Warm greetings to you all from Bethesda, Maryland. My name is Tony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. I am delighted to address the University of California Irvine School of Biological Sciences Class of 2020.
We are currently confronting an unprecedented global pandemic. I am profoundly aware that celebrating your graduation virtually, without the in-person support of your professors, fellow students and friends, is extremely disappointing at best. However, we must adapt to this extraordinary situation, as you have done so well, and unite in overcoming this COVID-19 challenge. Please hang in there. We need your talent, your energy, your resolve and your character to get through this difficult time. In the next phase of your lives, whether you help patients, conduct research on medical solutions, or more likely contribute simply as caring and connected members of society, all of you will be doing your part, together with the rest of us, to come out from under the shadow of this pandemic.
Your school’s mission of transforming human health through life sciences has imbued you with valuable training to become leaders in the biomedical response to this and the many other public health and medical challenges to come. Congratulations on your graduation and the incredibly hard work that brought you here!
Stay safe and I wish you all the best.