The mere thought of the synthetic, slippery Dr. Mehmet Oz, Donald Trump’s hyper Hydroxychloroquine cheerleader, running for the open US Senate seat in Pennsylvania and turning that cradle of American Democracy into its crypt, is enough to make me want to swallow some of Oz’ ostracized Green Coffee Beans.
Last year (April 8, 2020) in a scathing New York Times column entitled “The Unholy Alliance of Trump & Dr. Oz,” Frank Bruni reminded us that Dr. Oz was “not a virologist; not an epidemiologist,” even though he plays one on TV. Throughout all of 2020, the Wizard of Oz appeared regularly on Fox News, disseminating misinformation about COVID like Johnny Appleseed.
While advising Donald Trump and White House staff during the early, deadly days of the Pandemic, Oz relentlessly promoted Hydroxychloroquine as a “wonder drug” for COVID, much as he hawked “green coffee beans” as a “miracle cure” for obesity (they weren’t), and told millions of mothers that their childrens’ apple juice had “dangerous levels of arsenic” (it didn’t). Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition has called many of Dr. Oz’s ideas about food “just plain nutty.”
Six years earlier, the Great & Powerful Oz’s carnival barker cures—spoonfed to his four millions daily viewers—got him hauled before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, chaired by then-Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. Senator McCaskill blasted Dr. Oz for spreading lies and misinformation: “I don’t get why you have to say this stuff because you know it’s not true.” Oz promised the Senate he wouldn’t do it anymore. But, with his hyperbole and hypocrisy increasing his personal wealth to $100 million, Oz just couldn’t resist.
In 2016, only two years after the he pledged to the Senate that he would stop his medical charlatanry, he was at it again. This time, it happened during the heat of the Clinton/Trump presidential campaign when the public was demanding that Trump release his medical records, Dr. Oz—“America’s Doctor” as he billed himself—came to the Mar-A-Lago Liar’s rescue. On Oz’s nationally televised show, Trump dramatically reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out two pages he claimed were his medical records and handed them over to Oz. Using his best bedside manner, Dr. Oz—who never physically examined Trump– deemed the records—and Trump’s health–to be sound. So much for the truth.
Vox, in it’s September 15, 2016, review of the two men in front of the curtain of the Oz show, said: “ These men (Oz & Trump) are the personification of not just bullshitting to the public, but getting away with bullshitting—and profiting from it.”
Now, the Great and Powerful Oz wants to take his Traveling Elixir Show to the US Senate, where, if successful, he’ll join that medical genius, Senator Rand Paul, an eye doctor with absolutely zero expertise in virology or immunology, and a penchant for picking fights with his next door neighbor in Kentucky and Dr. Anthony Fauci in hearings– both of which he embarrassingly lost. Imagine Oz and Rand Paul, in a GOP-controlled Senate, as the leading Republican “medical” experts on a pandemic which has killed more than 780,000 Americans, since Dr. Oz began touting Hydroxycholoquine as another miracle cure he advocated.
Perhaps Dr. Oz figures that one way to escape another Senate grilling, under oath, for his latest massively false—and possibly fatal—misinformation during the final year of Trump’s toxic term, is to spend millions of the dollars he amassed with his monumental medical mendacity, and sit side-by-side with Senator Paul, to compare notes, magical thinking, and conspiracy theories.
Just think of the even greater damage these fountainheads of falsehoods and myths can do, when they can somberly spout more medical misinformation with impunity, under the protection of Congressional immunity.
Where’s Toto, when we desperately need to yank the curtain down on these frauds in the land of Oz?