‘That’s a Society-Ending Pandemic’: What We Heard This Week


“That’s a society-ending pandemic.” — James Lawler, MD, MPH, of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Global Center for Health Security, on viruses with high case fatality rates and the unknown risks of the H5N1 avian flu.

“They’re looking for needles in haystacks.” — William Schaffner, MD, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, discussing possible seizure risk following COVID-19 vaccination in kids.

“We believe that kind of less is more.” — Robert Montgomery, MD, DPhil, of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, differentiating his team’s recent living pig kidney transplant from the world’s first performed last month.

“It is a band-aid solution to the wicked problem of misinformation.” — Becky Smullin Dawson, MPH, PhD, of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, commenting on X’s (formerly Twitter) new misinformation countermeasure.

“There are a lot of opportunities to try to protect infants against RSV.” — Jennifer Saper, MD, of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, on high vaccine interest among pregnant individuals.

“These drugs can cause a number of harms for these patients.” — Adam Sacarny, PhD, of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City, on antipsychotic use in older dementia patients.

“So often I hear patients say, ‘I feel normal or myself again,’ and are in disbelief.” — Smita Das, MD, PhD, MPH, chair of the Council on Addiction Psychiatry at the American Psychiatric Association, on benefits of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder.

“Canceled surgeries are sometimes never rescheduled.” — Anjali Dixit, MD, MPH, of Stanford University School of Medicine in California, questioning the clinical utility of pausing GLP-1 agonists before surgery.

“There are many ways that it could potentially go wrong.” — Douglas Johnson, MD, MSCI, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, after the use of AI tools in healthcare sparked a protest.

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