Obama Appoints New Ebola ‘Czar’; Choice Receives Praise, Criticism

News sources discuss U.S. President Barack Obama’s appointment of Ron Klain as the U.S. Ebola coordinator.

New York Times: Obama Names Democratic Operative to Coordinate Ebola Response
“President Obama named a trusted political adviser on Friday to take over the government’s response to the deadly Ebola virus, as health officials in two states worked to track a growing list of people who may have been exposed because of missteps in quarantine and containment…” (Tavernise/Smith, 10/17).

New York Times: Before Ebola, New Czar Handled Political Crises
“…A seasoned crisis-response operative and veteran of Democratic administrations and campaigns, Mr. Klain, 53, is charged with managing the federal efforts to monitor and contain the deadly virus that has touched off a wave of anxiety in the United States and raised questions about the competence of Mr. Obama’s administration…” (Davis, 10/17).

Foreign Policy: Obama’s Ebola Czar Immediately Panned for Lacking Public Health Experience
“In an effort to placate Congress and reassure the American public that the Ebola virus would not spread across the country, President Barack Obama appointed Ron Klain, a political operative with no apparent public health experience, to oversee the government’s response…” (Francis, 10/17).

The Hill: Praise, criticism for Obama’s Ebola czar pick
“President Obama’s selection to lead the administration’s Ebola response drew both praise and criticism from guests on the Sunday morning political shows…” (Barron-Lopez, 10/19).

The Hill: White House mocks criticism of Ebola czar
“The White House dismissed Republican criticism of the selection of longtime Democratic aide Ron Klain to head the federal Ebola response, suggesting the GOP was ‘seeking to score political points’ before Election Day…” (Sink, 10/17).

Reuters: Obama names former adviser to coordinate U.S. Ebola response
“President Barack Obama has asked former White House adviser Ron Klain to coordinate U.S. efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak, an administration official said on Friday, after criticism the government’s response to the virus has been slow and inadequate…” (Mason/Chiacu, 10/17).

Reuters: U.S. Ebola czar seeks to reverse government mistakes, step up response
“U.S. Ebola czar Ron Klain faces a hefty to-do list when he begins his new role: soothe Americans’ jitters about the virus, fix federal coordination with states, and restore a sense of control over the crisis that the White House had lost…” (Mason/Rampton, 10/20).

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