"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."

"There has been so much focus this week on the transmissions, which is important. But that shouldn’t be confused with the incredible impact these vaccines are having, even in a surge situation. Cases may be going up, but you can’t dismiss the dramatic changes in the number of deaths."

"There has been so much focus this week on the transmissions, which is important. But that shouldn’t be confused with the incredible impact these vaccines are having, even in a surge situation. Cases may be going up, but you can’t dismiss the dramatic changes in the number of deaths."

"Data that showed a year ago that showed kids were only infrequently infected [by COVID-19], or only infrequently transmitting the virus, we now know is not the case. These [updated CDC] guidelines [on masking in schools] are really reflecting the science as we now have it today."

"We assume that when our healthcare workers are there to take care of us that they're also not going to harm us with an infectious disease they carry, so I think this is the one group that it's imperative that they are vaccinated....If a stick is necessary to protect the lives of patients, then I think that must be done."

"[The Olympics] is something we need desperately for the world psyche, but at the same time, they have to be safe. If in fact we see spreading events occur associated with the Olympics, that will be a mark that will last forever."

"You can't wait out the clock on this [Delta variant]....You have a choice. Either get vaccinated and be largely protected, or not get vaccinated and run the risk of being hospitalized, in intensive care, or even dying. And even last but not least, because we can't vaccinate our kids right now, we want to bubble those kids as much as we can."

"[Critics] used [inaccurate, early COVID projections] as fodder for showing how public health was not being honest to the public with those numbers. And that called into question a lot of credible things that were done."

"What's been missing [in the Tokyo Olympics' COVID policies] is an understanding that the Olympics are much more than just an athletic event."

"We can't count on our level of [COVID] vaccination to date as keeping us from having these regional surges."