The Osterholm Quotes

"The safety of labs in this country really needs a risk-benefit analysis."
“It's clear that what the NSABB was, and what it may be will be very different. The billion-dollar question is whether science, the government and most of all, citizens, will be lesser served. I'm afraid so.”
"If we’ve got lab problems in our best labs, does anyone really expect that the other labs of the world are going to do any better in terms of lab safety?”
"The last place you want to be mixing up samples is in influenza. The ability for that to jump from the lab bench to the community is substantially greater."
"We have freezers like this in the world. The likelihood of finding more smallpox virus is real."
"The freezers of the microbiology labs of the world are a lot like the trunks in your attic. When you open them up, sometimes you are surprised."
"If this type of problem can happen at a CDC lab, it points out the issues regarding gain-of-function lab accidents."
"From talking to people inside the Kingdom right now, I'd say there is a very new sense of transparency in the last few weeks."
"It really is a sign of the overall scientific investigation dysfunction that has occurred to date in Saudi Arabia."
"MERS is not a Kingdom of Saudi Arabia problem, and it's not a Middle East problem, it's an international problem—and it takes an international response to deal with it."
"I think whatever the explanation was for adding these new cases it is not good. It’s either a lack of a competent surveillance system or an intentional effort to report fewer cases.”
"We have no idea right now what makes a person more likely to transmit the virus."
“We in public health have to take a step back and not be so reassuring to the public that the chance of transmission is actually very small.”
"If they don't have animal contact, where do they pick it up? Potentially, asymptomatic cases."
"If one of those infected people gets on a plane and lands in London, Toronto, New York or Hong Kong and transmits [MERS] to another 30 people, everyone will have a different view."
"One of the problems we have with a MERS-like illness is that it also is very similar to a lot of early-onset illnesses from other respiratory pathogens. So you might very well think of it as influenza or some other respiratory pathogen."
"Each of these cases are kind of a throw at the genetic roulette table, and we can only hope that they don't result in extensive transmission."
"With a virus like this, you have to view this as a journey, not a yes or no event."
"Not using irradiation is the single greatest public health failure of the last part of the 20th century in America."
"This is really a pivotal moment in the evolution of MERS."
"We could be in the early days of another SARS-like event."
"We now have intentionally lowered the bar to the point . . . where we have made it possible for laboratories around the world to do this work."
“Protecting camels right now may be the single most important thing we can do to protect humans.”
“It's another reason why we need to accelerate efforts to come up with really game-changing flu vaccines.”
“While this phenomenon is not new, I think this is really the first time we’ve seen the direct relationship between sub-standard protection levels and the vaccine strain.”


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