good matches' and actual effectiveness."
"I know less about Ebola today than I did 6 months ago."
"When time is of the essence, as it is during the current [Ebola] outbreak, the question is not, 'Can you make the vaccine?' but 'How soon can you make [it]? And how much?'"
"This is potentially revolutionary work. We're a long way from changing our current policies, but this could really help. It also raises questions about how often do we need to be vaccinated if we can use this back-boost?"
"As long as the infectious disease forest fire is going on there [West Africa], we're going to have embers flying around the world."
"I'm afraid we're going to completely lose focus. This is really about West Africa."
"We need a lot more information about the virology, the clinical presentation and the epidemiology of this virus [Ebola]. Nobody underestimates the difficulty of doing that research in these settings, but it is really important to get this information."
"[Because the disease was so sporadic before this outbreak] no one decided to invest the millions it would take to make for a vaccine against Ebola."
"If we start to quarantine people for 21 days, with no contact with the outside world, we will dry up the number of health care workers going to Africa."
"There is no magic boundary at the border. We shouldn't be surprised if we see [Ebola] cases."
"These are a major step forward in protecting workers from Ebola virus infection . . . but the recommendations just by themselves do not make for a safer work environment. . . . Training is critical. We need to train people how to use PPE safely and effectively."
"Basically, we’ve had a match thrown into a can of gas in West Africa. If this [Ebola] spreads to the rest of equatorial Africa, it will be like throwing a match into an open tanker truck of gas."
"The Ebola epidemic in West Africa could become an inflection point for fundamental reform of the WHO and usher in an era of direct United Nations engagement in health threats that could potentially destabilize nations and regions."
"We have to have a level of excellence. If that means putting the CDC in charge of these departments of public health, that means we have to find a way to do that."


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