Obama appoints US Ebola czar as total cases in Africa near 10,000

Ebola Outbreak

President Barack Obama speaks to the media about the government’s Ebola response, in the Oval Office of the White House Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

He has tackled the financial crisis, served two vice presidents and been portrayed by Kevin Spacey in an HBO film, but Ron Klain’s newest job as the U.S. point person on Ebola may be his toughest challenge to date.

A longtime Democratic operative, Klain was tasked Friday by President Barack Obama with running the government’s response to the Ebola crisis. Klain has been a trusted adviser at the Obama White House, and served as Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff from 2009 to 2011 and as Vice President Al Gore’s from 1995 to 1999.

Data: WHO

Klain has been out of government since leaving Biden’s office during the Obama’s first term. The White House said that Klain would report to national security adviser Susan Rice and to homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.

Klain, a lawyer, also served as chief of staff for Vice President Al Gore and was a key figure during the 2000 Florida presidential election recount. He previously served under Attorney General Janet Reno in the Clinton administration.

One thing absent from Klain’s resume: A medical background. Klain does not have any major public health experience, but the White House is calling the new post an “Ebola response coordinator,” suggesting the role is intended more to synchronize the actions of various agencies rather than to weigh in on the specifics of how best to stop Ebola.

“This is much broader than a medical response,” Earnest said. He cited Klain’s management in the private and public sector and his relations with Congress and within the White House.

“All of that means he is the right person for the job, and the right person to make sure we are integrating the interagency response to this significant challenge,” he said.

Obama has been under pressure to name an Ebola “czar” to oversee health security in the U.S. and actions to help stem the outbreak in West Africa, where nearly 4,500 people have died from the virus.

White House officials had initially resisted congressional calls to name a lead figure on Ebola, arguing that various agencies had distinct responsibilities, including the Centers for Disease Control, the Defense Department, and the Health and Human Services Department.

But on Thursday, Obama conceded that such a point person might in fact be necessary even as he praised his adviser for doing “an outstanding job.”

Ebola leaving dozens of Liberian children orphaned or abandoned

More than half of the Ebola victims are from Liberia. The latest official figures show that the virus has killed almost 2,500 people there leaving many families struggling to cope and hundreds of children orphaned or abandoned. CCTV America’s Katerina Vittozzi reports.

Ebola leaving dozens of Liberian children orphaned or abandoned

Ebola leaving dozens of Liberian children orphaned or abandoned

More than half of the Ebola victims are from Liberia. The latest official figures show that the virus has killed almost 2,500 people there. That's left many families struggling to cope and hundreds of children orphaned or abandoned. CCTV America's Katerina Vittozzi reports.

UNICEF estimates 3,700 West African children have lost either one of both parents to Ebola so far and that this number will soar before the outbreak is contained.

Ebola outbreak spurs production of protective suits

The Ebola virus has taken a significant toll on health care workers. An estimated 236 of them have died already in West Africa and many more have been infected. That makes the protective suits that medical professionals wear critical to their safety. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

Ebola outbreak spurs production of protective suits

Ebola outbreak spurs production of protective suits

The Ebola virus has taken a significant toll on health care workers. An estimated 236 of them have died already in West Africa and many more have been infected. That makes the protective suits that medical professionals wear critical to their safety. CCTV America's Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

Julie Fischer of George Washington University discusses how countries handle Ebola

For more information about how countries handle the Ebola epidemic, CCTV America interviewed Julie Fischer, a health policy professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

Julie Fischer of George Washington University discusses how countries handle Ebola

Julie Fischer of George Washington University discusses how countries handle Ebola

Julie Fischer, a health policy professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University discusses how countries handle the Ebola epidemic.

Rise in Ebola outbreaks associated with deforestation

Experts have been trying to figure out what’s behind the recent rise in Ebola cases. Some have turned to nature, specifically the trees, for a possible answer. Some scientists argue that the shrinking size of forests could put people in closer contact with disease carrying wildlife and that possibility is causing global concerns. For more on the impact of global deforestation, CCTV America interviewed Susanne Breitkopf, the Senior Political Advisor for Greenpeace International.

Ebola outbreaks associated with deforestation

Ebola outbreaks associated with deforestation

Experts have been trying to figure out what's behind the recent rise in Ebola cases. Some have turned to nature, specifically the trees, for a possible answer. Some scientists argue that the shrinking size of forests could put people in closer contact with disease carrying wildlife and that possibility is causing global concerns. For more on the impact of global deforestation, CCTV America interviewed Susanne Breitkopf, the Senior Political Advisor for Greenpeace International.

US officials evaluate Ebola response efforts

The second nurse infected with the Ebola virus in the United States remains under quarantine. New information coming from the airline in which she flew has authorities scrambling to effectively respond to a viral scare which every day adds more people under the “risk factor list”. CCTV America’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports from Atlanta, Georgia.

US officials evaluate Ebola response efforts

US officials evaluate Ebola response efforts

The second nurse infected with the Ebola virus in the United States remains under quarantine. New information coming from the airline in which she flew has authorities scrambling to effectively respond to a viral scare which every day adds more people under the "risk factor list". CCTV America's Nitza Soledad Perez reports from Atlanta, Georgia.

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Compiled from CCTV America and Associated Press Reports