What you missed in Columbus for Sept. 14

Andy Downing
adowning@columbusalive.com
Dr. Joan Duwve, State Director of Public Health speaks near South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster during a press conference in July. Duwve withdrew from consideration to lead Ohio's health department only hours after Gov. Mike DeWine announced her pick.

Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that Dr. Joan Duwve would replace the departed Dr. Amy Acton as Ohio health director. But within hours of making the announcement, Duwve removed herself from consideration, later citing the harassment that Acton experienced in her role guiding Ohio’s citizens through the earliest days of the pandemic as a primary reason (recall the armed right wing protesters that made themselves a regular presence outside of Acton’s Bexley home).

In this article, a pair of Cincinnati Enquirer reporters explore why the process of finding a new Ohio health director has proved to be such an undertaking, pointing to everything from the difficulty of finding a candidate who can be approved by the GOP-controlled legislature to the toxic, far right politicization of everything COVID.  

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We’ve recently written aboutthe dangerous, growing QAnon conspiracy theory, which has now started to become entangled with the fires currently ravaging the West Coast.

Beginning late last week, Oregon authorities pleaded with the public to only trust and share information about the fires shared by official sources, besieged by a deluge of 911 calls related toa false, QAnon-pushed rumor that Antifa was behind the fires. The rumors have stoked the potential for real-world violence,with Buzzfeed reporting on a couple that was almost ambushed by armed militia members who pegged them for Antifa arsonists.

The Antifa fire-starter rumors were initially allowed to propagate via Facebook,which has since taken action to remove the false stories from the site. The move likely arrives too late, though, withThe Guardian reporting on the private, unmonitored Facebook groups that have continued to stoke falsehoods unchecked.

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In a difficult, heartrending read, Oregon's Statesman Journal detailed one father’s tragic story of loss, which offers a snapshot into the human tragedy still unfolding amid the fires out west. Brace yourself for this one.

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On Saturday, the Crew got punched in the mouth by the Chicago Fire, giving up two goals in 15 minutes. To the team’s credit, it fought back to earn a 2-2 draw, continuing its successful relaunch of the 2020 season.

“I think we didn’t start the game with the right mentality and everybody got surprised with the first goal and then the second right away,”midfielder Artur said. “It was hurting us, and we don’t like when we have those feelings. So we just got to come back, and everybody was together and everybody was sure that we could come back.”

This is an attitude that should serve the team well as it moves toward what looks as though it could be a championship run.

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Finally, in an upside down year we can all take some solace in the fact thatthe Browns will always be the Browns.