Obama will name Ron Klain as Ebola Czar
Obama names a guy with no health care background “Ebola Czar”
You really can’t make this stuff up.
Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama will appoint Ron Klain his “Ebola czar,” knowledgeable sources tell CNN.
The president on Thursday signaled his openness to the idea to have one individual coordinating the entire federal response to any threat of an outbreak in the United States.
Ronald Klain preps Obama for a foreign policy debate in Nevada in 2012.Ronald Klain preps Obama for a foreign policy debate in Nevada in 2012.
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“It may make sense for us to have one person … so that after this initial surge of activity, we can have a more regular process just to make sure that we’re crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s going forward,” Obama said.
The administration has been criticized for its response to the incidents of Ebola in the United States, in terms of how prepared hospitals have been for potential Ebola patients and also how prepared healthcare workers were in terms of their personal protective gear. Some lawmakers have called for a travel ban on individuals coming from West Africa where the outbreak is most serious but the administration has so far not embraced that idea.
Klain is highly regarded at the White House as a good manager with excellent relationships both in the administration and on Capitol Hill. His supervision of the allocation of funds in the stimulus act — at the time and incredible and complicated government undertaking — is respected in Washington. He does not have any extensive background in health care but the job is regarded as a managerial challenge.
“He’s strong. He’s very tough,” said CNN Political analyst David Gergen. “It’s important in this job to be a coordinator; you have to knock heads together. He’s tough enough to do that.”
Gergen said that while Klain doesn’t have a health care background, he does have both domestic policy and foreign policy assignments on his portfolio and both will come into play as the administration deals with Ebola.