The Osterholm Quotes

"We've never seen this subvariant activity with Alpha, Beta, or Delta, so who could have predicted 6 months ago where we'd be at? That's the challenge we have."
"Should the FDA approve the [COVID] vaccine for younger than age 5, the data we have right now suggests that [parents are] going to wait. It is still a huge challenge in terms of getting our kids vaccinated. Converting a vaccine into a vaccination is really difficult in this age group."
“If you do just look at those friends, colleagues, neighbors who are infected—confirmed by a home test or a PCR test—it is remarkable how many people are infected right now."
“I think it [the recent unexplained pediatric hepatitis cases] could be a very difficult nut to crack."
"The idea that you're modeling six months out? It's pixie dust. Six months ago we didn't have Omicron,"
"I've seen no data which supports the possibility of a fall or winter surge in the US resulting in 100 million cases. No one should make that kind of statement without providing the assumptions behind that number. Could it happen? Sure, but it's more likely if a new variant shows up that is more infectious and more likely to evade existing immune protection than Omicron. Any modeling that looks beyond 30 days out is largely based on pixie dust."
“There is one way [to slow the rate of evolving variants], and it’s to stop transmission. If the virus is not reproducing itself, we wouldn’t see nearly the same level of mutational changes.”
"It's impossible to predict what will happen," next in the pandemic.
“I don't know what the next shoe is to drop. I don't know. It could be this is as bad as it's gonna get, from here on out, much more mild illness if you have any immunity at all. Or maybe it won't be. I don't know.”
"Everybody is worried about omicron, which is understandable. I am worried about what is going to be pi or sigma or whatever is next."
“Any time you’re dealing with H5N1, you sleep with one eye open."
"Every day is a brand new day with this pandemic, relative to the variants. We know that we have strains that are much more infectious, so that, you know, you can't come up with an answer today to say this is where we're at because tomorrow, it could change."
“Public health advice has been way off the mark, all along, about mask protection. We have given the public a sense of a level of protection that is just not warranted. Let’s just be honest.”
“This virus is so highly infectious that you don’t need to have a lot of exposure to get infected. These variants are 210-mile-per-hour curveballs. What’s going to happen is really in the hands of the virus.”
“Now, we need to know, more than ever before, what’s going on out there. Meanwhile, it’s getting harder and harder to get testing done."
"One challenge we have with this virus is that we are going to continue to be bombarded by new variants, because this virus changes much faster than the flu. We have to expect the unexpected and, if we don't, we will end up being a day late and a dollar short."
The current reported 95% rate of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in Shanghai, China, "just does not make any biologic sense at all. At this point, I just challenge the authenticity of data."
“We’re not gonna be able to boost our way out of this."
“I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody really knows" why new US COVID-19 cases haven't begun to rise amid Omicron BA.2 subvariant dominance.
“We need these vaccines," for which President Biden is calling on Congress to allocate more money. "We need these drugs. We need to keep our testing up. We need to keep our surveillance up. I can tell you with all certainty the administration is not crying wolf.”
"Be careful how you describe the end of the pandemic, because we may be a ways from it from actually occurring. What we’re learning about this virus every day is very humbling."
"Nobody is going to say 'get infected so you can get protection,' because that could be the infection that kills you."
“There’s a very high likelihood that we’re going to see increased cases in the United States. Whether you call it a wave—I’m not sure it will be uniform across the country. This one could be different from the original Omicron surge—what I call the viral blizzard—where basically it had impact everywhere. I don’t think it’s clear yet that this is going to happen with this one.”
"We don't know if waning immunity is responsible for what's happening right now in Europe. We don't know what the next variant could be. I'm getting so much pushback from folks saying, 'we can let everything go right now, it's all done.' It could be. Wouldn't that be something? But we could be back in the soup again."
"There’s another wave developing. There’s no question about that. Our question is why it’s happening. Is it an increase in B.A2 over B.A1? Is it waning immunity? Is it relaxation? Or is it a combination of all of them? Or, is it just the virus doing again what this virus does?"

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