Despite being on the job for more than 2 months, we’ve seen or heard little from President Obama’s “Ebola czar”, Ron Klain. In a rare appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, Klain came out to weigh in a several issues related to the lethal viral disease.
First, host Major Garrett jumped right into the issue at the CDC concerning the mishandling of a lab sample that exposed at least one lab technician.
Klain said that it’s obviously unacceptable to have any mishandling of Ebola materials.
“Dr. Frieden, the director of CDC, has promised a full review and a report within four weeks. But I also think it’s important to keep this in context. First of all, thanks to the other protocols and procedures in place, there was no risk to the public, no risk to the CDC campus generally. Only one technician was exposed. So far, she’s showing no signs of having the disease. She’s being monitored every day.”
Klain went on to praise the CDC saying, “I visited this lab on the CDC campus in October. They have been studying Ebola there for 20 years without single incident. They have processed more than 10,000 samples during this current crisis. They have saved thousands of lives. The CDC is a national treasure. People around the world look to us for leadership, for the kind of leadership they provided on the Ebola response. The American people should be very proud of the job that is being done in Atlanta by Dr. Frieden and the team at the CDC.”
Concerning the status of the largest known outbreak of Ebola virus, Garret asked Klain, Is this beaten, near beaten, or way from being beaten?
Mr. Klain told us to expect “the occasional case of Ebola that we will see from time to time on our shores”. He then went on to discuss West Africa:
“In West Africa, there’s a lot of progress in Liberia. We have gone from 50 to 100 new cases down to five to 10 new cases a day.
“But there is still a lot of work to be done in Sierra Leone and some troubling signs in Guinea. So, I think we’re nearing a pivot point in this, where the number of new cases overall in West Africa has somewhat stabilized. But this won’t be done until we get all the way to zero. It’s like a forest fire. A few embers burning, and the thing can reignite at any time.”
The host and “Czar” also talked about Ebola diagnostic tests and the “roadblocks” put in front of American volunteers who want to help.
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