Dr. Oz Says He’ll Keep Pennsylvanians Safe. His Positions Suggest Otherwise.

FILE - This Dec. 4, 2019 file photo shows Dr. Mehmet Oz at the 14th annual L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Gala in New York. Oz, joins the Republican field of possible candidates aiming to capture Pennsylvania's open US Senate seat in next year's election. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

By Keya Vakil

September 26, 2022

Dr. Oz, who insists he’s the candidate that will keep Pennsylvanians safe, opposes all gun safety laws, supports abortion bans that have been shown to make women less safe, and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which expanded access to healthcare, saved lives, and even reduced crime.

Can an anti-abortion doctor who wants to take healthcare away from Pennsylvanians, opposes gun safety laws that save lives, invested in opioid companies, and made his millions scamming working people get elected in Pennsylvania, a state he moved to solely to run for office?

Dr. Oz, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Pennsylvania, is banking on it—and in recent weeks, it’s become apparent what his campaign views as its golden ticket to Washington: a misleading, fear-mongering campaign designed to scare voters about crime in Pennsylvania. 

To be clear, crime is an issue in Pennsylvania, as murders and other violent crimes increased during the pandemic. But they increased everywhere, all across the country, in Democratic- and Republican-led states alike—a fact conveniently ignored by Oz and his allies as they’ve run a barrage of misleading ads against Oz’s opponent, Democrat John Fetterman. 

These ads, along with Oz’s remarks in interviews, have distorted Fetterman’s record on criminal justice and crime in an effort to convince voters that only Oz will keep them safe. 

RELATED: ‘Gross Fear Mongering’: How Dr. Oz Is Distorting John Fetterman’s Record to Scare Voters

This tactic preys on people’s fears and distracts from the issues where Oz’s stances are unpopular and could actually increase crime.

Oz—who insists he’s the candidate that will keep Pennsylvanians safe—opposes all gun safety laws, even as firearms are involved in the overwhelming majority of murders in the US, and the rate of gun deaths surged by 23% in Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2020. Oz’s opposition comes despite a large body of data showing that more guns lead to more gun deaths.

Fetterman, a gun owner, supports “common-sense” gun safety laws that are enormously popular, including universal background checks and “red flag laws”—which are intended to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and others who might hurt others or themselves. 

While Oz opposes stronger laws to keep guns out of the hands of potential killers, he supports bans on abortion—which he’s compared to “murder.” Even though a significant amount of research shows that abortion bans make women less safe, Oz supports efforts to ban abortion. Oz does say he supports exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, but the type of ban he’s endorsed would nonetheless take away women’s bodily autonomy and their freedom to decide if and when to expand their families. 

“Anyone who thinks that rejecting common sense gun safety legislation or placing a target on the backs of doctors and nurses makes Pennsyvlanians more safe clearly doesn’t understand public safety,” Fetterman campaign spokesperson Emilia Winter Rowland said in a statement.

The long-time healthcare provider also opposed the Inflation Reduction Act, a newly-passed law that will lower the cost of prescription drugs for Pennsylvania seniors and lower the cost of healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who get their insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Access to healthcare has been shown to reduce crime, but Oz opposed a law that will help 76,000 people in the commonwealth keep their insurance.

In fact, Oz opposes the Affordable Care Act altogether and wants to repeal it, even as the landmark law expanded access to healthcare for nearly a million people in Pennsylvania, saved lives, and even reduced crime

“I wouldn’t have voted for it,” Oz said of the ACA back in May.

The Hollywood doctor, who could be worth up to $500 million, made chunks of that wealth by scamming working people, shilling sketchy products, and making bogus medical claims via his TV show.

Oz also invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in companies responsible for rising insulin costs and pharmaceutical companies that manufactured and distributed painkillers that fueled the opioid epidemic. The surging cost of insulin has forced many diabetics to ration the medication, leading to their deaths, while the opioid epidemic has ravaged Pennsylvania, leading to tens of thousands of deaths.

Crime is a real problem, and the solutions to it are complex. But rather than propose serious ideas to address some of the root causes of crime by expanding access to healthcare and housing and raising the minimum wage, the Oz campaign has resorted to fear-mongering tactics designed to distract from his own unpopular stances.

If their strategy pays off, Oz will become Pennsylvania’s next senator and could prove a decisive vote to ban abortion nationwide, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and oppose gun safety laws—all under the pretense of keeping his constituents safe.


  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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