The euphoric haze/alcohol buzz from last night is gone:
Earlier today, President Barack Obama announced that he would be appointing Ron Klain as an additional Ebola czar (he already had one before today). If Ron Klain sounds familiar to you, it’s because he has a long political pedigree. He has no medical, scientific, or federal agency administrative expertise, but he has a whole lot of political experience.
In January of 2011, Klain stepped down as chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden. Before that, Ron Klain was a well-connected Washington lobbyist. According to Senate lobbying disclosure records, Klain’s clients included Fannie Mae, U.S. Airways, Time Warner, CIGNA, and Imclone.
Klain also worked as chief of staff for former Vice President Al Gore, Janet Reno, the Senate Democratic Leadership Committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. But that’s not all! Ron Klain did debate prep for both Obama and former president Bill Clinton. And if that weren’t enough, Klain was also general counsel of Al Gore’s election recount committee in 2000.
Ron Klain has a lot of experience. Unfortunately, absolutely none of it is related to public health, epidemiology, or cross-agency administration.
That Obama would appoint a long-time Democratic operative with zero public health or federal administrative experience tells us everything we need to know about how Obama views the Ebola panic: Ebola is a political problem for the White House, not a public health problem for the nation.
A far-fetched plot device in sci-fi and horror films is where the heroes are trying to warn everyone that bad things are happening and getting worse but the government is more interested in covering their asses than protecting the public. I guess it’s not so far-fetched after all.
If I was looking for an Ebola Czar one of the first names on my list would be Ben Carson. Too bad C. Everett Koop isn’t around anymore.
We need someone who will do and say what needs to be done and said, and the hell with poll numbers or political spin.
Instead, we got a political hack.
We are so fucked.