Obama appoints Ebola ‘czar’

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Ron Klain

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.

“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 will report to both White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, according to a White House official.

A former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and also to then-Vice President Al Gore, Klain is currently President of Case Holdings and General Counsel of Revolution, an investment group. He has clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court and headed up Gore’s effort during the 2000 Florida recount. He could not be reached for comment on Friday.


  • Supreme Leader

    With Obama bringing Ebola into America and with Ebola having a 70% kill rate, I claim dibs on America’s Nukes! You may now bow down and kiss my hand, after all the Ebola is gone.

    • Rina VanKleef

      Hate to burst your bubble Supreme Leader but Obama does not have Ebola so exactly HOW did he bring it in this country? Secondly, so far there has been a 100% CURE RATE for ALL americans who were diagnosed and treated here. If you want to worry about something, wig out about the flu that kills thousands every year, or the enterovirus that has killed many children. Geesh!

      • Jeff T

        Regarding your claim to a 100% recovery record, you may want to tell it to the guy that died from ebola last week in Dallas,, he still thinks he is dead

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