'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."

"I don’t know what the future is going to be other than the fact that I know we’re going to be dealing with this [COVID-19] for a long time to come. This is not going to be over with like an influenza pandemic that’s a 2-year event, is done, and becomes seasonal flu; so be it, it’s over. This is not that."

“We’re going to see lots of big numbers over the course of the next several weeks in countries around the world. And this shouldn’t be a surprise. This virus is just acting like a highly transmissible respiratory virus.”

"We're seeing a variant that has the capability of high transmissibility, meaning that it's very readily transmitted, and that has been the variant that ultimately wins the kind of the king of the hill for the viruses, as Delta basically replaced Alpha, which replaced previous strains."

"This thing is no longer just throwing curveballs at us—it’s throwing 210-mile-an-hour curveballs at us."

"Clearly, case numbers are still climbing. All the indications we have in terms of test positivity rate would suggest we still have more to go with this surge before we hit the peak."

"I don't know what's going to happen over the next few weeks. But I have a feeling it's not going to be pretty."

"You can use any of the three [COVID booster] vaccines to help you achieve that better protection, so use what's most available, and just go with that. The most important thing is get your booster doses."

"This is what I call corrected science. You'll learn, you implement, you study it, and we're trying to make it better....And that's what we're catching up with now—the idea of how we can provide even better protection [with additional COVID vaccine doses]."

"[The status of the University of Minnesota] just speaks to the power of if you get enough people vaccinated, you really can reduce transmission substantially"

"[Delayed second doses of COVID-19 vaccine] may have had a much more superior response because we know immunologically that people’s immune systems may be much better primed for that second dose if they wait until that whole maturation process is accomplished."

"[COVID-19] cannot be attributed to human behavior no matter how much we wish it were so.... As I've said over and over, 'We're riding this tiger, we're not driving it.'"