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(WJW) — Dr. Amy Acton has returned to the spotlight, but not in an official capacity for the state of Ohio.

Instead, the former state health director — who received considerable pushback during her time as an adviser for Gov. Mike DeWine — has opted to give her first interview since leaving government this summer, because, as she said, “the world is on fire and we have to fight now!”

Speaking to the New Yorker, Acton said that as the coronavirus cases continue to increase in the country, leaders need to “lay down the science of how we could lose another 200,000 people, just like that.” 

Acton is reportedly back with the nonprofit the Columbus Foundation, but, according to the article, still counsels DeWine unofficially. No longer in the public eye, Acton said she’s been thinking a lot about kindness these days.

“The real battle is that people are suffering,” she told the magazine. “We’re seeing the diseases of despair, like depression. Overdoses are up. There’s not a person I meet, from any walk of life, who’s not struggling right now, to make sense of it all, to tolerate ambiguity. Add the election; add the racial unrest.”

Among the revelations in the article: Acton is not scared of Ohio talk radio host Mike Trivisonno.

After finding out he said he would punch an adviser in the face if they’d quit on him in a crisis, she had this to say: “I’m from Youngstown, and I’m kind of scrappy, and a part of me wanted to say, ‘All right, mister, you’re so tough—let’s go.’” 

You can find the entire New Yorker article right here.

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