Dr. Amy Acton is the Director of the Ohio Health Department. She is the only government agent legally responsible for the Ohio COVID-19 lockdown. She has signed every order closing every business and dictating every lockdown policy. This is the reality because Ohio law grants the Governor no emergency powers over quarantines which is the result of an obscure law that the Ohio Legislature has refused to reform (O.R.C. 3701.13).
The state and national media have all played along with this legal masquerade presenting the front that Governor Mike DeWine is calling all the shots. But the law gives Dr. Acton alone the “ultimate authority” over every quarantine decision being made in Ohio. So she signs all the orders.
Dr. Acton’s primary authority in this crisis has been the “models” which she defines as “following the science”. So far Dr. Acton has used at least three different models as the foundation for her actions “to save lives”. All three models have proven to be wrong.
On April 6th, Dr. Acton stated she would begin teaching Ohioans “modeling 101” so that the people would understand her methods of decision making. On April 7th, the Associated Press published an article citing multiple experts who contributed to the conclusion “all models are wrong.”
This conclusion is not just a clever turn of phrase. It reveals a deep confusion between theoretical projections and factual evidence. This confusion has been plied against Governors, the media and the President. Models that are wrong are the platform of policies that have shut down the American economy and stripped every person of their civil rights. These models have been the basis for decisions that have cost Americans trillions of dollars but far worse, policies based on these models are now costing lives.
Instead of prioritizing care for the elderly and most vulnerable to COVID-19, the models and their instructors have inspired the panic and process of lockdowns. That panic has placed more focus on daily news conferences than on protecting patients, medical workers and those most at risk. Lockdowns are producing massive losses in state tax revenues which will leave lawmakers with no money to meet the second or third wave of the virus.
Americans trusted these doctors and gave them the opportunity to help define reality in this crisis. Political leaders turned the reigns of the economy based upon the doctors’ modeled research. No one thought the advice of these scientists would be based upon a methodology that is known to be predictably wrong. So now that we all know, why should we still be listening when those same doctors tell us to keep America shut down until the next model comes along?
Dr. Birx of the President’s Task Force tried to break out of this bind. In March she stated that there is now enough factual evidence on the virus that we should start making decisions based upon the real numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Her opinion was swiftly swept away by a new set of models. Dr. Birx was right. It is time we open our eyes to the factual evidence and manage this crisis based on real data and leave the models behind.
David Zanotti serves as the CEO of the non-partisan American Policy Roundtable, established in 1980. He is the founder of The Public Square® Media Network and hosts the national broadcast The Public Square® heard on over 200 stations and online at thepublicsquare.com.