COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Former Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton is speaking out for the first time since resigning back in June in an article from “The New Yorker.”
The author says Acton stepped down because she was concerned that she might be forced to sign health orders that violated an oath she took as a health care provider to “do no harm.”
At the time, the administration was under pressure from Republicans to reopen the state.
Acton says she’s still concerned about the surge and says bipartisan leadership is needed to address the crisis, no matter who wins the white house.
“The real battle is that people are suffering,” said Acton. “We’re seeing the diseases of despair, like depression. Overdoses are up. There’s not a person I meet, from any walk of life, who’s not struggling right now, to make sense of it all, to tolerate ambiguity. Add the election; add the racial unrest.”
Acton announced she would step down from the position on June 11, 2020 in a news conference with the governor.
Gov. DeWine said Acton would remain on as his Chief Health Advisor.
“Dr. Acton has told me that she felt that it was time for her to step down as Ohio Department of Health Director,” Gov. DeWine said. “I have asked her to now serve as my Chief Health Advisor where she will continue to serve the people of Ohio in a meaningful way.”
“I am here. I’m more determined than ever to help advance the health of all Ohioans,” Dr. Acton added.
Two months later she resigned as Chief Health Advisor and took a job with The Columbus Foundation.
Acton was named Director of Health on February 26, 2019, as the governor’s final cabinet member.