Ohio Public Health Director

Dr. Amy Acton Resigns

By: Don Bryant     6-11-2020

COLUMBUS—Governor Mike DeWine has announced the resignation of his Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton. The governor said that she thinks “it’s time.” 

 

Acton will continue to serve DeWine as his Chief Health Advisor, a position where he says she can continue to serve the people of Ohio in a meaningful way. 

 

Lance Himes, who previously served as interim director will resume the role.

 

Internal issues amongst Ohio Republican leadership may have influenced the decision for Acton to resign. Just a few weeks ago, State Representative Jon Cross (R-Kenton), bashed DeWine for following Acton’s public health orders on May 29th, which included delaying the commencement of local fairs.  https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/revised-business-guidance-sd.pdf

Cross said he was not given any notice that new orders would be coming out and was upset at the governor for enacting them before consulting with the legislature. 

 

“Have you gotten your ass out of the governor’s mansion,” Cross said during a Facebook live broadcast, in reference to the effect business closures have had in his district. 

 

Republican Representative, Nino Vitale, has also lamented over DeWine’s decision to follow Acton’s advice, calling the governor, “Emperor DeWine.”

 

“Thanks to DeWine, Husted and Acton, almost 20% of Ohio is out of work, a 44-year high, while other states have opened back up for almost 2 weeks and counting,” Vitale stated. 

Pictured is Dr. Acton showing the capacity for Ohio's hospitals back in late March when she indicated how intervening early to slow the spread of COVID-19 could result in fewer peak cases.

Over the past months Democrats have blasted Republicans over their treatment of Dr. Acton and their unwillingness to follow the guidance of the Public Health Department. 

 

After an Ohio House vote was issued by Republicans in May to limit the powers of Dr. Acton, Ohio State Representative and Democratic House Leader Emilia Sykes openly chastised her colleagues. 

 

"The Ohio Department of Health has had quarantine and isolation powers since it was established in 1886, and its director has never before needed JCARR oversight, until that director in charge of a pandemic was a woman. A woman who has gained national praise for her prudent and quick response to the coronavirus pandemic and whose decisive actions have saved Ohio lives,"

Sykes said.

Governor DeWine, who is a Republican, has gained national attention for his leadership during the COVID-19 crisis and especially among Democrats. 

 

We will continue to follow this story closely as more information is received. 

 

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