In October 2014, in the throes of one of the worst epidemics in human history and facing mounting and sometimes partisan criticism of what some saw as delayed reaction to a crisis going out of control, then-President Barack Obama created the office of “Ebola response coordinator”—more commonly referred to as “Ebola Czar.” The Ebola czar was Ron Klain, who prior to his position was the chief of staff for Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden. Klain had no medical or public health experience, but was able to wrangle together a response that helped contain the virus’ vicious spread and effectively terminate the disease’s existence in West Africa by early 2015. “It makes sense for us to have one person [coordinating Ebola efforts] 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 at the time of Klain’s appointment. A few years later, in light of a recent outbreak that has begun to claim lives and spread at a worrisome rate, the question remains: Did Ron Klain’s legacy as the Ebola czar work? Are all the… Read full this story
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