President Donald Trump is urging White House officials to consult with Dr. Mehmet Oz, the controversial doctor who has been called a “quack” by some of his colleagues for his advocacy of fake weight-loss formulas and other unproven “cures” for maladies such as the common cold, according to a report from The Daily Beast:
“In the past couple of weeks, Trump began hearing more and more about and watching Oz, now a Fox News regular, discuss hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that Trump aggressively touted as a coronavirus treatment, much to the dismay of various medical experts and scientists. Over these two weeks, the president had specifically made a point of telling aides that he was interested in what Oz had to say and that he wished to speak to the much-maligned television personality, according to two people familiar with the president’s requests.”
Apparently, Trump saw Oz during one of his frequent appearances on Fox and decided he would be the perfect person to advise the administration on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has killed over 9,600 Americans.
The sudden elevation of Oz to such a position of influence on an issue of monumental important to the health and safety of the United States hasn’t been positively received by many inside the administration who are working on the coronavirus issue:
“’It is very annoying to some of us that Dr. Oz is trying to poke his head in and get more involved in this,’ said a senior administration official who works closely with the task force. ‘This shouldn’t be a celebrity showcase…Are we going to deputize Dr. Drew and Dr. Spaceman next?’ (Dr. Leo Spaceman is a fictional lunatic doctor who was portrayed by actor Chris Parnell on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock.)”
The larger question for some, however, is that Oz has a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to giving advice on medical issues:
“Oz has been labeled a ‘quack’ from others in his profession and has repeatedly come under fire for his dubious medical advice pushing phony weight-loss remedies and saying that Umckaloabo Root Extract is a cure for the common cold. He has also had an obsession with genetically modified foods and the false theory that they are linked to cancer.”
Trump himself has been skeptical of so-called “celebrity” doctors in the past, tweeting out criticism in 2014:
Remember this, the worst doctors (by far) are celebrity doctors. If you see their names, or read about them in the newspapers, stay away!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2014
As is so often the case with Donald Trump, he believes everything he sees on Fox, forgetting that the network puts news secondary to entertainment and ratings.
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