TRANSCRIPT: Meeting 1, Swearing-in Ceremony


July 8, 2010


Washington, D.C.


Amy Gutmann, Ph.D.
Commission Chair

Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary of Health and Human Services


Amy Gutmann:
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct pleasure and honor to introduce a true defender of not only health and Human Services but the ethics and responsibility that goes along with providing great health and Human Services to our nation. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:
Well, thank you all very much. And I’m really pleased to be here on behalf of the President who is on a plane today heading to my home territory, Kansas City. But he wanted me to personally thank all of you, this distinguished panel of experts who has agreed to be part of the bioethics commission and to certainly thank Dr. Gutmann and Dr. Wagner for their willingness to be chair and vice chair of this critical initiative. I don’t think there’s any question this is an absolutely essential part of our scientific endeavor to ensure the American public that not only are we going to lead with science, but also that science will be guided by ethical standards. And this is a renowned group of experts who will help us do that. The President feels this initiative is critically important and starting with the challenge of synthetic biology I think puts it front and center. That is the first of many issues to be tackled. So it’s my great pleasure to not take up time from the deliberations, but also to welcome everyone to swear everyone in, to make sure that you all meet my assistant secretary of health, Dr. Howard Koh who also is a great scientist and we’re thrilled to have in the department. And then to swear all of you in. So, Dr. Gutmann, I think you get to put your hand on the Bible on behalf of everyone. And I’ll take that. And then everyone, if you would raise your right hands. And there is one point where you all have to say your own name. All right? And the rest of it you can just read along with me as I repeat. But your name should be inserted after the word "I." So here we go. I --Do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of this office on which I am about to enter, so help me God. Congratulations.
Amy Gutmann:
Thank you so much.
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:
Thank you so much. Good luck.
Amy Gutmann:
Thank you, thank you. Thank you all so much.

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