“Public health has to be realistic. In making recommendations to the public today, we have to try to get the most out of what people are willing to do. … You can be absolutely right in the science and yet accomplish nothing because no one will listen to you.”

“The bottom-line message is we are quite unprepared [for a chronic wasting disease spillover]. If we saw a spillover right now, we would be in free fall. There are no contingency plans for what to do or how to follow up.”

“We're going to start seeing more and more of these [measles] outbreaks," mainly among unvaccinated children. "We're going to see more kids seriously ill, hospitalized and even die. And what's so tragic about this, these are all preventable.”

"I think [COVID-19 is] starting to come down right now across the country, The real challenge is just interpreting what's next."

“We have an ongoing evolutionary battle between the [SARS-CoV-2] virus and us."

“I think [Omicron] JN.1 clearly is driving transmission. Fortunately, there’s no evidence it’s producing more severe illness.”

"Right now, we're talking roughly about 38,000 [COVID-19] hospitalizations a week in this country, almost where we were a year ago, but that's below 60,000, where we were 2 years ago. So the numbers of hospitalizations and serious illnesses are coming down, but we're still losing over 200 people a day in this country."

“If you look at the different peaks in [COVID-19] cases since the beginning of the pandemic, every one of them coincided with the emergence of a new variant."

"The biggest driver for what happens with [COVID-19] cases is which variant takes over."

"Not getting kids vaccinated is the equivalent of putting them in the back seat without buckling them up, driving 90 miles an hour and running red lights."

The pediatric respiratory illness outbreak in China "is exactly what we would have expected to see happen. What we’re seeing is not a new infectious agent; it’s the old ones coming back. It's influenza, it's mycoplasma, it's adenovirus and some COVID."

"This [respiratory disease outbreak in children in China] does not have any hallmarks of a new and emerging pathogen challenge. There, immunologically, kids under age 4 are really quite naive to most of these viruses."

“CWD [chronic wasting disease] is an evolving situation with an increasing number of infections in cervids and ever changing prion strains. If you knew CWD five years ago, it doesn't mean you know it today."

"In 1975, when I started this business, I never thought that I would be saying 50 years later 'Boy, I wish we had the good old days.' Think of this: Today we have more syphilis cases in the United States, and more congenital syphilis—where individuals, women who are pregnant get infected and transfer it on to the unborn child—than we’ve had any time since 1940."

“The worst thing we could do is leave people with the sense that this [Project NextGen to develop COVID-19 treatments and vaccines] is going to be the solution to the future. It’s a start.”

"We have to understand that the potential for future pandemics to occur more frequently is very real. We have 8 billion people on the face of the Earth. We need food to feed that population, which means we have a very different world full of food production animals, using bush meat from the jungles and the forests of the world and so forth. And so there's just a much greater likelihood of a crossover of a virus from the animal world or other humans to causing a future pandemic."

"All of us know someone who has died from COVID in Minnesota. It's our grandpas and our grandmas, our moms and our dads, our brothers and our sisters and ... even our kids."

"The only thing that makes this [COVID-19] seasonal is that it happens in all four seasons. So I would get [the vaccine] now. The activity level is increasing rapidly. We're seeing a number of schools where we're seeing substantial transmission in kids, which of course then brings the virus home to Mom or Dad or Grandpa and Grandma."

“Before, we were basically trying to completely avoid the virus. Now we know it’s here. And now we know that we’re not going to shut down everything or even think about that. … So the point is: How do we live with it? And I think that’s the transition we’re in right now.”

“We’re in almost the best place we’ve been in the pandemic since it began. But we are caught in the very uncomfortable area of having left the fog of the pandemic war and trying to understand what the sunrise on a normal post-COVID world looks like.”