LENOX — Here are a few eye-opening statements that were made this past week — about vaccines, masks and the election — in our topsy-turvy nation:
"For it to be fully available to the American public, so we begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we are probably looking at late second quarter, third quarter 2021."
— Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"He was confused. It was an incorrect statement. ... We are ready at a much faster level than he said."
— President Donald Trump
"By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccine and get a majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that's likely not going to happen until the end of 2021."
— Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
"Let me be clear: I trust vaccines. I trust scientists. But, I don't trust Donald Trump, and at this moment, the American people can't either."
— Joe Biden, in a campaign speech Wednesday
"Maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don't like shaking hands with people. I don't have to shake hands with these disgusting people."
— Trump, quoted by former White House Coronavirus Task Force member Olivia Troye, now a Biden supporter, in a campaign video
"I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine."
"The mask is a mixed bag. There are some people — professionals — that don't like the mask, because of the touchiness and the touching and then you're touching everything else."
"Putting in a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, it's the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history."
— Attorney General William Barr, at Hillsdale (Mich.) College
"That's the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful thing I've ever heard."
— House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn
"When Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin. The drills that you've seen are nothing. If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it's going to be hard to get."
— Michael Caputo, Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for public affairs, now on a 60-day leave to attend to his physical and mental health
"I look at them [antifa] as a bunch of well funded ANARCHISTS & THUGS who are protected because the Comey/Mueller inspired FBI is simply unable, or unwilling, to find their funding source, and allows them to get away with `murder'. LAW & ORDER!"
— Trump, via Twitter
"It's not a group or an organization. It's a movement or an ideology."
-- FBI Director Chris Wray, testifying under oath before the House Homeland Security Committee
"There should be no doubt that the Postal Service is ready and committed to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives."
— U.S. Postal Service spokesman Dave Partenheimer
"The states have demonstrated that the defendants [President Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy] are involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service that likely will slow down delivery of ballots. They have also demonstrated that this attack on the Postal Service is likely to irreparably harm the states' ability to administer the 2020 general election."
— U.S. District Court Chief Justice Stanley Bastian, temporarily blocking operational changes within the Postal Service
"The future of America is in jeopardy. I know you don't want to live in a dark socialist Nation any more than I do, which is why the President and I need your support."
— Vice President Mike Pence, in an email to donors
And if you thought this week was bizarre, here's what could be ahead:
"We'll have a beautiful COVID vaccine like no one has ever seen, and I'll be the first one to take the shot on live TV from the Oval Office on Nov. 2. Tune in!"
"We thank Dr. Redfield for his service to our country and we wish him well in his future endeavors."
"Because we're underfunded, the Postal Service will deliver mail once a week on Fridays. Mail-in election ballots have to be postmarked by Sept. 30."
— Postmaster general and Trump mega-donor Louis DeJoy
Clarence Fanto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of The Berkshire Eagle.