By Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton
The U.S. moves came as the World Health Organization said the Ebola death toll in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had topped 4,500 and a cruise ship was turned away from a Mexican port over Ebola fears.
Obama, facing criticism from some lawmakers over his administration’s efforts to contain the hemorrhagic virus, appointed Ron Klain, a lawyer who had served as chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, to oversee the U.S. response.
The White House also said it would send senior personnel to Dallas to help federal, state and local officials there trying to identify and monitor people who came in contact with three people who caught the disease.
The three include Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the disease in the United States, and two nurses who were on the team of health workers caring for Duncan until his death last week.
Obama met with health and national security aides and “underscored that the domestic response to Ebola cases must be seamless at all levels,” the White House said in a statement.
It was the third consecutive day that Obama had convened officials to discuss what has become a major political issue for his Democratic administration ahead of mid-term elections next month.
The officials will include a Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinator, Kevin Hannes, and a White House liaison, Adrian Saenz, a presidential aide. Governor Rick Perry has named Texas emergency management chief W. Nim Kidd to coordinate the state Ebola effort, the White House said….READ MORE….