Cardiothoracic surgeon and television host Dr. Mehmet Oz spoke about his recently-declared candidacy for United States Senate in Pennsylvania during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday.
Oz, who went to grade school in President Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Del., and who has lived for many years in New Jersey before moving back to Pennsylvania last year, announced earlier Tuesday he will seek to replace retiring Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey.
Oz told “Hannity” that as the son of Turkish immigrants who was afforded “unparalleled opportunities” by the United States to become the successful doctor and television personality that he is, “it is time to repay my debt.”
“America is in crisis, that’s not news, our values are under attack – so I want to serve America in its time of need,” said Oz, adding that Pennsylvanians deserve better solutions to crises from their elected leaders than they are currently afforded.
Oz spoke about his medical expertise and how he recognized that the now long-surpassed “two weeks to stop the spread” socioeconomic restriction period placed on Pennsylvanians and many other Americans turned out to be much more complicated and worse for the people.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, Professor of Surgery, Columbia University speaks onstage during the 2021 Concordia Annual Summit – Day 2 at Sheraton New York on September 21, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
(Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
“I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand what went wrong and it’s emblematic of other issues we are struggling with in our great country. Remember the phrase two weeks to flatten the curve? That metastasized into this terrible authoritarianism and overreaching that did not make us safer,” he said.
“People with big yards told people with no yards to stay indoors because that’s where the virus was. Some closed the parks, shamed people about beaches — and now threatening the same overreach with the Omicron [variant] ….” he told Hannity.
“I think those choices should be yours, the American people’s,” he said, going on to praise President Trump’s handling of vaccine development. “I’ve fought to empower my audience, my patients and now the people of Pennsylvania.”
“Every choice I make will be serving the citizens of Pennsylvania and the United States and none of them will serve the special interests in Washington, many of which I have been at war at my entire career.”
Oz noted how he “took on Big Pharma… and have scars to prove it” in the past, and also voiced support for law enforcement amid the ‘Defund’ movement.
He pointed to the recent murder of a Temple University student who was the subject of an attempted robbery in the notoriously dangerous neighborhood around the North Philadelphia school.
‘Pennsylvania Welcomes You’ road sign at the state border on Interstate 95 in Marcus Hook.
Oz also told Hannity that his view on education policy is that the people who know best are the parents and local educators, rather than larger government bodies.
“So you need choice so you can make sure you can take kids where you need to be – you need local rule… and you need to have your values defended,” he said.
Prior to Oz’s announcement, the campaigns to succeed Toomey have been turbulent as of late, after Trump-backed Republican Sean Parnell suspended his bid amid a tumultuous child custody battle — while the state’s Democratic lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, currently leads the Democratic field in the fundraising column.
FILE – In this Jan. 24, 2019, file photo, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. and Democratic US Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks at a news conference in the governor’s Capitol reception room in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Marc Levy, File)
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Other candidates on the Democratic side include U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb of Allegheny, State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta of Philadelphia, and State Sen. Sharif Street, the son of well-known former Philadelphia Mayor John Street.
The key swing state of Pennsylvania is also home to a hotly contested governor’s race with the term-limitation of incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.