Biden asks for Dr. Oz to resign from presidential health council, former talk show fires back
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The White House requested that Dr. Mehmet Oz, a former talk show host accused of peddling unproven health products and pseudoscience, resign from his spot on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition.
Oz refused and was later fired by Biden March 24, 2022.
Oz was appointed to the advisory council by Donald Trump and has announced he has no plans to resign, accusing President Joe Biden of politicizing “such an important issue like health.”
The White House sent his letter Wednesday, March 24, 2022.
I received this letter on behalf of @POTUS requesting I resign from the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. It’s sad that he would politicize such an important issue like health. The doctor he should ask to resign is Dr. Fauci, for a multitude of obvious reasons. pic.twitter.com/fJaVLKVWOC
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) March 24, 2022
The Biden administration, however, said it has a policy of not allowing political candidates to serve on federal-level boards.
Oz is running as a Republican for Senate in Pennsylvania. His talk show was canceled in 2021 after he announced his candidacy. Prior to it being canceled, stations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and New York yanked it from their schedules over concerns that its airing could trigger equal time rules concerning candidates for political office.
Oz, meanwhile, fired back and said Biden will need to fire him, which Biden is apparently prepared to do, according to the letter.
“The doctor he should ask to resign is Dr. Fauci, for a multitude of obvious reasons,” Oz wrote in a tweet. “If President Biden wants to politicize health, he will have to fire me. You would think record gas prices, a 40-year inflation high, and the situation in Ukraine would be his highest priorities at the moment,” he continued.
Biden’s move appears to be in line with federal law, however, because Oz’s continued participation on the council could violate the Hatch Act.
Members of the group are considered “special government employees” and are therefore bound by the limitation of being candidates in partisan elections while conducting official government business.
During Trump’s administration, at least 13 members of his staff were found to have violated the Hatch Act, according to an investigation. None of them were prosecuted for these alleged infringements, however.
Under that definition, Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and played a key role in the country’s coronavirus response, would not be in violation of the law because he’s not running for any political office.
Fauci has been widely criticized by the right for public statements he’s made about vaccines, masking and the severity and transmission of COVID-19, even as Trump made suggestions such as injecting bleach and taking unproven medications and supplements to combat the disease.
Trump largely ignored Fauci and the CDC’s masking guidance, but did receive the COVID-19 vaccine and booster as recommended despite much of his base being vehemently opposed to the shots or “vaccine-hesitant.” After contracting COVID, he was also treated using experimental therapy, an action that was heavily criticized because similar treatments were not as widely available to ordinary citizens at the time.
Oz is a trained cardiothoracic surgeon and gained fame on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” His talk show grew in popularity, but also faced heavy criticism as he promoted unproven and sometimes allegedly dangerous supplements, medications and even supernatural treatments for various health issues.
His show has also given a voice to multiple guests with anti-vaccination views were spread false and misleading information.
Oz’s accusations of Biden being responsible for inflation and high gas prices is another common cry of the right, even though there is mixed evidence that any president, let alone one that’s been in office for just over a year during a global pandemic that lead to lopsided supply and demand, is directly responsible for soaring prices.
After Oz departed his syndicated TV show that made him famous and wealthy, it was replaced with “The Good Dish,” featuring his daughter, Daphne Oz. The show was canceled in early 2022 after less than a season on the air.
In a separate letter, football player Herschel Walker was also asked to resign. Walker is currently running for Senate in Georgia as a Republican. Walker was removed by Biden as well.
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are highly recommended by multiple public health officials and experts. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters have undergone extensive testing and monitoring to ensure their safety. Scientific research has shown the vaccines and boosters to be very safe and highly effective any may help stop you from contracting COVID-19 or resulting in less severe symptoms and chance of hospitalization or death. For more information about COVID-19 and coronavirus, visit the CDC website. You can locate a free vaccination site or clinic near you at Vaccines.gov. As with any medical decision, you should always discuss your options with your doctor.