President Obama's Ebola czar will begin work on Wednesday, as the administration scrambles to better coordinate the federal government’s response to the deadly disease.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters that Ron Klain, the former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, has not participated in Ebola meetings with President Obama despite being tapped to manage the federal response on Friday.
The White House has been criticized for the selection of Klain, a Democratic Party insider with no background fighting infectious diseases. And some have wondered why Klain hasn’t yet started his official duties, considering the risks of the Ebola threat.
Yet, the White House on Monday said officials had expedited the timeline for Klain to begin work.
“It is not that long of a lapse and as a student of the federal government, you know that the onboarding process” takes weeks or months, Schultz said.
The White House spokesman told reporters that Klain would be paid for his work but did not disclose the compensation terms of his employment.
Klain will also not take part in a hearing on Capitol Hill Friday devoted to Ebola since it is just “day three of his tenure,” Schultz said.