“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."

"[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"

"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]."

"[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.'"

"We have people dying needlessly that don’t have to because they could have been vaccinated and protected. Of the 700,000 people that have died in this country from COVID, 400,000 have died since vaccines have been available. Many of those people could have been protected."

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

"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."

"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."