DeWine says he hid nothing from doctor who quit before she started

DeWine says he hid nothing from doctor who quit before she started

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday said he hid nothing from Dr. Joan Duwve, the South Carolina public health expert who he had hired, only to learn she quit before she started. Last week DeWine announced Duwve would become Ohio’s new Health Director and hours later learned she changed her mind. Duwve  confirmed the next day she declined DeWine’s job offer after she learned about the protests and harassment that the previous Director of Health, Dr. Amy Acton, had faced during the health crisis.

At his briefing Tuesday DeWine said there were multiple discussions with Duwve about what Acton had faced. “I do know some of the conversations in regard to the demonstrations, for example, at Dr. Acton’s home,” DeWine said.

DeWine said it was his impression that perhaps Duwve did not fully realize at the time when she accepted the job offer the amount of pressure that came with the job and how it would impact her and her family. Acton said earlier that her family had been harassed over her health orders during the early months of the pandemic. Duwve, in a statement released last week said, “My family is off limits,”

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When asked if the aggressive protests might make it harder to hire the next health director, DeWine said the pressure that comes with the job is common. “I don’t think we’re any different than any other state in hiring a health director. What you’re looking for is somebody who has the qualifications to do the job,” DeWine said.

The governor said he is still working to find yet another candidate for the position, as well as someone to fill the number two position in the health department. In the meantime he is relying on multiple medical experts in universities and hospital systems for guidance on how to handle the state response to coronavirus.

For now, DeWine said he is sticking with the current restrictions until a viable vaccine is readily available. “We’re in a battle. We are at war and it’s not over. We’re tired but we need to continue to rally. We have to continue to fight this,” DeWine said.