Also Friday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined a growing chorus of officials in calling for a ban on air travel into the United States from countries worst hit in the latest Ebola outbreak.
Perry spoke after it was revealed that Obama was selecting Ron Klain as the first U.S. Ebola "czar."
Klain's appointment comes as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has been overseeing Ebola containment efforts, has come under fire for its handling of an initial case in Dallas that led to two nurses becoming infected this month, as well as the monitoring of well over a hundred other people who had exposure to these Ebola patients.
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CDC has been criticized for not having immediately sent a larger team to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, and for shifting recommendations about the protective gear used by health-care workers dealing with Ebola patients.
Obama on Thursday first talked about naming an Ebola czar, saying, "It may be appropriate for me to appoint an additional person, not because they haven't been doing an outstanding job, really working hard on this issue, but they are also responsible for a whole bunch of other stuff."
The appointment of Klain, who is a lawyer and not a medical doctor, adds yet another face to the administration's response to the Ebola crisis, which at various times have included CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Obama himself.
Klain will report to Obama's national security advisor, Susan Rice, as well as to Lisa Monaco, the White House counterterrorism advisor.
"We call him the 'Ebola response coordinator,' " said White House spokesman Josh Earnest about Klain, who will assume his new responsibilities "very soon."
Klain "has a strong management experience both inside and outside government . . . has strong relationships with members of Congress," Earnest noted as he said Klain would be in charge of making sure US health-care, military, customs and homeland security agencies all worked well together in their response to the deadly virus.
Brushing aside concerns about Klain's lack of health-care experience, Earnset said Obama was looking for "an implementation expert . . . and that is exactly what is needed."
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