Last week President Obama appointed a lobbyist and Democrat Party operative as his “Ebola Czar,” but since Ron Klain took the position he has skipped most of the meetings, hearings, and status updates on the government response to the deadly virus.
The White House reported that Klain, who has no medical training at all, will skip an upcoming Congressional hearing Friday. He has already skipped the two “all hands” meetings at the White House as officials begin to make plans to address the virus.
The White House said that Klain will skip the upcoming hearing with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee but will likely appear before a Senate hearing next month.
The administration said that Klain will start his new job on Wednesday.
Klain has been seen entering the White House twice in the last few days to meet with Obama or his team.
Klain’s appointment met with criticism because the appointee has no medical expertise to offer in the face of the Ebola crisis.
“Mr. Klain is not a doctor, he’s not a health care professional,” Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said over the weekend on CNN.
“He doesn’t have background in these issues. We don’t need a White House political operative, which is what Mr. Klain has been,” he continued. “What we need is presidential leadership. The person who needs to be on top of this is the president of the United States.”
Klain is best known for handling former Vice President Al Gore’s recount effort during his challenge to the 2000 election results in Florida. The VP appointed Klain, his former chief of staff, as his General Counsel of the Gore Recount Committee.
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