Dr. Oz is getting into politics.
On Monday, TV star Dr. Mehmet Oz announced he is stepping into the race for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania as a Republican.
“Today, America’s heartbeat is in a code red in need of a defibrillator to shock it back to life,” he wrote on his website. “Many of us feel like we’re in the adjacent operating room, armed with insights and already scrubbed up but reluctant to leave our quiet, serene setting for the chaos next door. But for me, stepping into the political arena is the right thing to do.”
Dr. Oz continued his statement, describing his upbringing as the child of an immigrant, and how the COVID-19 pandemic, during which he was a prominent and controversial proponent hydroxychloroquine treatment, which has not shown to have any positive effect in COVID patients.
He also rallied against the closing of schools and businesses in the U.S. in the fight to stop the spread of the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of over 775,000 Americans.
Rumours about a potential run gained steam earlier this year. According to TMZ, Oz has made a multi-million-dollar media buy in the state and has hired a campaign staff, including a top Republican operative.
The daytime TV star is running to replace sitting Republican Pat Toomey, who announced last month that he will be retiring from office next year.
Dr. Oz gained widespread attention on TV, appearing on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” regularly for five seasons, before launching “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2009.
It is expected that he will step back from the talk show over the next few months and appear on Tuesday’s “Hannity” on Fox News to formally announce his run.
Despite his popularity, the medical doctor has been a target of criticism for promoting pseudoscience, unproven alternative medicines, weight loss scams, and more.
Dr. Oz isn’t the only celebrity who has recently mulled a political run. Matthew McConaughey had been considering campaigning to become governor of Texas, but over the weekend he announced in an Instagram video that he has no plans for a future in politics.