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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 10, 1998
                         STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I am extremely pleased that the Senate, with strong bipartisan support, voted to confirm Dr. David Satcher as the nation's next Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health. I commend the Senate for voting to make Dr. Satcher the leading voice for our nation's public health.

No one is better qualified than Dr. Satcher to be America's doctor. He is a mainstream physician who is an eloquent advocate for the health of all Americans. As Director of the Center for Disease Control, David Satcher has helped lead our fights to improve the safety of our food, wipe out the scourge of infectious disease, expand access to vital cancer screening, and increase child immunization rates to an all time high.

As Surgeon General, Dr. Satcher will continue to fight to improve health for all Americans. He will speak directly to the American people -- giving us straight talk and sound advice. He will engage us in an ongoing conversation about physical activity, good nutrition, prevention, and responsible behavior. He will guide our nation on the most important public health issues of our time, including tobacco. This year, Dr. Satcher will be a leading voice as we work to pass comprehensive legislation that will help to free our children from the grip of tobacco. I look forward to working with him on this and other important challenges that lie before us.

I would like to thank the Republican and the Democratic Leadership, for shepherding this nomination through the Senate. I would also like to add my thanks to Senators Jeffords, Frist, Kennedy, Mack, and Hatch for their strong support for this extremely qualified nominee. I also commend the representatives from physicians, nurses, other health professionals, and the public health community for their steadfast support of Dr. Satcher's nomination. Their combined leadership made a vital contribution toward improving the health of all Americans.