Oprah Winfrey is finally speaking out following the announcement that her friend Dr. Mehmet Oz will be running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania in next year’s midterm elections.
In a statement to New York magazine, the media mogul declined to state her personal feelings on his campaign nor did she provide a ringing endorsement.
"One of the great things about our democracy is that every citizen can decide to run for public office," Winfrey said. "Mehmet Oz has made that decision. And now it's up to the residents of Pennsylvania to decide who will represent them."
Oz rose to prominence as a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran from 1986 to 2011. His popularity prompted Winfrey to produce his own show, The Dr. Oz Show, through her Harpo Productions.
The Dr. Oz show debuted in 2009, but will end in January so that he can focus on running his campaign. His old time slot will be replaced by The Good Dish.
"We are angry at our government and at each other," Oz wrote. "We have not managed our crises as effectively as past generations. During the pandemic, I learned that when you mix politics and medicine, you get politics instead of solutions. That's why I am running for the U.S. Senate: to help fix the problems and to help us heal."
"The reality of our challenges has crystallized during the pandemic," he added. "COVID-19 became an excuse for the government and elite thinkers who controlled the means of communication to suspend debate. Dissenting opinions from leading scholars were ridiculed and canceled so their ideas could not be disseminated."
Oz also blamed the government for causing "unnecessary suffering" and that "the public was patronized and misled instead of empowered," writing, "We were told to lock down quietly and let those in charge take care of the rest. When we tested positive for the virus, we were also told to wait at home until our lips turned blue and we got sick enough to warrant hospitalization. To be clear, this is not a typical medical protocol. Elites with yards told those without yards to stay inside, where the virus was more likely to spread."
He continued, "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."
In recent days, Oz's medical opinions have come under intense scrutiny in The New York Times, which recounted how Oz has a long history of promoting questionable treatments and offering unscientific advice, including hyping the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 during several appearances on Fox News.