TV personality Mehmet Oz, who is better known as Dr. Oz, announced that he is running in the Republican primary for the vacant United States Senate seat in Pennsylvania that will be up for election in 2022.
Oz is a surgeon and TV personality that gained fame in the 2000s as a frequent guest on the Oprah Winfrey show, The New York Times reported. In 2009, Oz started his own show focused on health, which was the number one show in the genre for 12 years. The Penn graduate earned both his M.D. and MBA from the University in 1986.
His Senate candidacy announcement follows the exit of Sean Parnell, who left the race in response to a court ruling that gave his estranged wife primary custody of their children. In Oz’s announcement of candidacy in The Washington Examiner, Oz wrote that he wants to run to help the state heal after seeing how the government handled the COVID-19 crisis.
During the pandemic, Oz was the subject of some controversy. In April 2020, Oz argued in favor of reopening schools, incorrectly citing a medical journal to back up his point. He also promoted hydroxychloroquine to fight the coronavirus in March 2020, though researchers were wary of the limited studies published about the effects of the drug.
Oz remains involved with his alma mater. In 2017, the Penn alumnus spoke to over 200 students at an event organized by Wharton Wellness and the Wharton Council advising students on how to achieve wellness in their lives.
Oz’s campaign announcement claims that he plans to use his platform to reinvigorate the country’s morale and foster dialogues between opposing viewpoints.
“I’m running for the Senate to empower you to control your destiny, to reinvigorate our great nation, and to reignite the divine spark that we should always be seeing in each other,” Oz wrote.