Doctor Amy Acton, Ohio’s health director, is stepping down.
The public face of the state’s response to the cornavirus pandemic, Acton has been nationally credited with creating Ohio’s quick and cautious response in controlling the spread of the virus, keeping the number of cases and fatalities low.
In his regular coronavirus update Governor Mike DeWine thanked Acton, and observed that “not all heroes wear capes; some wear white coats.” While her plain language and insistence on transparency about the evolving understanding of the pandemic inspired many, she also became the focus of resentment over the governor’s stay-at-home orders. Her home was picketed, and the Ohio House pushed a resolution to limit the powers of her office to issue emergency orders.
Acton will continue as the governor’s chief advisor on health issues. The Ohio Department of Health’s general counsel, Lance Himes, will take over as interim director.