McCain: Ebola czar does not ‘fit the bill’

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who led the charge calling on President Obama to appoint a health czar to oversee the response to Ebola, says the president’s pick of Democratic operative Ron Klain is inadequate. 

“Frankly, I don’t think Mr. Klain fits the bill, as a partisan Democrat, certainly not in any effort to address this issue in a bipartisan fashion,” McCain said Friday evening on Fox News.

{mosads}”He has no experience or knowledge or background in medicine,” he added.

The White House announced earlier Friday that Obama planned to appoint Klain, a longtime Democratic aide and former chief of staff for Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden, to oversee the government’s response to the deadly outbreak.

Republicans immediately blasted the president’s pick as having no medical experience, including in dealing with Ebola. 

White House press secretary Josh Earnest dismissed the criticism, saying, “What we’re looking for here is an implementation expert.”

Republicans calls for an independent czar intensified as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden faced increased scrutiny at a Congressional hearing Thursday over the administration’s handling of the virus.

McCain said on Fox that Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell was the logical choice to fill the role of an Ebola czar, adding that she is a “very capable individual.”

McCain led the charge pushing Obama to appoint an Ebola czar when he appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, saying, “I’d like to know who’s in charge.”

He added that those traveling to the U.S. from Ebola-stricken nations should undergo a 21-day quarantine – the incubation period for the virus – and have their blood tested before being allowed into the U.S.

“There should be no one coming from those countries to the United States of America unless we’re absolutely sure that they have not been tainted by Ebola,” he added.

Nearly 70 lawmakers have called for the president to ban those traveling from a trio of West Africa nations combatting the disease from entering the U.S. 

This post was updated at 8:00 p.m.

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