Dr. Oz — the Politician?

local politics, Politics

Jada Urbaez, Staff

When someone mentions Dr. Oz, does the Pennsylvania Senate come to mind? Probably not, since Dr. Oz is popularly known for his 13-season health show that began in 2009. 

The Dr. Oz Show was a daytime television talk show first aired in 2009 and the last episode was just under two weeks ago, Jan. 14, 2022. The show discussed health issues and the Dr. Oz gave explanations and sometimes advice. The sudden shift to politics may raise eyebrows due to his popular background of medicine. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz announced in Nov. 2021 that he plans on running for the open Republican seat for the PA Senate. Until recently, Dr. Oz’s political views were mostly unknown since the TV personality did not profess his opinions publicly. However, FOX News has recently hosted Dr. Oz on their show numerous times, including once where the physician shared his opinion on COVID-19 closings and precautions. 

As many schools have switched to online instruction, there is a divide within communities on whether it would be best to keep the schools closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, or to reopen them. Some may argue it is safe, effective and ideal to have students attend school virtually to prevent infection and possibly death. Others think attending school in person has many benefits that outweigh the risks of spreading the coronavirus disease. 

Restaurants, arenas, stores, and malls were also closed due to the health crisis and caused distress to the public. Similar to the closing of schools, people had opposing and passionate opinions about when and how to resume everyday activities. In 2020, Dr. Oz expressed on FOX News that he thinks some facilities should reopen and can be done without “getting into a lot of trouble.” At the time of this interview, schools around the United States had been recently closed for about three weeks. Dr. Oz continued by saying that opening schools would likely result in a 2-3 percent mortality rate, which “might be a trade-off some folks would consider.” 

After his FOX interview, many people criticized Dr. Oz for his comments, some taking offense and strongly disagreeing. Due to his comments causing controversy, Dr. Oz published an apology video to Twitter, admitting his choice of words may have “upset people” and he had “misspoke”. The general election takes place on Nov. 8, 2022 while the primary election falls on May 8, 2022. Registered voters in Pennsylvania will elect a member of the United States Senate, and every vote counts. Make sure to register to vote, as PA does not engage in automatic voter registration.