By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – US President Joe Biden on Friday formally confirmed the departure of his long-time Chief of Staff Ron Klain, announcing his COVID-19 response coordinator would now fill the senior White House role.
Klain served as Biden's chief of staff since the start of the administration in January 2021, and the president lauded him for his service, saying he wanted Klain to fill the role since he was elected president in November 2020.
"He was uniquely qualified given his prior public service. He knows how government works, how politics works, how Congress and the White House works," he said in a statement. "He is as tough, smart, determined, and persistent as anyone I have ever met."
Taking over for Klain will be Jeff Zients, Biden's COVID-19 response coordinator.
Zients, Biden said, "will continue Ron's example of smart, steady leadership, as we continue to work hard every day for the people we were sent here to serve."
"When I ran for office, I promised to make government work for the American people. That's what Jeff does. A big task ahead is now implementing the laws we've gotten passed efficiently and fairly," he added.
An official White House event will be held next week to mark the transition and thank Klain for his work.