NewsNational

Actions

Obama names Ron Klain 'Ebola czar'

WCPO-Default-Image_1280x720.png
Posted at 10:47 AM, Oct 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-17 11:17:38-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Barack Obama has named Ron Klain the country's 'Ebola czar,' according to multiple reports.

Klain is the former chief of staff to two Democratic vice presidents: Al Gore and Vice President Joe Biden.

Under pressure to unify and lead the U.S. response against Ebola, Obama stated Thursday it "may be appropriate" to designate a single individual to head the administration effort. 

Ebola virus is marked by severe bleeding, organ failure, and in many cases, death. It can be found in humans and non-human primates, such as monkeys. The disease is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a person infected with Ebola, objects that have been contaminated with the virus and infected animals. An Ebola vaccine approved by the Federal Drug Administration is not available -- though many vaccines are currently being researched. People diagnosed with Ebola are isolated and given treatments to help with symptoms. No cases have been reported in the Tri-State area.

The current team of Ebola advisors includes Centers for Disease Control director Thomas Frieden and Lisa Monaco, Obama's top counterterrorism adviser.

Both individuals are also confronting other priorities. Obama noted Thursday that Frieden is also dealing with flu season and Monaco and national security adviser Susan Rice, with the Islamic State extremists in the Middle East.

"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 we are crossing all the Ts and dotting all the Is," Obama said.

According to a White House official that spoke Friday to the Washington Post in an email, 

"(Klain) will report directly to the President’s Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco and the President National Security Advisor Susan Rice as he ensures that efforts to protect the American people by detecting, isolating and treating Ebola patients in this country are properly integrated but don’t distract from the aggressive commitment to stopping Ebola at the source in West Africa."

Klain is currently president of Case Holdings and General Counsel of Revolution, an investment group.

Information from CNN, The Washington Post and The Associated Press was used in this report.