September 27, 2022

NO SMOKING: Dr. Oz wants to ban smokers from the workforce

NO SMOKING: Dr. Oz wants to ban smokers from the workforce

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Pennsylvania Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman has been successfully challenging Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz in the race to become the state’s next U.S. senator by positioning himself as the working-class alternative to the TV doctor’s elitist out-of-state values. Surprisingly, Dr. Oz — the Trump-endorsed candidate who usually parrots the typical GOP talking points about how the Democrats will destroy all the MAGA supporters’ precious freedoms with government regulations — is making Fetterman’s accusations about his crudité-loving elitism so easy to verify that it’s almost as if Dr. Oz can’t help himself from betraying the distance between himself and Trump’s blue-collar MAGA crowd.

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Dr. Oz’s campaign didn’t get any help when his 2013 speech to the National Governor’s Association resurfaced. It’s a speech that makes sense from his perspective as a medical physician, but strains against the libertarian leanings of the right-wing Trump base that he needs to attract if he has any remaining hope of beating Fetterman in the Senate race.

You see, Dr. Oz wants to ensure that anyone who smokes cigarettes is prevented from holding a job. 

Yes, you heard that right. The man who made a career of pushing quack weight-loss “cures” cares so much about the health of Pennsylvania citizens that he wants to drive the approximately 15.8% percent of the state’s population who still have a tobacco dependency into bankruptcy by depriving them of the right to make a living.

One might imagine that this “big brother” approach to health care might not get the greatest reaction from the MAGA voters who value their individual freedoms over the nanny state.

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And, while the dual-Turkish/American citizen with a New Jersey mansion may pay lip service to offering to pay for smoking cessation programs, his proposal is drenched with the kind of “woke” elitism that Trump supporters would consider anathema if they knew what the word means.

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Dr. Oz’s idea to ban smokers from the workplace will likely seem like a Democratic plot to many of the very people whose vote he’s trying to attract.

But creating an underclass of unemployed tobacco fiends isn’t the only proposal that Dr. Oz has made that Republican voters are likely to revolt over.

Oz went out on a limb and expressed his support for an idea once proposed by former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg that was almost universally hated for its infringement on personal freedoms — banning humongous sugary soda servings.

It seems like personal choice is not just something that Dr. Oz wants to limit when it comes to reproductive freedom, but wants to eliminate altogether.

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Dr. Oz’s healthcare proposals make perfect sense from a public health perspective, but so too does the idea of universal healthcare, another policy goal that acts like a crucifix to the vampiric medical care selfishness embraced by most Republicans.

It’s surprising that Republicans didn’t vet Dr. Oz for his wokeness quotient before handing him the nomination as their Senate candidate.

For John Fetterman, however, Dr. Oz’s past statements are the gift that just keeps on giving.

Let’s hope that Fetterman is able to keep the commanding lead he currently has in the polls in the Pennsylvania Senate race and that Dr. Oz keeps making unforced errors.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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