Harlan Spector

Harlan Spector

Harlan Spector is a Northeast Ohio writer focused on health care and other topics. He has decades of journalism experience as a former Cleveland Plain Dealer editor and enterprise reporter who covered health and medicine, government, social services, education and other areas. Follow Harlan on Twitter @harspector.


Without a statewide strategy for schools and sports, everyone is on their own

By: - August 31, 2020

Ohio has entered a new strange phase of the coronavirus pandemic. To borrow from a circulating meme, Ohio is where “college students go to school but don’t play sports, and high school students play sports but don’t go to school.” Gov. Mike DeWine in recent weeks gave the green light for a fall season of […]


Experts agree schools shouldn’t reopen until it’s safe. Elected leaders must act accordingly.

By: - August 3, 2020

It didn’t seem right that schools and parents are somehow expected to shoulder the staggering responsibility of deciding whether to return kids to the classroom amid a raging, unpredictable pandemic.  Is it safe to repopulate schools? How do we know? State and federal health agencies have churned out back-to-school guidelines that failed to address those […]


As COVID-19 surges, the idea of reopening schools is becoming very dangerous

By: - July 16, 2020

As the school year draws near, soaring COVID-19 cases in Ohio have raised doubts in some areas about whether public schools will be able to reopen on schedule.  School districts are set to roll out plans to start the school year, most involving combinations of classroom and remote learning. In my neck of the woods […]


DeWine should help save lives and the economy by mandating face masks in public

By: - July 2, 2020

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine knows what needs to be done. It’s as obvious as the mask-covered nose on his face. COVID-19 cases are spiking in Ohio, and spreading out of control in the South and West. The governor of Kansas this week ordered residents to wear face masks in public. Kansas is the 19th state […]


Dr. Amy Acton has been calming and competent. The vicious attacks on her have been madness.

By: - June 15, 2020

Ohio House Republicans had no problem some years ago when former Gov. John Kasich appointed his turnpike director, a former marketing and building industry person with no medical training, as state health director. Nothing against Rick Hodges, but it’s hard to imagine a person like him in that job now, leading the state’s response to […]


Public health orders have been litigated many times. They’re constitutional.

By: - May 11, 2020

Demonstrations against lockdown orders are like nothing we’ve experienced before, with anti-government activists, extremists and gun-toting militia men converging on state capitals. But the protests in Columbus and elsewhere also are part of a familiar pattern in America when government uses its broad powers to protect the public health. Seat-belt laws, anti-smoking laws and mandatory […]