"If I could compare this [Omicron surge] to a classic three-act play, we're basically in the third act; there's no question about that. But the last five minutes is kind of the 'whodunnit?'"

"The trillion-dollar question is: Can they [China's Olympics planners] beat Omicron? At least, in theory, they've laid out a plan that won't stop COVID from beginning in the Games, but it could and should greatly limit transmission. Then again, we're up against Omicron, and I'm not sure how effective anybody could be against that virus."

"We’re going to have to learn to live with this virus. But at the same time, I’m optimistic that if we can really put in place very aggressive and well-described systems for testing and drug deployment, we can surely do a lot to reduce serious illness."

"I don't buy herd immunity. Immunity is not durable with this virus. You look at all the people who've been reinfected with Omicron, who previously had Delta and who had even Alpha earlier in the year. Look at even the vaccine breakthroughs we've seen in terms of those who have been vaccinated."

"Some parents, they refuse to do [COVID-9 vaccination] at all. Their sense is 'It's not going to happen to me or my family'. Or 'It will be mild in our kids, and the vaccines pose some risks.'"

"I think that this is an exciting time coming up. It’s our opportunity. If we miss it, people will die unnecessarily, and we will continue to deal with the social, economic, and political fallout of this disease. If we do it right, we can do so much to bring this horrible virus under better control."

“We are having a terrible time turning vaccines into vaccinations ... We're seeing major increases in cases presenting to hospitals in young kids, so we need to keep emphasizing the importance of getting these vaccines. ... Please, get your kids vaccinated."

"The question is how long will [COVID vaccine booster] protection last, we’re not sure. At this point, we will continue to do studies monitoring people to see both when their antibody levels drop, but also more importantly in the community, when do we see potential breakthrough infections occurring. At what stage following your immunization and your previous infectious status does that happen?”

"I think in 3 to 4 weeks, we're gonna see case numbers begin to level off, if not start to drop precipitously. People, hold out, please. This is not going to be months and months; this wave is going to be in the weeks ahead."

"We have seen far too many people who are clinically ill who are in their third and fourth day of negative antigen tests but test positive by PCR. "That's A plus B equals C: A, a shortage of tests; B, they may not be that accurate; C, mass confusion."

"We need a lot more science” on at-home tests if the public is going to continue to rely on their results to make “potentially life threatening” decisions.

'We are at the very beginning, unfortunately, and likely have at least four to eight weeks before we're going to see it rise and then begin to fall again. And during that time, we are going to see COVID activity in this country like we haven't seen since the beginning of the pandemic."

“If you’re having a holiday gathering right now, chances are that one in 10 people in that room is infected and doesn’t know it yet.”

"We're going to end up in a viral blizzard here in this country in the next three to eight weeks. I can't remember anything in my 46-year career that is reminiscent of what I'm certain is gonna happen here."

"We're really just about to experience a viral blizzard. In the next three to eight weeks, we're going to see millions of Americans are going to be infected with this virus, and that will be overlaid on top of Delta, and we're not yet sure exactly how that's going to work out."

"I had a sense [in early 2020] that this was going to be a prolonged and very damaging pandemic. What I didn't understand at the time, and has surely influenced how I think it's going to keep going, is the role the variants played. I think the variant issue right now continues to be the 210-mile-an-hour curve ball that we don't really yet understand completely."

"Frankly we don't have enough reliable, robust data at this point to give a clear direction as to what this will look like in the weeks to months ahead."

"We have healthcare systems around the country, including in my home state of Minnesota, that are hanging on by a thread. We've seen health care systems virtually broken by this pandemic. They just couldn't provide critical care to non-COVID patients."

Omicron "is a clarion call for finding a pan-coronavirus vaccine" and a "wake-up call to the world about why these vaccines are so important."

"The whole world should have access to three doses of a mRNA COVID vaccine, and there would be nothing more tragic to me than having someone protected by a two-dose regimen for six to eight months, and then to get seriously ill and die because they didn't get a booster. I think that one day this won't even be a question. It will be a minimum three-dose vaccine."