In place of our usual “What We Heard This Week” feature, and as part of our year-end wrap-ups, we’ve selected some of the best quotes our reporters heard in 2023.
“It is a horrifying prospect that many more individuals could die because they will be forced to remain pregnant against their will.” — Jen Villavicencio, MD, of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, on how maternal mortality in the U.S. will likely be impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
“The evil hand is mother nature.” — Paul Offit, MD, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, explaining in January why Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine work is not gain-of-function research.
“Everybody is a little bit anxious, and they are watching this.” — William Schaffner, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, on a study published in February showing mammal-to-mammal transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza on a mink farm in Spain.
“Why do you need this much money? A 400% price increase is preposterous.” — Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) pressing Moderna’s CEO to lower the price of its COVID-19 vaccine (Spikevax) during a March hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
“It verges on malpractice.” — Adrian Hernandez, MD, of the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina, commenting in March on a MedPage Today investigative report that showed Texas physician Stella Immanuel, MD, was the nation’s top prescriber of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin over the past 2 years.
“It’s total charlatanism.” — Thomas Albini, MD, of the University of Miami in Florida, discussing eye injuries from unproven stem cell treatments claiming to treat eye and neurological conditions in June.
“This has never been shown before in a human.” — Jayme Locke, MD, MPH, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine, in August, discussing a successful pig-to-human kidney xenotransplant that assumed normal functioning in a brain-dead decedent.
“We’ve got to do both, because we cannot treat dead people.” — White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta, MD, MPH, on how policymakers need to focus both on opioid treatment and on stopping drug traffickers.
“This case could spell the beginning of the end for private equity’s unwelcome intrusion at the bedside.” — Robert McNamara, MD, of Temple University in Philadelphia, speaking in September on the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against U.S. Anesthesia Partners and its private equity backers.
“Melatonin is not equivalent to a warm glass of milk.” — Pieter Cohen, MD, of Cambridge Health Alliance in Somerville, Massachusetts, discussing the high rate of mislabeled melatonin gummies.
“They are the gatekeepers in patient care.” — Linda Murphy, president of revenue cycle solutions at AMN Healthcare, on the influence doctors have over commercial health insurer claims.
“You can’t yoga your way out of this.” — Lindsey Myers, MPH, of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, on a pilot program designed to fight burnout among the public health workforce.
“I can’t just sit back and walk away with a settlement.” — Ming Lin, MD, an emergency medicine physician who was fired early in the COVID pandemic for airing alleged safety concerns.
“The nose is the front door of the brain.” — Ray Dorsey, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, describing how inhaled toxicants may play a role in the development of Parkinson’s and other brain diseases.
“It’s a rip-off and it’s got to stop.” — Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), discussing Medicare Advantage marketing schemes during a Senate Finance Committee meeting in October.