"This [COVID-19] is still a very substantial public health problem. And you can declare whatever you want because you want to move on. But don't confuse the fact that the virus doesn't care what your policy statements are."
“[The updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters] still provide a level of immunity that may not prevent you from getting infected but may have a significant impact on whether or not you become seriously ill and die. I mean, right now, the most recent data we have shows that for those who have the bivalent vaccine, they have a three-fold lower risk of dying than those who don’t.”
"What we're seeing in China poses a really significant challenge for transmission. This virus is every bit as infectious now there, as measles virus, which is considered one of the most infectious viruses on the face of the earth. We've surely seen that this virus can change. It can do more... very damaging things over time."
“What’s happened with the COVID vaccines is they’ve become much more like the flu vaccine, where you do need these booster doses with some regularity. In this case with the flu, obviously, we do it annually, and with COVID, it could get to the point where it’s every six months or so.”
"This pandemic is just going to blow through (China) in the next weeks. It's unfortunate they didn't think about this six or 10 months ago. They could have bought themselves time to be in a better position."
"I don’t think anything looks good for China right now. Its 1.4 billion people are at increased risk of contracting this virus for the first time, and these first infections surely pose the risk of serious disease, including hospitalizations and deaths.”
“[China is] seeing the same number of cases [the U.S. is] every day, and from that standpoint, it’s not a major public health challenge. The problem is…they have assigned this lockdown mentality where 300 cases in a community of 20 million people get locked down. That’s not going to stop it. It won’t work.”
"I am a faithful N95 [respirator] user and I fit it appropriately to the face and not below my nose. And I think that's what we're talking about. A lot of these [mask-wearing] recommendations are so generic that the public has no idea what you're talking about."
“We’ve learned in the past that when you have a seasonal virus circulating, it may dampen the ability of other viral respiratory pathogens to take off," on why non-COVID respiratory viruses all but disappeared in 2020 and 2021.
"In the past, what's happened in Europe [COVID-19 cases] often has been a harbinger of what's about to happen in the United States. So I think the bottom line message for us here in this country is we have to be prepared for what they are beginning to see in Europe."
“At this point we need to vaccinate as if [new COVID-19 variants] will not provide a new and critical challenge around immune evasion. But we owe it to the public to say we could be seeing a future aspect of this pandemic unlike any we’ve seen today.”
"Only about 4.4% of the US population that's eligible to receive the [new bivalent COVID-19] booster has gotten it. I've gotten mine. I urge everyone else to get it, because while it's not maybe perfect protection, it surely is some good protection for now. But at the same time, I'm watching very carefully kind of sleeping with one eye open to see what these new sub-variants that are highly immune evasive look like."
"The challenge is, we don't understand yet what this virus still has in store for us. If you've got subvariants that can evade immune protection from previous infections and you've got waning immunity—that could set us up for a whole new set of circumstances."