Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon and host of TV’s “Dr. Oz Show,” is running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.
Oz, who announced his candidacy on Tuesday, is running as a Republican in the 2022 U.S. Senate race to succeed the retiring incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
Oz, a Pennsylvania native and former New Jersey resident who moved back to the Keystone State last year, tweeted a campaign announcement declaring that Pennsylvania “needs a conservative who will put America first.”
“Covid has shown us that our system is broken,” said Oz. “We lost too many lives, too many jobs, and too many opportunities because Washington got it wrong. It took away our freedom without making us safer and tried to kill our spirit and our dignity. As a heart surgeon, I know how precious life is. Pennsylvania needs a conservative who will put America first, one who can reignite our divine spark, bravely fight for freedom and tell it like it is. That’s why I’m running for Senate.”
Oz told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday that officials used Covid-19 as an excuse to take away people’s freedoms, and that their mistakes symbolized other issues in the country.
“Remember the phrase ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’, right? That metastasized into this incredible authoritarianism overreaching that did not necessarily make us safer,” Oz told Hannity. “Remember, they closed the parks. They shamed people about beaches, right? And now, they’re threatening the same overreach with the Omicron [variant].”
Oz told Hannity that he has and will continue to take on “Big Pharma,” and also vocalized his support for law enforcement in Pennsylvania and at the border. He also noted that parents know what is best for their children more than the government, and that parents should play a role in their children’s education.
Dr. Oz launched his campaign after former candidate Republican Sean Parnell, who received President Trump’s endorsement, suspended his campaign to reportedly focus on an ongoing custody battle with his estranged wife.
Oz, who was appointed by President Trump to the Presidential Council on Sports in 2018, will bring name recognition to the open race in what will be one of the most competitive 2022 Senate races. He faces a handful of primary challengers, including former Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands, real estate developer Jeff Bartos, and conservative commentator Kathy Barnette.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb are competing for the Democrat Party’s nomination.