Amy Acton Steps Down as Ohio Governor’s Health Advisor, Will Return to Work for the Columbus Foundation


Dr. Amy Acton stepped down from her role as Governor Mike DeWine’s Chief Health Advisor, the Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday.

DeWine called Acton a “friend and advisor” on Twitter, saying that “she has assured [him] that she is just a phone call away and will be available to continuing advising [his administration] as [they] move through this pandemic.”

Acton will return to the private sector to resume working for The Columbus Foundation, where she worked before she was appointed the director of the Ohio Department of Health on February 26, 2019.

Acton resigned from the Health Department on June 11, 2020, stepping into a role as the Chief Health Advisor for DeWine’s administration.

During her tenure, Acton was a magnet for controversy throughout the coronavirus pandemic, garnering both praise and disgust from citizens and politicians alike.

Acton acted aggressively at the outset of the pandemic, drawing the ire of many for over-predicting the extent of the disease and over-reacting in response.

Acton drew heavy fire in March for estimating that as many as 100,000 Ohioans had contracted the virus at the beginning of March. This estimate came when Ohio was recording less than 20 new cases a day.

Later in March, Acton infamously predicted that Ohio could see between 8,000 and 10,000 new cases of the Chinese virus per day in the coming months. Ohio’s new daily case total peaked at 1,733 on July 30.

Acton became one of the primary targets of multiple protests in April. Ohioans demanded that the governor’s office end lockdowns across the state so they could return to work. One protest even saw the appearance of an anti-Semitic sign. It is believed that Acton, who is Jewish, was the prey of that sign.

A group of 25 protesters even demonstrated outside of Acton’s home in Bexley.

Bills introduced to the Ohio state legislature attempted to limit the Health Department’s ability to declare emergencies and order Acton to be more forthcoming with data related to COVID-19.

Multiple businesses also sued Acton over the lockdowns ordered by Governor DeWine and the Health Department.

Acton’s departure from the governor’s office marks one of the most controversial and tumultuous periods in recent Ohio history.

Acton will return to The Columbus Foundation on September 1, 2020. She will work as the Director of Kind Columbus, which is “dedicated to spreading the words and actions of kindness as a defining value for our region.”

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Sam Medley is a journalist at the Tennessee Star and Star News Network. You can follow Sam at Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]





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