Dr Oz made his name as a popular TV host - but Pennsylvania ruled he wasn’t fit for Senate

The doctor’s estimated net worth is around $200m

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 09 November 2022 13:30 GMT
Election 2022 Pennsylvania Republicans
Election 2022 Pennsylvania Republicans (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Before Dr Mehmet Oz, 62, was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in his bid for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, he was best known for his endorsement by another wealthy television host: Oprah Winfrey.

Now voters in the Keystone state have decided they don’t want him in Washington - instead electing Democrat John Fetterman in the 2022 midterms.

After a successful and highly publicised heart surgery in 1996, Dr Oz appeared on his first television show, Second Opinion with Dr Oz, which featured Ms Winfrey as its inaugural guest. Though the show only lasted a season, Ms Winfrey liked Dr Oz and invited him to be a regular medical expert on her show. He made more than 60 appearances on the show between 2004 and 2009, making him a household name.

In 2009, Ms Winfrey agreed to produce a medical show hosted by Dr Oz, which ran until January 2022.

While Dr Oz was a successful physician and even contributed to the development of heart surgery devices, he also faced allegations from within the medical community that he was peddling misinformation. In 2014, a group of 10 physicians demanded that Columbia University, where Dr Oz served as a professor, remove him due to his alleged "disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine."

The doctor also faced allegations that he indirectly killed hundreds of dogs during medical research he was leading. A whistleblower accused him of animal abuse, and Columbia was ultimately fined by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act stemming from the research.

Dr Oz has been active in politics since 2007, when he was reportedly active in his local chapter of the Republican Party in New Jersey. In 2018, he was appointed for a two year term on Mr Trump’s "Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition," and was reappointed for a second term. President Joe Biden asked for Dr Oz’s resignation in March 2022.

Several months before he was forced out of the Biden administration, Dr Oz announced his plan to run for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania against Democratic opponent Mr Fetterman, the lieutenant governor of the state.

The opponents sparred on social media for months, with Mr Fetterman accusing Dr Oz of carpetbagging and playing up the celebrity doctor’s substantial wealth as evidence he is not in touch with typical Americans. Dr Oz is estimated to be worth around $200m.

Dr Oz describes himself as a "moderate Republican," and holds positions that are generally in-line with Republican ideology, including opposition to abortion, supporting charter schools, US energy independence, opposition to China, support for Israel, and protection of the Second Amendment.

The doctor, along with his wife Lisa, have four children. Both Ms Oz and the couple’s daughter, Daphne, are or have been television hosts.

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