I love Ohio. I love its four seasons, its traditions and the state’s place in American history.
Some Buckeyes love Ohio as much as Texans love Texas, as much as West Virginians love West Virginia.
It’s just that we aren’t as mouthy about it.
But what other state can boast of producing the first Americans to conquer the physics of flight, the first American to orbit space and the first human to set foot on the moon?
No other state has generated more presidents; none sent more Union generals to the Civil War.
Granted, Ohio is not the sexist place to live, like, say, Ibiza, Dubai or Paris. We’re growing too old. We need more well-educated young adults, and we must become more diverse. But Ohio is populated by decent and hard-working people who don’t mind living close to the ground.
That said, as much as I love Ohio, I am equally embarrassed by Ohioans’ mistreatment of Dr. Amy Acton.
Perhaps in the noise of the news, you may have missed that Acton resigned from public service last week as the state’s chief medical adviser.
Two months ago, she resigned as director of the Ohio Department of Health, a thankless job that earned her barbs of anti-semitism, armed pickets and harassment by the very people for whom she was working.
Like any human, Acton made mistakes. At the outset of the outbreak, she overestimated the number of possible cases.
We know more about the disease today than we did six months ago. In six more months, we’ll know even more.
But in what may be one of the greatest ironies ever, some of the same people who screamed for Acton’s head, have wholeheartedly embraced a group of physicians who are making dubious claims about a Coronavirus cure.
America’s Frontline Doctors recently held a news conference on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to push back on the scientific consensus about COVID-19.
The star of the event was Dr. Stella Immanuel, a pediatrician-pastor from Houston who falsely claimed that the malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine cures COVID-19, and that masks are unnecessary.
Rejecting peer studies and expertise from all quarters, Immanuel announced, without proof, that she’s cured 350 patients with the drug.
But wait — there’s more.
Emmanuel also claims that scientists are creating a vaccine to turn people into secularists using alien DNA, and that the government is run in part by reptiles. She further claims that uterine fibroids and other gynecological maladies are the results of women having sex with demons in their sleep.
Yikes. Somebody had a bitter divorce.
Immanuel has threatened to have God zap gobsmacked critics who take issue with her loopy pronouncements.
So much for “Do no harm.”
When their dog-and-pony show went viral, President Trump lavished praise on the doctors, describing Immanuel as “tremendous.” But when a reporter pressed Trump on some of Immanuel’s wackier beliefs, he stammered like Ralph Kramden and backed away from his own endorsement like he was moon-walking up a ramp.
This infection threatens to go around and around like a hamster wheel, all because some people are conflating inconvenience with an attack on their freedoms. They disparage science and expertise as “elitist.”
When did that become a bad thing? Acton was homeless as a child, so she is hardly a dilettante. But she is a good physician who deserves much better than the disrespect she’s had to endure.
Deliberate medical misinformation driven by superstition, paranoia and politics is a reminder that somebody has to graduate from the bottom of the class.