The White House doctor who oversaw the first Ebola outbreak in the United States has now become the president’s chief of staff.
The White Rose doctor, Dr. Tom Frieden, has been in the job less than two weeks after his appointment as acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday, and the public health emergency that created the CDC has lasted for less than a day.
The new position was created to replace Dr. William Thompson, who has been acting director since the first outbreak began in Texas in late March.
Dr. Thompson had been at the helm of the CDC since the start of the crisis and had been confirmed by a Senate confirmation hearing on May 13.
The move to replace him was widely expected.
Thompson and Frieden had previously been seen together at a briefing at the White Rose on Thursday and Friday, the Associated Press reported, and their appearances coincided with the start to the Ebola outbreak.
The appointment came just a day after the president gave his first public statement since he took office.
“I have no doubt that there is a very good chance that this pandemic is being caused by the same forces that are the cause of all the other problems plaguing our country, but unfortunately the people responsible for the disease are not the people we are elected to serve,” the president said at the time.
The president has been the main public face of the White Helmets organization, which has been tasked with transporting aid workers and other people from affected areas.
He also had his first official meeting with the president of Liberia, Dr Kailash Satyarthi, on Wednesday.
Dr Thompson and the WhiteRose were originally supposed to start working on the Ebola pandemic on Wednesday, but the Whitehouse announced it was postponing the meeting because of the Ebola situation.
In a statement, the WhiteHouse said the WhiteRoses were unable to work out details with Liberia, which had not yet declared a state of emergency.
The two White Rose team members will remain on standby for now while they investigate how the disease was brought into the country and are working closely with their local and international partners to ensure the full cooperation is possible.
Dr Frieden said Thursday that he was “deeply concerned” by the pandemic and his team’s role in handling it.
“While it has been a very tough few days, it has also been a great privilege to serve our country and to lead the effort to prevent and contain the outbreak,” Frieden told ABC News.
The position is in addition to Dr. Frieden’s current role as director of National Institutes of Health (NIH) research and development and he has served as acting deputy director of NIH for the last four years.
Dr Kaila Sattar, who led the WhiteRosers medical response efforts, is now serving as the acting director at the CDC.
The CDC has been battling the virus since the end of March and has been operating under a tight deadline of at least 72 hours for the virus to be contained in the country.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump called on the American public to do more to help the country, calling the pandemics response a “failure” and saying he would consider bringing in a “loser” to replace Frieden.