Jewish health official resigns after antisemitic backlash amid COVID-19

Acton, whose resignation was official on Thursday, will become the chief health adviser to Gov. Mike DeWine.

A militia group from Ohio protests against the state's extended stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) demonstrate at the Capitol building in Columbus, Ohio, U.S. April 20, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/SETH HERALD)
A militia group from Ohio protests against the state's extended stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) demonstrate at the Capitol building in Columbus, Ohio, U.S. April 20, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/SETH HERALD)
(JTA) — Amy Acton, the Jewish Department of Health director in Ohio who came under fire for the stay-at-home orders to stem the coronavirus crisis, including armed protesters carrying signs with antisemitic messages, has resigned.
Acton, whose resignation was official on Thursday, will become the chief health adviser to Gov. Mike DeWine.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Acton was compared to the Nazis for supporting a reopening plan that included issuing certificates of immunity to businesses, and a “globalist,” an antisemitic slur, for extending stay-at-home orders in May.
Last month, the state’s House of Representatives passed legislation to limit Acton’s powers.
Ohio began lifting coronavirus restrictions in stages on May 4.
Protesters gathered in front of her Columbus-area home on weekends, some carrying guns and shouting slogans or carrying signs bearing antisemitic and sexist rhetoric, The Washington Post reported.
“While I’m pleased that Dr. Acton will continue to advise Governor DeWine on health issues, I can’t help but be disappointed by her resignation as health director,” Kenny Yuko, the state Senate’s minority leader, a Democrat, told the Columbus Dispatch. “She endured an incredible amount of unfair criticism, including some antisemitic attacks. All those who have insulted, harassed or threatened her and her family should be ashamed.”
Acton appeared on a CNN town hall co-hosted by “Sesame Street” on Saturday.


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