Ron Klain: Biden’s pick for White House Chief of Staff served as ‘Ebola Czar’
US President-elect Joe Biden has named Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff amid reluctance from President Donald Trump to concede defeat after the recently concluded elections. As the coronavirus pandemic remains a major challenge for Biden, Klain’s appointment as the next White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President holds significance since he served as “Ebola czar” under the Obama administration.
Klain, a longtime aide to Biden, has been highly critical of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 241,000 lives in the United States alone. The 59-year-old political consultant served as Biden’s vice presidential chief of staff from 2009 to 2011 and also played a key role in his election campaign. The White House chief of staff will be responsible for overseeing the hiring and management of all White House personnel, president’s daily meetings and manage negotiations with Congress.
Klain is neither a doctor nor a public health expert but his stint as the White House Ebola Response Coordinator during the Obama administration helped avert a wider health catastrophe. Obama lauded Klain’s work in coordinating the US response, saying he had taken on “a challenge that many called insurmountable, and, in leading the team responsible for tremendous progress, helped remind the world what makes America exceptional.”
Klain has long been rumoured as a top contender for the position, especially after Biden shared a video clip from his Twitter handle in which his aide highlighted the shortcomings of US response to Covid-19. With the help of a whiteboard, Klain also presented Biden’s plan to address the disaster. The video garnered has garnered over 4.5 million views so far.
“Back in 2015, when I finished serving as White House Ebola Response Coordinator, I urged President Obama and Vice-President Biden to set up a permanent pandemic prevention response office...They did and that office was doing a great job but in 2018, Donald Trump abolished the office,” said Klain.
He has worked as an advisor on President-elect Biden’s 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns. Klain also served as Chief of Staff for Vice President Al Gore, Chief of Staff and Counselor to Attorney General Janet Reno, and Staff Director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Committee. Klain graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Law School and was a summa cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, where he serves an Adjunct Professor. He is married to Monica Medina and they have three grown children.
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