“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.”
“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?"
“I don’t know what is ahead, but the Covid-19 variants are not done with us. We need to be honest as to what our real surge capacity is today, and what level of staffing and supplies we might need in a possible next round.”
“To not fully fund these [federal COVID-19 response] programs, you are playing with an infectious disease fire, and it will burn you. In the process, unfortunately, people will unnecessarily have to die."
"We have got to restore our medical experts in this world, including public health. This is not just about beds. It's not about equipment. It's the people to actually be there. I think that's an urgent need right now. How are we going to replace these people?"
"I can’t tell you what endemic disease means with COVID. The question I ask is what happens if we go through an entire quiet period of the summer and then in fall see a major new surge in cases. Do we go back to the pandemic, or is it still endemic?”
"What we did is we got bogged down into masking or non-masking. The vast majority of people who were using a mask were highly ineffective in terms of preventing transmission to or from that individual. Today we need to put much more effort into devising much more effective respiratory protection and comfort that people are aware of and that it is not politically charged."
"What we don't understand is will this virus come back again, but it's a different virus in a sense so that immunity we have from vaccinations, the immunity we have from natural infection, would not be all that protective? And we just don't know that answer. I sleep with one eye open looking for variants."
"I think when historians go back and look at what was said and done during this pandemic, one of the absolute lowest moments from a scientific perspective and a public policy practice will be what we did with ‘masks.' What we did with masks was not based on good science."
"This is exactly the worst of the worst conditions [in Ukraine]. When you overlay war on these public health challenges. I mean, people are going to be needing clear medical treatment for war-related injuries. But when that falls on top of what is already health care system stress because of 25,000 new cases yesterday of COVID, just think how much more complicated this gets."
"COVID may appear to go quiet in our communities [in the next few months], but it will still be there, we’ll still have people hospitalized, we’ll still have people die—but it will be at a level that will be substantially lower than we’ve seen."
"I do worry that down the road, we could see another variant like Omicron come out of the middle of nowhere, and that surely is a possibility. I hope it doesn't happen, but as I've said many times, 'Hope is not a strategy.' So we've got to be prepared for one down the road, and I think right now, people don't even want to hear about that."
"I think until you actually determine how to get people to wear N95 respirators—these more tight face-fitting masks—or the KN95s, I don’t understand the benefit of masking as a mandate, nor have I from the beginning. If we could do it with much more effective protection, then we’d have a leg to stand on."
“[Any new federal strategy] has to acknowledge that we are entering a new phase of virus transmission in our communities, being forever mindful that we were in exactly the same place one year ago today, where cases were decreasing from a January peak, vaccines were flowing. And look what that got us.”