"Unfortunately there’s been so much misinformation that’s come out about masking [against COVID-19] that it’s become so polarized....People are just divided into either you’re masked or you’re not. And that would be like saying everything that has wheels [like a tricycle and a jetliner] is the same."

"We've ascribed far too much human authority over the [COVID-19] virus."

"The fact that you have the CDC saying you can have students with cloth face coverings 3 feet apart from each other for more than 15 minutes and not call that a quarantine contact, for example is just, in a sense, not valid. And we’re seeing school outbreaks all over the country right now."

"That $65 billion [for pandemic preparedness] should have been a down payment, not the entire program. It’s a rounding error for our federal budget, and yet our entire existence going forward depends on this"

"What this [COVID] virus has continued to demonstrate is its ability to find people who are not vaccinated."

"This pandemic has exposed the political and social fissures that have undermined public confidence and the national spirit of cooperation that is so necessary for public health to be effective."

"Right now [the Midwest is] really more or less in a holding pattern until we can get more people vaccinated. This [COVID] virus is going to keep being transmitted. It may very well come down to a new baseline, which could be much higher than what it is."

"It's clear that there's a lot of human wood out there for this coronavirus forest fire to burn."

"We’re going to see [COVID-19] hills and valleys, at least for the next several years as we get more vaccine out. That’s going to help....But I can just tell you, this is a coronavirus forest fire that will not stop until it finds all the human wood that it can burn."

"These [COVID] vaccines are safer than aspirin....Vaccines still remain the number one, two, three, four, and five tool to stop this pandemic."

"The [COVID-19] situation we have with school children this year is very different than we had last year...Kids are now just as likely to get infected as are adults, and they’re just as likely to transmit it."

"My strong desire is to see every kid 12 years old and older to get a vaccine because that is the best way to protect students....I would also say rooms in schools should have air exchanges five to six times every hour and they should also have portable HEPA air filter machines."

"Whether it’s a few hundred [COVID-19] cases [from the Minnesota State Fair], or more, we don’t know but look at what happened a day after the Bucks won the NBA title where you had 500 new cases and that was just one outdoor rally around the arena and not a multi-day event."

"It all comes down to: Is [the COVID-19 vaccine] waning immunity against severe illness, hospitalization, and deaths, or is it waning against mild illness? And I don’t think we’ve answered that yet."

"A cloth mask surely can give you some protection. But it's not the kind of protection that you'll get when you use a much more effective mask. We have not talked about that nearly enough."

"If the old car you have has a seatbelt in it and that's it, use it. But if you can get a modern car that has a seatbelt harness, a collapsible body frame, airbags, a computer system to reduce speed in an impending crash, and shard glass so you don't get cut, use that....What we want to do is inform people, yes, mask, but most importantly, give them the information on how they can get the more effective masks and how they can use them."

"Nothing we're talking about right now [regarding COVID-19 boosters] should deter anyone from getting a vaccine. It's not about safety; it's about, 'Are we going to need additional doses of the vaccine?' Again, it is the No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 thing you can do to protect yourself."

"We need to talk about better masking. We need to talk about N-95 respirators, which would do a lot for both people who are not yet vaccinated or not previously infected."

"This is not about yes or no masking [against COVID-19]. This is about what kind of masking you use to protect yourself....A year ago we said don't use [N95s] because we needed them for healthcare workers. Today we have an abundant supply in this country that can meet the needs of healthcare, industrial purposes, and citizens."

"The number of intensive-care beds needed [during this Delta surge] could be higher than any time we've seen."