Biden Names Ron Klain Chief of Staff: Here's What He Said About the Obama/Biden H1N1 Response
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Joe Biden has chosen his longtime adviser Ron Klain to be his chief of staff. Over the years, Klain has had extensive involvement in shaping the US judiciary as well as leading a response to a national virus crisis.
Klain's decades of government experience include time served with Vice President Biden during several global health scares. And his judicial work has involved the selection or confirmation of eight Supreme Court Justices during the Clinton and Obama administrations and during his time as chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1989-92.
Last year, Klain talked candidly about how the Obama White House handled the swine flu outbreak in 2009, revealing that it was only "luck" that prevented the H1N1 epidemic from becoming one of the deadliest viral outbreaks in US history.
"I was in the White House in 2009, 2010, I was working for Vice President Biden. I wasn't involved directly in the H1N1 response, but I lived through it as a White House staffer. What I would say about it is, a bunch of really great, really talented people working on it, and we did every possible thing wrong," Klain said in an event that was broadcast on C-SPAN.
"You know, 60 million Americans got H1N1 in that period of time, and it is purely a fortuity that this isn't one of the great mass casualty events in American history," he revealed. "Had nothing to do with us doing anything right. Just had to do with luck."
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Klain also served as the coordinator for the Ebola response during the 2014 outbreak. Biden said in a press release, "Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014."
Klain could also face the challenge of working with a divided Congress, including what is expected to be a Republican-controlled Senate, along with a House of Representatives where Republicans made significant gains during this year's elections.
In the Biden team's announcement about Klain, they used the term "president-elect" four times in just the first few sentences. In one of those sentences, the announcement stated, "In addition to supporting the president-elect, Klain will work to build a diverse, experienced and talented team to help President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris meet the urgent challenges facing the country."
In total, they used the terms "president-elect" or "vice president-elect" 13 times in the press release, clearly trying to drive home the point that they, like the establishment media, are rejecting all the election disputes in the US courts and aren't waiting until the Electoral College votes on December 14 to declare the next president.
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