“Life is a gift, it’s an opportunity, but it’s also a responsibility,” Satcher says. “And I would advise [graduates] to take that seriously.”
Satcher says Zika virus disease is a threat that needs to be taken seriously and needs to be addressed swiftly and decisively.

”I’m very concerned about Zika,” he says, noting that the nature of the virus—that it attacks the brains of children developing in utero—is what concerns him most. “I wish Congress were too.”

Carried by mosquitos and transmitted through their bite, Zika causes symptoms such as fever and rash in the general population but can have severe consequences for babies of mothers who contract the disease. Due to a surge in documented cases, in February the Zika virus was named a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization.

“I’m not a politician; I don’t think it’s a political issue,” says Satcher, who says the CDC is going to need any support they ask for in fighting Zika. “I think it’s a humanitarian issue. I don’t think we should be comfortable with a virus like that moving throughout the world.”