Dr. Oz says COVID-19 'steeled' him to run for office, calls on Fauci to resign
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Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is running in Pennsylvania’s competitive U.S. Senate Republican primary, called on Dr. Anthony Fauci to resign, warning that when you “mix politics and medicine, you get politics,” and telling Fox News the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged him to run for office.
Oz, during a sit-down interview with Fox News Digital on the sidelines of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), said the COVID-19 pandemic and the flawed public health messaging “steeled” him to run for office.
“There’s no question COVID steeled me to run for office because you better be pretty tough. Rhino skin to be able to deal with the criticism,” Oz said. “What really got me going is when I realized the duplicitousness of the process that an authoritarian overreaching government, a top-down approach, which was destined to fail, could be lied about, that you actually could see government conspiring with media and industry to tell stories that just really don’t match the reality of what we’re facing.”
He added: “That’s a really dangerous thing.”
Mehmet Oz, celebrity physician and U.S. Republican Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, center, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.
(Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Oz said that when he began to “get into the specifics on COVID,” he wanted to consider ideas that were “deserving of at least some analysis,” but instead were met with “silence.”
Oz was referring to hydroxychloroquine, a drug typically used to treat malaria that former President Trump discussed as a possible therapeutic early in the pandemic.
“Once he mentioned it, done — you couldn’t talk about that medication,” Oz said.
Oz said he also raised the possibility of children returning to school, but said the option upset “unions and democratic politicians.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 and new emerging variants, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
(Greg Nash/Pool via AP)
“So we went to war on things as simple as protecting our own kids,” Oz said. “And these are the realities that got me thinking what was it that messed up with COVID? Is it possible that Washington is also getting it wrong on the border? With inflation?”
Oz took a swipe at director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying he took “control” during the pandemic.
“When things didn’t work out the way he wanted, he began to work with the media to silence people who are raising their hands and saying we can do a better job,” Oz said. “That is really dangerous, because now, all of a sudden, everyone’s got to kowtow to one opinion.”
Oz told Fox News Digital he has “an issue with Dr. Fauci” and “challenged him to a debate.”
President Biden speaks during a meeting in the East Room of the White House Jan. 24, 2022.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
“I actually think he should resign,” Oz said. “He has given us a narrative around COVID that I do not believe was the correct one.”
“He’s silenced individuals who are raising their hands to help which you go to in medicine, and he’s also taking a draconian approach to using the information that is available and proclaiming narratives that have not been based on science, and they were more closely aligned with what the political realities of the time were,” Oz told Fox News.
Oz said he doesn’t “want a politician helping us with the national health narrative.”
“I’d rather have doctors doing it, but if you’re gonna have someone at the top, have someone who’s actually able to, at least transparently, show you what we got, and what our cards are that we’re holding.”
He added: “We have failed over and over again, and that has eroded the trust that Americans have in institutions.”
Oz said the erosion of trust is “really bad for medicine, because when we do have future issues come up, we want public health services that are able to help us,” he said. “We saw failure, after failure, after failure, and it is reflected in a disproportionately high number of Americans who died from COVID.”
He added: “We could have done much better. Don’t believe otherwise.”
Meanwhile, as for his campaign, Oz told Fox News he has been “fighting on the biggest stage,” referring to his daytime national television show.
“I’ve taken on Big Tech, taken on big chemical companies, Big Pharma that had been collaborating,” Oz said. “I’ve been taking on the U.S. government because, when I see wrong, and I want to empower my viewers and now my voters — I’ll go to bat for them.”
Pennsylvania is one of the key Senate races in the 2022 midterm election cycle that will decide control of the upper chamber.
The state’s GOP primary is one of the most hotly contested and most-watched of the cycle, as Oz faces off against a crowded field of Republicans, including former hedge fund CEO and veteran Dave McCormick. The candidates are all vying for the GOP nomination to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey in the battleground state.
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