October 7, 1987

The President today accepted with deep regret the resignation of Dr. W. Eugene Mayberry as Chairman and a member of the Presidential Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic.

Dr. Mayberry said: "I have been honored to be part of the Commission that you established to bring both public attention and health attention to the issue of AIDS. Your leadership has been important in setting a course for our country on dealing with this health problem.'' The President said: "I deeply regret that Gene Mayberry will not be able to continue serving as Chairman of the AIDS Commission. He brought to the Commission a well-respected background as the head of one of the world's most outstanding health facilities.''

The President today designated Adm. James D. Watkins, U.S. Navy, Ret., a current member of the Commission, as Chairman. Admiral Watkins is the former Chief of Naval Operations and currently directs the National Program for Personal Excellence.

"I am sure that Jim Watkins will provide the leadership that is necessary for this commission to review fully all aspects of the AIDS epidemic,'' the President said. The President met with Admiral Watkins today to discuss the work of the Commission. The Admiral expressed his willingness to devote his full time and energies in leading the Commission to complete its important task.