The Osterholm Quotes

“For [COVID] vaccinated individuals, in a private home or wherever, party hard. Enjoy it. You’ve earned it. You can feel safe in doing that, and that’s what we need to help people understand; [vaccinations are] what's going to make a real difference in getting our communities back to this new normal.”
"What we’re going to see are more of these localized [COVID-19] outbreaks that are going to require a response from governors and mayors."
"We are seeing vaccines fall precipitously in terms of new vaccines. During the last 4 or 5 days, we’ve had more people in this country vaccinated just for the second dose rather than the first, which indicates that the numbers are going down."
"We had many more arms that wanted [the COVID-19] vaccine than the vaccine was available. Now, it's no longer the last mile. It is solely down to the last inch, getting the needles in people's arms."
"Just remind ourselves that it took nine months from the beginning of the pandemic to accumulate those first 1 million cases. It took four additional months to accumulate the next 1 million cases. And it only took three months for the third million. That should give one a sense also of what's happening globally today."
"If there is any sense that something is being hidden [about the COVID-19 vaccines], I think that will create irreparable harm from a credibility standpoint to our ability to continue to pursue these vaccine programs."
"Michigan and Minnesota have among some of the highest [COVID] vaccination levels in the country. We've also been hit with previous waves and yet look what's happening. We don't have adequate vaccination levels in this country along with previous infections to prevent a surge from occurring."
“Anybody who will tell you exactly what the level of herd immunity is [for COVID-19], is also likely to want to sell you a bridge.”
"Please understand, this B.1.1.7 variant is a brand new ball game....[Before] we didn't see children under 8th grade get infected often or they were not frequently very ill, they didn't transmit to the rest of the community."
"Ten countries have received about 80% of the [COVID] vaccine....If we continue to see this virus spread throughout the low and middle-income countries unfettered, they're going to spit out variants over the course of the next years that, in each and every instance, could challenge our vaccines."
"We're seeing the increase in [COVID] transmission in young kids, primarily in the upper Midwest, in the Northeast right now. But that's just a matter of time before we see it go throughout the entire United States....We are almost at the finish line, but we're not there."
“There’s no other country that I’m aware of that’s seeing major B.1.1.7 activity that’s opening up everything rather than locking it down."
"This isn't a pandemic of just a virus. This is a pandemic of emotion. This is a pandemic of pain and suffering that has to do with lost jobs and lost persons.…This is not just a public health journey. This is really a personal journey for all of us."
"Even if we are able to reduce the number of [COVID-19] cases in the older age population of serious disease, we will pick up more in younger populations, which is exactly what we've seen in Europe."
"When bars are crowded the noise level goes up and then people talk more loudly and talking loudly projects the virus father into the air if you’re infected."
"It's all going to be about the [COVID-19] variants and the vaccine, and that will determine where we're going to be next year, the year after, and the year after that.
"I always give people a disclosure when I talk about these [COVID-19] viruses now, that you know, I know less about them now than I probably did 6 months ago. And I think that type of open mind is what's going to help get us through here and envision what the future might look like and what we have to plan for."
"This big [COVID] spike that went up and came down, it gives us this false sense of security that somehow, we’re in control....Last summer, in July, 70,000 cases a day was a house-on-fire event in this country. Today, we kind of feel like we’ve won, and we’re at 70,000 cases a day."
"At a time when instead of actually getting better prepared for [B117], we're opening up and inviting the virus in [by relaxing COVID restrictions]."
"Right now we're opening up in a way that's an invitation for this virus to spread....Just know that in Europe when [B117] first began to be a problem, they were already in a lockdown phase because of the previous surge that they had of non-B117, and they still had a hard time."
"We've still got 60% of our population that is vulnerable to this virus after a year. And look what we've been through with clinical disease and vaccination just to get to 40% protection....We still could have a major surge in cases occur because of this particular strain [B117]."
"We're seeing the B117, or the UK variant, double about every 10 days in this country....It often takes, 4, 6, even 8 weeks of this virus circulating before it really takes off, going from kind of the small little brush pile fire to a large forest fire."
"If we have large segments of the population that say, ‘Oh I’m not gonna get the vaccinated now,’ we very well could see ongoing transmission that would make it more challenging to get back to that new normal.”
"We've got this B117 surge coming....Everybody who's doing all the planning to bring everything back [eg, schools, restaurants, bars] unfortunately also has to have that other plan available that then does everything to go the other way [to more restrictions]."
"I think [the CDC's school guidelines] are enough, particularly if you are looking at children from K to 8 grade. There we really do see very little transmission....When we get into high school that's a little bit of a different issue. But there is a red flag coming down the road, I think, and that is the new [COVID] variants."


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