Dr. Mehmet Oz, better known to the public simply as Dr. Oz, announced at the end of last year that he would be running as a Republican for the Pennsylvania Senate. Dr. Oz announced that he would be running for this chair as a reaction to the way the 2020 Pandemic was handled. Stating that he was frustrated by the “arrogant, close-minded people in charge” for closing schools and businesses during the pandemic.
Dr. Oz is a heart surgeon who started off as a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but his ultimate claim to fame came later on when he started his own show called “The Dr. Oz Show.” He uses this platform to tackle any and every issue relating to health, with many of his episodes promoting special weight-loss diets and other health fads.
Of course, running for Senate means interacting with politicians and establishing a clear platform on important issues, but this isn’t Dr. Oz’s first time navigating political waters. Back in 2014, Dr. Oz faced ridicule by Senators for promoting weight loss scams and using false advertising for promotional gains. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri critiqued Oz for making claims about dietary supplements as being a “magic weight-loss cure” and “the No.1 miracle in a bottle.” McCaskill stated, “I don’t get why you say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” going on to critique the doctor for using his platform to mislead naive viewers and “cheapening” his show. Dr. Oz defended himself by saying, “My job, I feel, on this show is to be a cheerleader for the audience when they don’t think they have hope and they don’t think they can make it happen… It jump-starts you. It gives you the confidence to keep going.”
Currently, Dr. Oz is in the race for Senate, hoping to take the seat of the former, Trump-endorsed candidate, Sean Parnell, who resigned after losing custody of his children and facing abuse accusations. The chair that Dr. Oz is after could be vital in determining whether Republicans or Democrats hold the majority. Republicans are hoping that Dr. Oz’s platform and mission to “…fix the problems and help us heal,” will be able to grant their party the extra seat.