Ohioans can’t tolerate mob rule

He’s the duly elected governor of the state of Ohio, and she is now the duly appointed director of the state health department.

In another era, what happened to former director Dr. Amy Acton would be above the fold, front-page news, from the very beginning of a sorry saga through an outcome in which justice, in some form, was achieved. But in 2020, the age of our pandemic, the abuse Acton suffered and the abusers who inflicted it fell off the page as the death toll from the coronavirus continued to mount.

The erratic behavior out of Washington in response to the election, the shutdown and subsequent economic collapse in our nation and around the world, and a U.S. presidential election each pushed the Acton story aside; together and combined, they drowned it like a tsunami swallowing the coast.

It was the duly elected governor — Mike DeWine — who duly appointed Acton. The health orders she delivered in March were lawful orders, the same as, or similar to, other orders in other states and other countries. She was duly authorized to issue the orders, and DeWine, as governor, is duly empowered to accept and enforce them.

It was the right thing then and remains the right response in hindsight.

What was wrong — egregiously wrong — were the armed protests at the statehouse, the governor’s mansion and in front of Acton’s home. This was an improper response to difficult decisions that were lawfully rendered. And while we support the right to bear arms, we do not support the right of anyone, any person or group, the right to intimidate the public the way as it happened.

Looking in the rearview mirror, it was a shameful moment in the state’s history, and steps need to be considered how to avoid a repeat of that from happening again.

For now, Gov. DeWine has finally named a replacement for Acton, and their safety must be assured to the greatest degree possible. The new state health director, Stephanie McCloud, and the state’s new chief medical officer, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, must be allowed to work and consider the important decisions without the fear of a mob outside.

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