The Lewistown Sentinel – August, 5, 2022
By: Erin Thompson
McVEYTOWN — Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz says he has the values of Pennsylvanians and believes in the American dream — and he’s living it.
The surgeon and former TV personality known as Dr. Oz made a campaign stop at Harshbarger’s Sub n’ Malt Thursday to meet with Mifflin County residents.
Oz said while visiting the ’50-style McVeytown diner that his father — a farmer who grew up in a poor area in Turkey and came to America as an immigrant — instilled in him an appreciation for hard work.
“I saw that hard work and treating people right makes you successful. That sounds like what a farmer does,” Oz said. “I appreciated that when you work with your hands, you stay pretty honest with people because everyone can see what you’re up to.
“I believe you can balance a budget and not hurt people. I believe we can ensure energy can be taken out of the ground without hurting the environment. It makes everyone fruitful, including local communities … I believe that we’ve got to keep our city streets safe. I believe you’ve got to have a border that is secure,” he said. “You don’t want the cartel bringing human trafficking operations and narcotics across it and I believe these parents should be able to see what goes on in their kid’s schools and they should be able to have affordable healthcare.”
Oz will battle current Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee, in the November midterm election for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Pat Toomey.
“My opponent in this race is on the opposite side on every one of those positions and I believe my positions are closely related to the positions of the people (in Mifflin County) and all I ask is for people to judge us both,” Oz said.
Oz has recently faced criticism from Fetterman via Twitter regarding his stance on various topics.
When asked how he can apply his career as a surgeon to one in politics, Oz said the biggest similarity is having the ability to listen to people.
“As a surgeon, you’re taking care of patients and you’re listening to what they need. Listening to people is the most important thing a politician does as well,” the Montgomery County resident, whose medical schooling includes the University of Pennsylvania, said. “I hosted a TV show that dealt with people — primarily on the bottom half of the financial pyramid — helping people who did not have concierge medicine understand what the best medicine is.
“By empowering you by making you feel like you could be the expert on your body, I actually give you confidence to take charge of the future. I think that’s the most important thing I could do as a political leader — give you the courage and the optimism to take risks for yourself — to do the right things for yourself to have agency for your future. I don’t think collectivism is the right way to do that. I don’t want big government and bureaucracies ordering you around.”
Oz said Fetterman “grew up with privilege” until becoming lieutenant governor.
“(He) doesn’t know what it’s like to have to work for a living … I think that’s vital. If you don’t understand the machinery of America, how can you understand what these farmers are up against?”
When asked about how Pennsylvania handled COVID-19, he said he felt the state overstepped its bounds.
“We had mandates that did not have medical justification. We were overly aggressive with government overreach on things like shutting down schools, mandates of actions that didn’t really make a difference and then we scared people unnecessarily,” he said. “The virus is a bad virus and I got vaccinated. There’s a reason for me to get vaccinated — I’m a doctor taking care of patients.”
Oz indicated that he would not necessarily recommend young children get vaccinated.
“There is very little evidence that the vaccine is going to benefit (them) and there are some possibilities it may not be the best,” he said. “Why would I mandate a vaccine on a child? I leave that to the parents and when you start to push those buttons, parents get mad. They begin to reject all the other vaccines that do make sense because they truly prevent vaccines long term.”
For more information on Oz’s campaign, visit www.doctoroz.com