As a matter of fact, we’d completely forgotten about Ron Klain, the “Where’s Waldo” of administration czars. The last we’d heard from him, the lobbyist and Democratic operative with no medical or health care experience announced in early December that he’d be returning to the private sector early this year. That’s not because Ebola has been eradicated; as Fortune noted, Klain was a “special government employee — a technical designation for short-termers that stipulates they’ll stay on the job no longer than 130 days.”
“We are not at the beginning of the end or even the end of the beginning” of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, he proclaimed in November, giving his expert update. Where does that leave us now? We have no idea, but the president issued a statement today praising Klain for his tireless work.
The president’s statement, in part, reads:
… I have known him to be nothing less than an effective, dedicated, and tireless manager and leader. And those traits have been on full display since October, as Ron has helped marshal our whole-of-government approach to tackle Ebola at the source in West Africa and to fortify our preparedness here at home. The results of that effort speak for themselves, so much so that we can now turn our focus to our ultimate goal of getting to zero cases in West Africa, which might have seemed unthinkable last fall.
As Ron finishes his tenure and returns to private life, I extend my gratitude for his service. He took on a challenge that many called insurmountable, and, in leading the team responsible for the tremendous progress, helped remind the world what makes America so exceptional.