Beaver County Times February 16, 2022
By: Nicholas Vercilla
NESHANNOCK TWP. — Growing up, Dr. Mehmet Oz said he wondered why “Home of the brave,” was the last line in the National Anthem instead of “Land of the free.”
He said he wondered why because he thought the United States was a land of free people.
On Tuesday, during a campaign stop in Lawrence County, Oz said he knows why he believes “Home of the brave” is the last line.
“If we’re not brave, then we’re not free. If we’re not brave, we can’t control our destiny,” he said. “If we’re not brave, we won’t continue to do what all Americans do.”
Oz, who was best known for his award-winning talk show,” The Dr. Oz Show,”who is now running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania in the Republican primary, spoke to Lawrence County residents at The New Englander Banquet Center.
During his campaign stop, Oz spoke on why he decided to run, what are some of the issues he feels are in this country, and what can be done to address them.
“I’m an outsider. I’ve gone to war to fight for you,” he said.
‘Going to War’ for Residents
Oz said when he started his show, which ran from 2009 to Jan. 14 of this year, he began talking about standard healthcare matters.
Up to that point, Oz, who has performed over 4,000 heart surgeries, wondered if some of the patients he was operating on really needed those procedures, and instead simply needed a change in their lifestyle, but was told otherwise.
He said it was his wife, Lisa, who told him the country didn’t have the knowledge he had because nobody likely told them.
Therefore, Oz gradually, on his show and on social media, began to fight and “go to war” for residents across the country.
He said this has ranged from fighting against “big tech” companies like Apple or Google, against big pharmacy companies with medication and pricing practices, against big chemical companies putting pesticides in crops, and finally, recently, against the federal government.
“I began to do my homework, study up as you speak, began getting smarter over the things we needed,” Oz said. “COVID, it undermined my confidence in the federal government.”
He said one example he fought over was large levels of arsenic being found in apple juice for children.
Oz said he fought to place standards for U.S. farmers, not to put arsenic in apples. He said companies would instead buy apples overseas for cheaper prices, such as from China, juice them, and lead to the problem again.
Oz said after going to war and speaking with the federal government, there are now regulations in place regarding arsenic.
“If you are going to be a United States senator from Pennsylvania, you’re going to have to fight. You have to have a bold voice,” he said. “These are topics that I kept coming back to over and over again. To me, it’s a major issue that we haven’t been able to deal with some of the simplest things that make Americans happy.”
Thoughts on the Pandemic
When it comes to the ongoing COVID pandemic, Oz said the biggest problem is that he feels the government has taken everything from a top-down, for everybody approach, and not allowing for any different opinions or suggestions.
He said not every American has high blood pressure, so doctors decide who is best to receive medicine, and said doctors give specific treatments to different matters.
“What I began to realize over time was, the government didn’t really want doctors involved in customizing care, which we normally do,” Oz said. “Not with COVID. It was top-down. Whatever (Anthony) Fauci said, whatever the government said, we were told, ordered what to do, and doctors were told to stay away.”
Oz said it is his belief that doctors were silenced and attacked for speaking differing opinions.
He said in general there are topics where certain people don’t want to hear a differing opinion, or another viewpoint, such as with children and shutting schools down, stating the decision was made and only really benefited a small percentage of students in the long run.
Oz said he does not like the “draconian” and “authoritarian” measures he said the government put in place with the pandemic, stating he reached out to people in other countries around the world, and they are doing measures that people in this country weren’t even considering.
Other Issues in the Country
Oz said there are other fundamental issues in this country the federal government is not addressing, such as inflation, using resources like natural gas more, or protecting the border, and said he believes children are being taught that this country is fundamentally broken and racist, and that it needs built from the ground up, which he said would be with “toxic” viewpoints.
He said China, who he described as the country’s biggest nemesis, is stealing information from our universities, preventing our supply chains from working well, and is working to make sure we aren’t a functioning democracy.
“If I was in the Senate, I would personally argue for reparations from China. There’s no way China should be getting away with bringing COVID into the world, and not have to deal with the consequences of it,” Oz said.
Therefore, Oz said it is important to fight for freedom and democracy in this country, not just for residents here, but to allow the country to be “the shining city on the hill” residents in other countries look to.
“It’s a big deal if America fails. It matters if we can’t deliver like we need to,” he said. “I am optimistic that we can achieve what those other countries think of us.”
Oz also believes the federal government has different values than what normal Americans believe and said if they can’t figure out what are the problems for western Pennsylvania residents, how can they hope to address them.
He said he wants to create a balanced budget amendment to make sure governments can’t move forward with unbalanced budgets.
Oz added he is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, wants to invest in energy like natural gas and not the proposed Green New Deal, and wants people to not be censored or threatened by stating their opinions or be told they are “oppressors” to others.
He said it takes normal residents to have a strong voice, to be a “vanguard” for their community, push back against what they’ve been told, and talk about what truly is needed for the state.
“If we do it together, we will spread the wisdom throughout the state of Pennsylvania, elect the right leadership, as big as this state is, as powerful as this state is, and as significant as this state is,” Oz said. “We are a microcosm of America, perfectly purple. If we can do this successfully, others will follow.”
Added Oz: “Common, rational Republicanism is what you would do for your family. Conservatism at its core is raising young ones to be fully formed individuals. Form meaningful relationships, bond with others.”
Questions from the Audience
Following his speech, Oz took some questions from the audience.
When asked, he said he wants people to feel skeptical of him at first and do their own research, as they’ve been conned by politicians before, but said he wants people to look at his past track record of things he said he was going to do and did, and believes this would translate over to the Senate.
Oz said he wants the federal government to make it easier for people for what they want to do, not tell people what to do.
He said he has been fighting against other news publications and other political candidates attacking him.
At the same time, Oz believes it is important for everyone, regardless of political party, to be able to come together and discuss different issues, which he believes is a problem in the Democratic Party.
Oz is one of the candidates running to fill the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat from U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh, who is retiring after the end of his term this year.
On the Democratic side, the nominees are Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Kevin Baumlin, Larry Johnson, Malcolm Kenyatta, Conor Lamb, Alex Khalil, John McGuigan, Kyle Norton, Alan Shank, Sharif Street and Lew Tapera.
On the Republican side, the nominees are Oz, Kathy Barnette, Jeff Bartos, George Bochetto, John Debellis, Sean Gale, Bobby Jeffries, Ronald Johnson, David McCormick, Martin Rosenfeld, Carla Sands, Everett Stern and David Xu.
Nicholas Vercilla is a staff reporter for the Beaver County Times and Ellwood City Ledger. He can be reached at [email protected]