After years of criticalColumbia University Medical Center finally — quietly — cut public ties with famed doctor-turned-Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz.
The famed University Hospital, where Oz held leadership positions as Vice President of Surgery and Director of Integrated Medicine for years, bare his personal pages from their website in mid-January.
The move came a day after the HuffPost reported on January 12, Columbia had established a new distance with Oz, changing its title to “professor emeritus”. The truth, however, was that Columbia made this change years ago, as HuffPost later clarified in an updated version of its article.
But what HuffPost appeared to be wrong actually set off a chain of events, ironically making the post correct, albeit a day too soon.
The next day, January 13, as a Columbia page documenting modification of the website shows, the university removed Oz’s profile from the site and disconnected hyperlinks to this biography on a number of pages that mention Oz. (A page was edited on Friday, shortly after The Daily Beast emailed a communications manager for comment.)
His name no longer appears in searches for doctors on the school’s Irving Medical Center website. A faculty in Colombia SEO still says that Oz has an office, as well as the role of special lecturer, but not “professor emeritus”. But like a handful of other names on the list, Oz’s list no longer links to its faculty page, as he did a week before launching his campaign. (Almost all of the other unrelated faculty members are no longer affiliated with the medical center; one of them is dead Last year.)
The outgoing message on Oz’s voicemail for the given number is quite dated, directing callers to medical services when Oz stopped taking patients Four years ago. The post also advertises audience tickets for his now-defunct daytime TV show.
Columbia’s affiliation with Oz had been criticized long before he launched a surprise Senate race in late November. In 2015, when Oz testified before the Senate about his endorsement of shady “miracle” remedies, a group of some of the country’s top medical professionals shipped Columbia a searing letter asking the famed medical school to fire Oprah’s blessed daytime star.
“Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown contempt for science and evidence-based medicine, as well as baseless and unrelenting opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops,” the doctors wrote. that he exhibited a flagrant lack of integrity in promoting quackery treatments and cures in the interests of personal financial gain.”
Dr. Daniel Summers, Boston-area pediatrician and writercalled Columbia’s stealth purge a “shitty” move.
“Their handling of his status there is a massive stain on their reputation. What shit shit to do,” Summers told The Daily Beast.
Timid as it may seem, Columbia’s decision obliterated its public connection to Oz. And that, Summers observed, is more than can be said for an arguably more influential cultural institution: talk show legend Oprah Winfrey.
“Without Oprah, Oz would have played out his career as a prominent and widely respected cardiothoracic surgeon, and everyone would have been better off,” he said. “His stardom, and therefore his candidacy, stems directly from his own fame and promotion.”
As Oz “continues to debase” in pursuit of the GOP nomination in Pennsylvania, Summers said, it’s “a long time past for her to acknowledge her role in making him who he is and to attempt to stop the damage it causes by repudiating it.
At one time a distinguished thoracic surgeon, Oz long ago transformed into a controversial public figure, largely on Oprah’s watch.
He turned Oprah’s endorsement and his appearances on her show into his own daytime program, where he built a multi-million dollar brand as a celebrity doctor. And this year, he turned that success into another endorsement—of ex-president Donald Trumpwho earlier this month endorsed Oz’s bid for the Pennsylvania Senate.
Along the way, however, Oz has attracted critical of the medical community, including accusations of “charlatanism” for espousing false claims about genetically modified foods and pushing “fake» weight loss supplements to fatten your own wallet.
“‘You may think magic is imaginary, but this little bean has scientists saying they’ve found the magic weight loss cure for every body type,’ Oz said in a 2012 episode. from his show. The secret: “It’s green coffee extract.”
However, Oz didn’t really respond to this audience. His escape troubled Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance.
“I tried to do a lot of research in preparation for this lawsuit and the scientific community is almost monolithic against you,” McCaskill said.
The “quackery” continued unabated.
As the COVID pandemic waned in the spring of 2020, Oz went on cable news to tackle hydroxychloroquine, an unproven and sometimes dangerous treatment that has become one of President Trump’s favorite fixations of the day. era.
The daily beast reported that between March 24 and April 5, the doctor appeared 21 times on Fox News, including during a virtual forum where he pumped hydroxychloroquine and spoke with Trump and Vice President Mike Penny. He also advised White House officials, would have at Trump’s personal request.
At the end of March of that year, he revealed on Fox & Friends his involvement in a trial on hydroxychloroquine.
“My biggest challenge was getting pills, and we finally had enough to do a trial run and a couple hundred people, but America is going to want pills,” he said.
Earlier this month, the New York Post reported that Oz had purchased, out of pocket, 2,070 doses of the antimalarial drug to aid in this unnamed study. A campaign spokesperson told the outlet that Oz originally offered $250,000 to fund the Columbia University clinical trial, but after his own employer rejected the proposal, Oz said that he had given the pills to a hospital he would not name.
Oz cited the pandemic as his motivation to run for office, in writing in his op-ed announcing that a large number of COVID deaths in the United States – more than 750,000 at the time – had been “preventable”.
“Dissenting opinions of prominent academics were ridiculed and quashed so that their ideas could not be aired,” Oz wrote, accusing the government of instituting policies that had “caused unnecessary suffering.”
Two and a half years ago, Oz suggested on Fox News amid the first wave of the pandemic that a 2-3% increase in national COVID mortality might be an acceptable trade-off for the reopening of all American schools.
The Daily Beast contacted the Oz Campaign, Columbia University and Oprah, but received no response.