Amy Acton Quits Columbus Foundation, Possible Move to Gear Up for U.S. Senate Run


Late last week, several media outlets reported Dr. Amy Acton resigned as Director of Human:Kind – a Columbus Foundation project – a move that feeds speculation she is preparing to run for US Senate in 2022.

This is the third resignation by Acton in less than a year.

The first was when she left the post of Director at the Ohio Department of Health in June in the middle of the COVID pandemic and amidst rising opposition to the state’s COVID policies – mandates one judge called “arbitrary, unreasonable and oppressive.”

The move left attorney Lance Himes to fill the Director’s chair.

Acton cast exponentially incorrect modeling, surmised that COVID spread on surfaces, and said it would be her dream for Ohioans to have immunization passports before being allowed to go about their daily living.

“A couple weeks ago the big buzz was having a test that could show you had it and in some countries they’re looking at certificates to say that and that you are immune and then, therefore, kind of [be] able to go about your business – and I think that would be a dream thing if we can get to something like that,” the former Health Director said in an April 2020 COVID press briefing.

Acton was then hired by DeWine (during a statewide government hiring freeze) as his Health Advisor – an off-camera role that continued her previous $230,000+ salary (before benefits).

She left again in August to return to where she was when DeWine appointed her in 2019 – The Columbus Foundation.

There she assumed a new role according to one report for a new initiative “dedicated to spreading the words and actions of kindness as a defining value for our region.”

Acton burst onto the scene when she canceled the March 17 primary election – an 11th hour move after attempts to close the polls late in the hours on March 16 by Governor Mike DeWine and Secretary Frank LaRose were rejected by the judiciary.

From March to June DeWine and Acton were on TV nearly every day delivering updated statistics on COVID and the State response to the virus – it was then that Acton became virtually a household name.

After her resignations, several news outlets in Ohio claimed the way Acton was treated (protests at the Statehouse and later at her home) drove her decision to quit. At the time, Acton said she quit as ODH Director because she was spread too thin.

When DeWine announced in September that Dr. Joan Duwve would take over as ODH Director, the appointee resigned just hours after the announcement.  Media reports claimed the resignation was driven by the treatment Acton received in the role.

If Acton runs, she will very likely run as a Democrat.  While a part-time doctor in 2008, she was a grassroots activist for then-candidate Barack Obama.  According to a report, she voted a Democratic ballot in 2008 and again in 2018 (DeWine ran as a Republican during the ’18 gubernatorial election) but voted only on issues in 2020 and not candidates.

When DeWine was asked during a COVID briefing last week to comment on Acton’s probable announcement, he had “no comment” other than to say “I’m going to stay out of the Democrat primaries.”

During Ohio COVID briefings, Acton mentioned her connections to Dr. Jim Yong Kim (Kim Yong), a former Harvard prof that President Obama nominated to lead the World Bank.  She, along with the Governor, mentioned their ties to Partners in Health Co-Founder (along with Kim Yong) Paul Farmer through their collaborative work in Haiti.  Farmer is a proponent of socialized medicine and claims capitalism is “structural violence” responsible for many social ills.

Partners in Health provided guidance to the ODH on matters involving testing, tracing, isolating and quarantining.

Acton has been praised by the New York Times and appeared on Sesame Street.

But her inaccurate comments continued as late as mid-January when she said “[w]e really have it within our power to help one another through the next few months, especially as our hospitals are being overwhelmed.” Reports show at that time hospitalizations from COVID were down as warnings of holiday spikes never manifested.

Acton was an associate professor of global public health at The Ohio State University.

She has never held, nor run for, a public office.

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Jack Windsor is Statehouse Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an independent investigative reporter. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips at your event at [email protected] 





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