Well, we have to say we didn’t see this one coming.
The New York Times reported at close of business yesterday that Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity physician known as the host of the “Dr. Oz Show,” announced that he would run for Senate in Pennsylvania, jumping into a crowded Republican primary for an open seat that is crucial to both parties’ quest for a Senate majority in 2022.
Dr. Oz said he had been motivated to run because of the pandemic. In an online statement announcing his candidacy in The Washington Examiner, he criticized official responses to Covid-19 in terms embraced by conservatives.
The pandemic, he wrote, has been mishandled by “elites” who stifled dissenting opinions, “mandated” policies and “closed our parks, shuttered our schools, shut down our businesses, and took away our freedom.’’
Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor, Tom Wolf, who issued dictatorial orders closing businesses and other mandates during the pandemic is seen as an anchor around the necks of Keystone State Democrats.
While we aren’t ready to endorse anyone in Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate Primary, in his announcement Dr. Oz hit themes that put the other GOP candidates on notice that they better up their games:
The reality of our challenges has crystallized during the pandemic. Over 750,000 in the United States have died from the virus, a devastating toll for families and communities. Many of those deaths were preventable. 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.
Instead, the government mandated policies that caused unnecessary suffering. The public was patronized and misled instead of empowered. 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. And the arrogant, closed-minded people in charge closed our parks, shuttered our schools, shut down our businesses, and took away our freedom.
America should have been the world leader on how to beat the pandemic. Although we had some moments of brilliance, such as the gift to the world of mRNA vaccines made possible by President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, many great ideas were squashed. That’s not the America my parents came to. That’s not the one I grew up in. That’s not the one I want to leave behind.
Equally concerning, we cannot even say what we see anymore, which is a suffocating feeling. Doctors are trained to tell it like it is because you deserve to hear our best advice and make your own decisions. It’s why I have fought the establishment my whole career. In this emergency, we needed capable leaders ready to act. We didn’t get that. Sometimes, in medical emergencies, we will need to operate with swift and decisive action. Sometimes, we can use less invasive medications to correct course. Sometimes, we will use preventive health to stop problems from even emerging in the first place. We need to use all of our tools and tactics to get the job done in society, too.
We must confront those who want to change the very soul of America and reimagine it with their toxic ideology. We need to fight for the benefit of our descendants. We have fumbled the baton we’re supposed to pass to our children. And I want to pick up that baton and start racing toward our promising future.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is a class act, and what he lacks in government and political experience he more than makes up in communications ability. It remains to be seen whether he has a real commitment to conservative ideas and policies, but so far his critique of the great issue of the moment – the liberty crushing advance of government under the cloak of the pandemic is right on target.
Dr. Oz for senate
Dr. Mehmet Oz
Dr. Oz Show
COVID 19 pandemic
Operation Warp Speed
2022 GOP primaries