Politics

Dr. Oz Gave Dr. Oz Show Staff 15 Minutes’ Notice That He’s Quitting to Run for Senate in State Where He May Not Live

The three men stand with their arms crossed on a studio set in front of what appears to be a photo backdrop and a large digital screen that says "Pitbull's Globalization"
Senate candidate Mehmet “Dr. Oz” Oz with Entertainment Tonight host Kevin Frazier and Pitbull in Miami on Jan. 31, 2020. Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Celebrity doctor Mehmet “Dr. Oz” Oz is running for Senate as a Republican in Pennsylvania, he announced in a 2 p.m. post on the website of the conservative Washington Examiner. According to a source close to the syndicated Dr. Oz Show, which has aired since 2009, Oz sent the program’s staff a one-paragraph email about 15 minutes before the hour informing them that he would be leaving the show to do so. “I can no longer witness the suffering and anger of our countrymen from the safety of our studio,” he wrote.

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“My decision has created important challenges for each of you,” Oz’s email continues, seemingly referring to the important challenges of sustaining a paycheck derived from something called The Dr. Oz Show after it no longer involves Dr. Oz, “but I feel a patriotic duty to embark on this journey.” The email says producers “have a strong plan to move the show forward without me,” though the source close to the show says that staffers have not received official word about what that plan is.

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Curiously, as the AP notes, Dr. Oz is a known resident of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, which in addition to not being in Pennsylvania, is also not near Pennsylvania. It is, rather, adjacent to New York City, where Oz’s show is filmed. He did register to vote this year at “his in-laws’ address in suburban Philadelphia,” the wire service notes, and met his wife at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.

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Pennsylvania’s Republican primary field until recently included a right-wing pundit/activist named Sean Parnell who had been endorsed by Donald Trump, but Parnell suspended his campaign earlier this month after losing custody of his children in a case in which his ex-wife accused him of physical and verbal abuse. (The judge in the case wrote that he found Parnell’s ex-wife credible but did not issue conclusions about which specific acts of abuse may have taken place; Parnell denies the allegations.) Democrats who are running for the seat include Rep. Conor Lamb, the Marine veteran who holds a swing district outside Pittsburgh, as well as progressive Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is the tall bald man with the goatee. Both are residents of Pennsylvania.

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