White House Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco, who has no professional medical expertise, was named by the White House as the point person in charge of coordinating the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
Earlier this month, prior to widespread criticism of the handling of the first Ebola case in the U.S., Monaco assured the public the government had the outbreak under control.
“We know how to do this, and we will do it again,” Monaco said at a press briefing.
“It’s very important to remind the American people that the U.S. has the most capable health-care system and the most capable doctors in the world, bar none,” Monaco said.
In describing Monaco’s role, press secretary Josh Earnest seemed to anticipate criticism of her lack of medical credentials, explaining each agency has its own medical experts.
“Lisa Monaco is the president’s Homeland Security adviser, and she is the one that, from here at the White House, continues to play the role of coordinating the efforts of all of those agencies. But ultimately, each of those agencies understands exactly what they’re responsible for, and they have experts in this field that can ensure the American people remain safe,” Earnest said.
Earnest pointed out Monaco was in charge of coordinating the government’s response after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., urged the White House over the weekend to name an Ebola “czar.”
Criticized for a lack of a “czar,” Earnest told reporters “the inter-agency coordination effort is something that is being monitored and run – very capably, I might add – by Lisa Monaco.”
Monaco’s professional history concentrates mostly on law. She has no medical training.
She is currently Obama’s homeland security adviser and chief counter-terrorism adviser. She is also a statutory member of the U.S. Homeland Security Council.
Monaco served as assistant attorney general for National Security from 2011 to 2013 and was a principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department.
She is a graduate of Harvard and the University of Chicago Law School. In 1996, she was employed in the Clinton White House Legal Counsel’s Office.
She also served as deputy chief of staff and counselor to the director and then chief of staff at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.