Monday, October 6, 2014

White House Says Many Agencies Are Taking The Lead On Ebola

The White House says Lisa Monaco is the point person, but other departments are leading parts of the epidemic response.

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There are a number different departments and agencies overseeing the U.S. Ebola response, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

Earnest described White House official Lisa Monaco as leading the "interagency response" to the epidemic:

Q: Just to follow up -- because Lisa Monaco has many other things on her plate, and this is such a multidisciplinary -- Ebola -- issue for the president, can you just clarify, who is his point person here in the White House to coordinate for him on this issue?

EARNEST: Lisa does have a lot on her plate, but she's a very talented individual, as you saw when she conducted the briefing here on Friday.

She is the point person here at the White House who is coordinating the interagency response to this effort, but again, it's USAID that's the point on the ground. They've been dealing with this situation for eight or nine months now, so they have a very good sense of what's needed there. You have the Department of Defense, that's responsible for putting in place this logistical infrastructure that reflects their own expertise in this area. We've already seen how that response from the United States military has galvanized the international community and their willingness to commit resources to this ongoing effort.

And in terms of the safety of the -- of the American public here at home, HHS and the Centers for Disease Control are the lead in communicating with state and local officials and with public health officials in states all across the country to ensure that they are all aware of the medical protocols that are in place and should be applied in this circumstance, and again, those professionals continue to be confident that the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is exceedingly low. OK?

Last week, Sen. Jerry Moran criticized the lack of a central figure in the administration overseeing the Ebola response, in an interview with BuzzFeed News.

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