Georgetown professor drops class to become U.S. Ebola coordinator
Facing increasing criticism and hysteria over the West African Ebola outbreak, President Barack Obama appointed Ronald Klain (CAS ’83) as Ebola Czar to coordinate the U.S. response to the deadly virus. An adjunct professor in the Government Department, Klain will probably not continue teaching his class at Georgetown.
Klain has taught the Presidential Debates government seminar (GOVT 339) at Georgetown since 2012, but is unsure if his role as Ebola coordinator will require dropping the class.
Klain’s students say that he’s not going to continue teaching.
“Prof. Klain will not be able to continue to teach our class on Monday nights since being named Ebola response coordinator,” Daniel Marrow (COL ’15), one of Klain’s students, wrote in an email to Vox. “He will continue to grade the next few assignments, but Prof. Michael Bailey, chair of the Government Department, will let us know when they have found a suitable replacement.”
“Prof. Klain has made every effort to ensure that we still reap the benefits of this class and of having had him as our Professor even though he will no longer be able to teach this semester,” Marrow wrote.
Monday, Oct. 20 was the class’s last meeting since Klain starts his new job on Oct. 22.
Obama’s choice of Klain as Ebola response coordinator has drawn a great deal of criticism. Though Klain has extensive experience as a lawyer and was chief of staff for Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore and an adviser in Bill Clinton‘s (SFS ’68) White House, many Republicans say he has no experience in health care.
Republican Representative Andy Harris of Maryland tweeted his frustration: “Worst ebola epidemic in world history and Pres. Obama puts a government bureaucrat with no healthcare experience in charge. Is he serious?”
Biden, however, has got Klain’s back.
“There’s no one better at getting govt to work at its best than Ron Klain. He’s a tested manager & problem-solver, and a trusted advisor. –vp,” Biden wrote in a tweet.
Photo: CDC Global via Flickr