Ron Klain, the newly appointed Ebola Czar, has come under harsh criticism from physicians for having no prior healthcare experience. Klain, formerly was Chief of Staff to Joe Biden and Al Gore and is known as a Washington insider. He is a lawyer with no formal medical training.
We asked our doctors, “Do you approve of the newly appointed Ebola Czar, Ron Klain?” The response was overwhelming:
- 79 % No
- 21% Yes
What Doctors Think of the Ebola Czar
A few physicians were willing to take a wait and see approach. One Physiatrist wrote, “There are few physicians qualified or competent to run a major government task force. He is running an organization, not making medical decisions. The team will likely contain qualified scientists and physicians as well as on-the-ground experienced people. I would reserve judgment until we see the team assembled, and the responses developed and implemented. Right now, it’s all just knee jerk reactions.”
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One ophthalmologist reflected the majority opinion. He wrote, “Something is terribly wrong when the Czar is obviously chosen on the basis of who is most likely to contain the political fallout, rather than who has the most expertise in containment of bio-hazard. The Czar should specialize in bio-terrorism and bio-warfare. This should be obvious to anyone who understands the medical, environmental, and healthcare systems hazards.”
Do We Need an Ebola Czar
Many physicians questioned why we needed another administrative position to execute on Ebola matters. One Family Practitioner asked about Nicole Lurie, MD, MPH, who is the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) for the Department of Health and Human Services.
From the HHS website, “The ASPR serves as the Secretary’s principal advisor on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The ASPR also coordinates interagency activities between HHS, other Federal departments, agencies, and offices, and State and local officials responsible for emergency preparedness and the protection of the civilian population from acts of bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The mission of the office is to lead the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters.”
As a physician, what do you think about the new Ebola Czar? What attributes should a candidate have? We discuss Ebola thoroughly on our new Infectious Disease Hub, if you’re an M.D. or D.O., please join us.