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The Czar of Ebola

By JOHN IRVINE

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As every American now knows, Ebola is a horrible African hemorrhagic fever with a high mortality rate and relatively low risk of transmission, except in cases where the disease is transmitted, where the risk of transmission is very high.

The disease has infected 8,000 people in West Africa. WHO officials predict that up to 1.5 million people could be infected by the end of January 2015.

In the United States Two people are known to have been infected with the disease.  Both are nurses.  Their names are Nina Pham an Amber Joy Vinson.

We now have an Ebola Czar to educate us about these facts and others as they become available.

Facing criticism from Congress this week over the handling of the crisis, President Obama named Ron Klain, a former chief of staff for vice president Joe Biden and Washington loyalist.  Critics wanted either somebody with a medical backround or experience handling infectious diseases. Until yesterday, Klain worked for Steve Case.

Technically, of course Klain is not a czar, although almost everybody will call him by that title. His technical title is Federal Ebola Response Coordinator.

“He is smart, aggressive, and levelheaded; exactly the qualities we need in a czar to steer our response to Ebola,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.).

“By appointing a Democrat political operative as the Ebola czar, it is clear that the president sees Ebola as a political crisis and not a health crisis,” said one critic, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R., La.).

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