If you’re going to appoint a “czar” to coordinate a national response to a disease that has infected all of two people within the United States, my vote would be for somebody who will give a press conference every day about how completely ridiculous it is that we’ve appointed a “czar” to coordinate a national response to a disease that has infected all of two people within the United States. Can we get a flu czar? How about a “parents who negligently refuse to vaccinate their kids” czar? Either one of those things is going to needlessly kill more Americans than Ebola.
But, OK, people are panicking and the government needs to Do Something, so we’ve got a “czar,” Ron Klain. Klain is a career bureaucrat who should know how to coordinate an interdepartmental response to a crisis (well, “crisis”), which is exactly the kind of person the job requires. Only he’s not a doctor, which matters because I guess the federal government doesn’t have access to any other doctors and this was their one chance to hire one, or something. But Republicans, who are now complaining about Klain’s lack of an M.D., were just pushing people like Colin Powell, Robert Gates, and Mike Leavitt, not a medical degree among them (but at least they’re all Republicans!), for the job, and there was an apparently genuine push on the right fringe for Ben Carson, who is a doctor but is not a specialist in communicable diseases and is also certifiably batshit insane, to get the job (or a job; Hewitt was apparently asking him about serving as surgeon general and not as Ebola “czar”). Can we at least agree that Klain is as qualified for the role as any of these alternatives?