Obama Admin places Haiti relief in hands of overdue-USAID appointee, Rajiv Shah, 36, (instead of military); medical supplies logistics snafus cause havoc, overburdening (even TV) doctors with needless casualties

The Haiti humanitarian aid operation, recent Obama appointee Rajiv Shah, 36, said, is being conducted in close coordination among USAID, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, other U.S.-government organizations including the Defense Department, and civilian agencies.

The Obama Administration has been criticized for critical delays caused by taking authority for the rescue mission away from the Pentagon in order to put in in the hands of the uninitiated State Dept appointee, Dr. Shah, who they hadn't appointed until 5 days prior to the Haitian earthquake.

“I think it has been a tremendously positive effect” Secretary of the State Ms Hillary Clinton is thrilled that Mr. Raj Shah is on board,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Mr PJ Crowley, told reporters at the daily State Department news conference yesterday.


CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta confirm the dearth of medical supplies and stabilizing resources are disillusioning the overtaxed surgeons, physicians, and nurses on location in Haiti.

National Public Radio criticizes TV medical correspondent physicians are putting themselves into the story at the expense of the patients.

"What disturbs me about the media doctors is that they are basically pulling telegenic people out of the queue and giving them exceptional resources," says Dr. Steven Miles, a medical professor and bioethicist at the University of Minnesota.

Miles served as the medical director of the American Refugee Committee for 25 years, and he has overseen relief efforts in places such as Cambodia, Laos and Banda Aceh, Indonesia. He says doctors who largely have experience working in highly advanced civil societies, including the U.S., may not understand the extreme choices facing those addressing catastrophes such as the one in Haiti.

If reporters who are also physicians want so badly to step out of their journalistic role to help, he argues, they should volunteer instead with relief agencies in Haiti — and set aside an hour a day to grant interviews to their network employers.