November 2, 2022

It's beginning to look like Mehmet Oz has burned some medical bridges in his campaign to be the Republican senator from Pennsylvania. Via the Washington Post, we learn he was dropped from presenting a paper at an important conference, and then banned from publishing in a related journal for two years. That kind of discipline is rare -- and a big deal. To be clear, he wasn't accused of fabricating research -- only that his statistical analysis did not support his conclusions. Still -- sloppy!

But wait, there's more! Turns out he also asked a former associate to cover his ass on the animal abuse scandal.

About three weeks ago, Rose said, Oz reached out after years of not being in touch and asked him to say publicly that Oz did not bear responsibility for alleged inhumane treatment of puppies that occurred as part of medical research Oz oversaw as a principal investigator at Columbia dating back to at least the early 2000s, claims that had surfaced in an online report. Oz’s campaign has denied that he ever abused any animals. The Washington Post has not independently verified the allegations about the abuse.

Rose said he declined Oz’s request because it felt like a political favor. Yanick confirmed the call took place and said, “Oz reached out to Dr. Rose along with several other Doctors to ask for their assistance in setting the record straight.” She added, “Doctors from his time at Columbia offered words of support, and some put their support in writing.”

Rose said that when he told Oz he strongly disagreed with his politics and had issues with former president Donald Trump, the Republican candidate distanced himself from Trump. “He said to me, Trump isn’t the leader of the party,” Rose said, speaking of Oz. “He told me that Mitch McConnell is the leader of the Republican Party.” Oz also said, according to Rose, that Doug Mastriano, the far-right Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, “won’t win.”

Oz's campaign, of course, denies he ever said these things.

A former colleague, Charles Stolar, a pediatric surgeon at Columbia, said he spoke to Rose shortly after that conversation and corroborated the details as Rose recounted them, including the comments about McConnell, Trump and Mastriano.

“I can assure you as sure as the sun rises that Eric is not lying,” said Stolar, who identified as a Democrat.

In an interview with Jezebel, Stolar expounded some more.

Dr. Charles Stolar, a pediatric surgeon at Columbia who corroborated Rose’s claims in the Post, told Jezebel in a phone interview that Oz was “full of shit” and “a total phony.”

“To watch him expounding on stuff now about which he knows nothing—he was a pretty good surgeon, his patients liked him, I’ll give him that. He was a good doctor when he was a doctor,” Stolar said. “But to hear him expounding on anything to do with a government policy, history, anything—he has no idea what he’s talking about.”

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