President Obama says he will appoint Ron Klain, former chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden, and a trusted adviser to the White House as the Ebola Czar for the United States. Ron Klain has been out of government since leaving Biden’s office during Obama’s first term, according to The Huffington Post. Klain is currently President of Case Holdings and General Counsel of Revolution, LLC, which is an investment group.
CNN reports that the government as been receiving an abundance of criticism in how it has handled the incidents of Ebola within the United States. There has been concern regarding the preparations of hospitals to receive and treat Ebola patients, in addition to the concern about the personal protective gear worn by all healthcare workers who are treating the Ebola patients. With the severity of this disease, and the recent outbreaks, there needs to be stricter guidelines and continuity, which Americans aren’t seeing.
There have been lawmakers, according to CNN, who have tried to ban anyone traveling from West Africa back into the United States. However, this is not an idea the U.S. government has welcomed.
It remains to be seen how the United States will react to Obama’s decision to name Ron Klain as Ebola Czar. Obama should be prepared to address Klain’s qualifications to such an incredibly important position which effects the lives of every citizen.
Klain is claimed to be highly regarded at the White House. Ron Klain, according to CNN, is considered to be “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 an incredible and complicated government undertaking — is respected in Washington.”
However, CNN goes on to report that Ron Klain “does not have any extensive background in health care.” In fact, he has NO health care background whatsoever. What Ron Klain does bring to the table is “both domestic policy and foreign policy assignments on his portfolio and both will come into play as the administration deals with Ebola,” as stated by David Gergen, CNN political analyst.
“He’s strong. He’s very tough. It’s important in this job to be a coordinator; you have to knock heads together. He’s tough enough to do that.”
The job of Ebola Czar is reportedly regarded as a managerial challenge, and doesn’t require a background in health care, although it might be reassuring to the United States if it did.
ABC News reports that up to this point, Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco had been in charge of working with the CDC and anyone else necessary to address an Ebola outbreak within the United States. Monaco is a lawyer whose background is in federal law enforcement, criminal prosecution, and crisis response. So now Obama seems to be transferring the Ebola responsibilities to yet another lawyer.
Obama addressed the Ebola issue and needing to name a Czar according to ABC News.
“The truth is, is that up until this point the individuals here have been running point and doing an outstanding job in dealing with what is a very complicated and fluid situation. However, it may make sense for us to have one person, in part just 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.”
That person will be Ron Klain.
If what Americans have learned about Ron Klain isn’t satisfactory enough, CNN has provided us with additional information. In addition to being former chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden, Klain has also served as chief of staff for former Vice President Al Gore. Ron Klain has also “clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court and headed up Gore’s effort during the 2000 Florida recount.” And let’s not forget that Klain was portrayed by Kevin Spacey in the HBO movie about that incident, entitled Recount.
[Photo Credit: Bloomberg.com, blogs.wsj.com]