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Dr. Oz is officially running for Senate in Pennsylvania

TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz is officially jumping into the Pennsylvania Senate race. 

The host of The Dr. Oz Show announced in the Washington Examiner on Tuesday he's running for Senate to "help fix the problems and to help us heal." The confirmation comes after a report from the Washington Free Beacon that he was hiring staff and eying a run as a Republican, seeking the seat that will be vacated following the retirement of Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). 

Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon, in his announcement criticized government policies during the COVID-19 pandemic that he argued "caused unnecessary suffering," writing, "Elites with yards told those without yards to stay inside, where the virus was more likely to spread. And the arrogant, closed-minded people in charge closed our parks, shuttered our schools, shut down our businesses, and took away our freedom." He also claimed that "dissenting opinions from leading scholars were ridiculed and canceled so their ideas could not be disseminated" during the pandemic and that "many great ideas were squashed." 

Oz first rose to fame as a health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show before getting his own medical program. He has been criticized throughout his career for allegedly "promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain." He also faced backlash in 2020 for saying on Fox News that reopening schools was an "appetizing opportunity" because it might "only cost us 2 to 3 percent in terms of total mortality." In his op-ed on Tuesday, he asserted that he has "fought the establishment my whole career." 

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Oz is registered to vote in New Jersey and owns a mansion there; his spokesperson said he has lived and voted in Pennsylvania, "where he attended school and has deep family ties," since last year.