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Trump is backing 'Dr. Oz' in the Pennsylvania Senate race. What to know about the ex-TV show host

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Republican J.D. Vance wins Ohio primary after Donald Trump endorsement

Trump’s pick for the Ohio GOP candidate, J.D. Vance, wins a spot in the November Senatorial election.

Cody Godwin, USA TODAY

  • The celebrity heart surgeon is best known for his TV program “The Dr. Oz Show.”
  • Trump endorsed Oz in April.
  • Oz is the race’s frontrunner, but not by a wide margin.

In the Ohio Senate race, former President Donald Trump’s endorsement lifted a media personality and outsider candidate to the GOP nomination over a crammed Republican field.

Now, Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, hopes thatTrump’s influence will come to bear in Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary, where he holds a thin lead in the polls, according to RealClearPolitics.

Trump endorsed Oz  last month in his bid to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. 

Oz’s celebrity status has made him the subject of intense scrutiny by his opponents, who have questioned his loyalty to the country because he holds dual U.S. and Turkish citizenship.

Aside from Oz, the main contenders in the Republican primary are Dave McCormick, a former hedge fund manager, and conservative political commentator Kathy Barnette.

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Who is Dr. Oz? 

Oz is best known for his  nationally syndicated television program the Dr. Oz Show, which came to an end with his Senate run. Oz’s ascent to fame began with frequent appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show, where he appeared as a health expert, before finally getting his own show in 2009.

He had worked as a heart surgeon at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, according to his biography on the Dr. Oz Show website. 

In the medical community, Oz’s promotion of alternative medicines has made him a controversial figure. Some doctors have gone as far as to publicly call for Columbia University, where Oz taught, to cut its ties with the now Senate candidate, Vox reported.

The university removed Oz’s profile from its website, the Daily Beast and others reported, following his Senate race entrance. 

Oz earned his doctor of medicine from the University of Pennsylvaniain 1986. He also has an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. 

Oz’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey. His father, Mustafa, had also been a surgeon.

How old is Dr. Oz? 

Oz was born on June 11, 1960 in Cleveland, Ohio. He is 61 years old. 

What is Dr. Oz’s policy platform? 

Oz’s campaign website lists more than a dozen issue areas. In his first campaign ad, Oz appealed to his medical background and addressed the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They took away our freedom,” Oz said in the ad. “Without making us safer.”

His campaign site notes Oz’s opposition to business shutdowns and support for keeping children in schools. He also told Fox News he was opposed to vaccine mandates.

Another focus of the Oz campaign is “energy independence,” which was one of many issues highlighted in Trump’s endorsement statement. His campaign site says Oz supports slashing regulations on the fossil fuel industry to increase domestic energy production. 

The rest of Oz’s platform runs the gamut on the GOP’s defining issues during Joe Biden’s presidency.

“Election security,” “cancel culture,” and “get tough on China,” are all focuses of the campaign along with more classic Republican positions on gun rights, the economy, immigration and abortions.

On Twitter, Oz weighed in on the leaked majority opinion draft written by Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito, agreeing with Alito’s rebuke of Roe v. Wade. 

Who is endorsing Dr. Oz? 

Aside from Trump, Oz is backed by former Republican Texas governor Rick Perry and Fox News’ Sean Hannity. J.D. Vance, the Ohio GOP Senate nominee, and former Republican presidential candidate and Housing and Urban Development ecretary Ben Carson also support Oz. 

Who is Dr. Oz’s daughter? 

One of Oz’s children is his daughter Daphne Oz, a chef and TV personality,  who hosts a cooking show that replaced her father’s show. In 1985, Oz married his wife Lisa, with whom he has four children.