Ebola Response Coordinator, Ron Klain, Spin Doctor
Exactly what is the new Ebola Response Coordinator, Ron Klain, qualified to do for the administration and the public in the Ebola crisis? Long time Lobbyist, former chief of staff to Al Gore and Vice President Joe Biden, is a well-known Democrat Operative and spin doctor. Apparently, he has no medical, scientific, crisis management, or federal agency administrative expertise. But he has a lot of experience in partisan politics.
According to Senate lobbying disclosure records, Klain’s clients included Fannie Mae, U.S. Airways, Time Warner, CIGNA, and Imclone. The administration touted his prior experience as implementing the failed $830 Billion Dollar Stimulus Program.
It appears at first glance his duty will be to spin any policy failures of this administration. When asked if he would be drawing a federal salary, the White House refused to answer.
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) issued a statement Friday, saying: “Leave it to President Obama to put a liberal political activist in charge of the administration’s Ebola response,” “If reports are true, his so-called Ebola Czar will be someone with no medical background, but who was responsible for administering the failed 2009 Obama stimulus program. Yet again, this president is more concerned with ideology than competence.”
Spinning the responsibility for this healthcare crisis Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said that a decade of stagnant spending has “slowed down” research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As a result, he said, the international community has been left playing catch-up on a potentially avoidable humanitarian catastrophe.
Although he had been quoted by Democrats repeatedly, the facts don’t show that reality and it fails to address the priorities the NIH had made when allocating funds, many having little or nothing to do with the healthcare of people, things like studying the attraction of fruit flies to younger, rather than older fruit flies. Never waste an opportunity to reach into taxpayer pockets for more money.
Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain’s job will be to spin this as a failure of Republicans to properly fund the CDC and the NIH.
There is also the very real possibility that this administration’s policies, the refusal to institute a travel ban against people with visas or passports from Western African countries that have an Ebola outbreak, and the sending of 4,000 of our military troops to that region, will result in tragedy for the United States. His job will be to be the spokesperson who tells us why that isn’t Obama’s responsibility.
Soldiers preparing for deployment to West Africa are given just four hours of Ebola-related training
According to the Daily Beast:
As the U.S. military rushes to combat Ebola in West Africa, soldiers are receiving on-the-fly instructions on how to protect themselves against the deadly virus.
American military operations to fight Ebola in Africa are unfolding quickly—forcing the military to come up with some procedures and protocols on the fly.
Soldiers preparing for deployment to West Africa are given just four hours of Ebola-related training before leaving to combat the epidemic. And the first 500 soldiers to arrive have been holing up in Liberian hotels and government facilities while the military builds longer-term infrastructure on the ground.
For soldiers at Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg preparing for their deployments to West Africa, Mobile Training Teams from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), based out of Fort Detrick, have been tasked with instructing them on Ebola protocols.
A team of two can train as many as 50 personnel over that four-hour time frame, USAMRIID told The Daily Beast. The training includes hands-on instruction on how to put on, remove, and decontaminate personal protective equipment, followed by a practical test to ensure that soldiers understand the procedures.
“All training is tiered to the level of risk each person may encounter,” said USAMRIID spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden.
The training process sounds daunting: One USA Today report described soldiers being told that Ebola “basically causes your body to eat itself from the inside out” and that Ebola is “worse” than what soldiers encountered in Afghanistan. Others reportedly heard that the disease is “catastrophic” and “frightening… with a high fatality rate,” though the chances of contracting it are low.
“I’ll be honest with you,” one soldier told the newspaper. “I’m kind of scared.”
The military maintains that the risk of contracting the virus is minimal. Ebola is not an airborne disease, and there are no plans for U.S. service members deployed to West Africa to have any contact with sick patients.
“I’m not an epidemiologist, but it’s been shown that this disease is most manifest when handling bodily fluid—blood, other sorts of fluids, and there is no plan right now for U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to do that,” Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, the officer in charge of America’s operations center in Liberia, told reporters Thursday. “As long as you exercise basic sanitation and cleanliness sort of protocols … I think the risk is relatively low.”
There are just over 500 military service members in West Africa, serving in Senegal and Liberia. A major part of their mission is logistics and construction: The U.S. military is building a 25-bed hospital and 17 Ebola treatment units, as well as training health-care providers in Liberia.
A small number of specially trained soldiers from USAMRIID are at the highest risk, and an exception to Williams’ comment that soldiers are not handling bodily fluids. These service members have been supporting a laboratory in Liberia to run Ebola tests on patient samples, but are also are highly prepared to deal with infectious diseases.
The first 500 American troops in Liberia are so far living in improvised quarters in hotels and government building, according to congressional and military sources. The military is working to transition in the future to “life support areas” that will house the thousands of soldiers who eventually arrive to support the U.S. mission to combat Ebola in West Africa, according to a military spokesman. They are also utilizing local drivers and vehicles to support their movements.