Pathogens are inevitable—but the scale of disaster accompanying this pandemic was not. Ronald Klain, President Obama’s Ebola czar, joins Nick and Goldy to discuss why the extent of economic collapse and deaths we’ve seen from COVID-19 is borne of government unpreparedness and leadership failure, not fate. nnRonald Klain is a lawyer who served as the White House Ebola response coordinator for President Obama. He has held a wide variety of legal and policy positions in government, including his service as chief of staff to VPs Biden and Gore, chief of staff to the attorney general, associate counsel to the president, and chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is currently an advisor to the Biden 2020 campaign.nnTwitter: @RonaldKlainnnFurther reading: nConfronting the Pandemic Threat: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/40/confronting-the-pandemic-threat/nWe’re past ‘if’ on the coronavirus. We’re on to ‘how bad will it be?’: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-coronavirus-has-landed-in-the-us-heres-how-we-can-reduce-the-risk/2020/01/22/afebe9ee-3d53-11ea-baca-eb7ace0a3455_story.htmlnTrump says US has coronavirus ‘completely under control’ as Washington state confirms first case outside of Asia: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-coronavirus-china-wuhan-disease-outbreak-airport-screening-travel-a9296926.htmlnObama’s ebola czar on what strong federal response looks like: https://www.wired.com/story/ebola-czar-ron-klain-federal-coronavirus-response/nThe huge cost of waiting to contain the pandemic: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/opinion/covid-social-distancing.htmlnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauernLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the first major staffing announcement of his incoming administration, President-elect Biden named Ron Klain, Obama’s ebola czar, as his chief of staff. We had a great conversation with Klain back in April, in which he argued that leadership failure and government unpreparedness made the pandemic much worse in the U.S. Now’s a great time to refresh yourself on this episode if you’re wondering how the Biden-Harris administration will respond to the coronavirus and approach wide-spread economic recovery.