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Ebola Ron Klain White House

White House explains Klain’s role

17 Oct, 2014

Press secretary Josh Earnest says the White House was looking for an ‘implementation expert’, not necessarily someone qualified in Ebola treatment. He tells CBS that Klain is responsible for coordinating the approach to the virus between the various agencies such as USAID and AfriCom overseas and the DHS and CDC domestically:

This administration, under the direction of the President, is pursuing a whole-of-government approach…it is the responsibility of Mr Klain to coordinate those efforts across agencies to make sure we are maximizing this whole-of-government approach.

Klain was selected for his experience in private- and public-sector management:

The president wanted someone who could working in a coordinating function…what we were looking for is not an Ebola expert but an implementation expert.

Some Republicans and political commentators have referred to Klain as a ‘czar’:

They’re certainly welcome to do that. We describe him as the Ebola response coordinator.

He is reporting to Rice and Monaco, but Pres. Obama remains in ultimate charge of the Ebola response.