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PODCAST: Dr. Oz Abuzz Over Trump Endorsement. Pot? Not So Much.

On the latest edition of the Delaware Valley Journal podcast, U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Oz joins News Editor Linda Stein to talk about getting the backing of former President Donald Trump and what it means to his campaign. He also pushes back on attack ads from GOP primary opponent Dave McCormick and makes his case for the right way to handle gender fluidity/transgender issues with children.

And, Dr. Oz says, while he’s a supporter of medical marijuana, he’s never tried pot himself.


Hosted by Michael Graham.


DelVal Republicans Have Mixed Views on Trump’s Oz Endorsement

Former President Donald Trump gave his endorsement to Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate race on Saturday. Oz is one of several candidates running in the Republican primary. The campaigns and supporting political action committees are flooding the state with television, radio and internet ads.

Meanwhile, an EagleView survey came out of the field Saturday afternoon, just hours before Trump endorsed Oz.

That survey of 502 likely Republican primary voters showed Dave McCormick in the lead, with 18.1 percent, followed by Oz at 11 percent. Carla Sands came in at third with 9.2 percent, with Kathy Barnette was fourth at 8.8 percent.

Jeff Bartos finished with 5.8 percent and Sean Gale and George Bochetto were both below 1.5 percent, rounding out the seven-person field. But the poll showed that more than 45 percent of Republicans remain undecided in the race.

“Our GOP poll can serve as a benchmark in the Senate primary, coming as it did just prior to Trump’s endorsement of Dr. Oz,” said Christopher Nicholas, veteran Republican political consultant and president of Eagle Consulting Group. “Despite Oz’s big endorsement, this Senate race still seems like it’s only in the 4th or 5th inning, though it could cause GOP voters to give Oz another look.”

However, many Delaware Valley Republicans had expressed discontent with Trump before the 2020 election and voted for President Joe Biden. Do they agree with Trump’s endorsement now?

The opinions of area Republicans who spoke to the Delaware Valley Journal were mixed, although those who were already leaning toward Oz’s main opponent, former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, were not swayed to support the celebrity doctor.

“I still see McCormick winning,” said Radnor resident Austin Hepburn. “Trump can’t make Oz electable. The endorsement is almost at cross purposes. The people who like Oz are not necessarily Trump’s base. The people who are loyal to Trump understand he has his faults, particularly when it comes to making judgments about people.”

Fred Dascenzo of Newtown agreed with Hepburn.

“I think it’s a mistake,” said Dascenzo. “I don’t believe Dr. Oz is a real conservative. I think, actually, Dave McCormick is a better fit and would have better synergy.”

“The Donald errs when he bases advice on Nielsen ratings instead of constitutional conservatism,” said Philadelphia oncologist Dr. Robert Sklaroff. “The flip-flop on whether Oz would relinquish Turkish citizenship reflects a desperate effort to achieve historical revisionism. Recalling Trump’s premature endorsement of Sean Parnell, it’s hoped the third time will be the charm.”

But Republicans in Oz’s camp see this as a feather in his cap and another reason to back him.

“I went to see Dr. Oz and I liked him. I support Trump and I believe if he believes in Dr. Oz there’s a reason,” said D. J. McGinley, a Skippack resident. Oz is “pro-life, pro-gun and Second Amendment, against the vaccine mandate. I do believe Dr. Oz believes in the American people in the health of everyone. He has been talking about this even before he thought he had to get involved in politics. It’s time for a change. We need to talk about getting healthy and fit as being Americans. And stop the endorsement enforcing people to get vaccinated. Trump deserves his rightful position. I support him. I know there’s controversy with Dr. Oz. However, he’s a heart doctor and if it takes a doctor to stop the madness, I will endorse him. He’s putting his own job on the line.”

Maryann Brown of Warminster agreed.

“I agree with Trump,” she said. “Dr. Oz is smart and tough and he will not let us down! The TV ads for Oz make him the one for the job! My friends and I all voted for Trump and we will vote for Oz. Dr. Oz has a house in Bucks County and he is local.”

Elliott Tessler, a Philadelphia resident, said Trump’s endorsement will help Oz, although he is among the large contingent of undecided voters at the moment.

“The people he’s endorsed have had success,” said Tessler. “Oz was very supportive of Trump. Pennsylvania is ready for change. I’m looking forward to Republican success at the end of the year.”

Wayne resident Leslie Morgan was surprised by Trump’s move.

But, she said Pennsylvania Republicans are “lucky we have such a deep bench” and several “great candidates.” She likes both Oz and McCormick, as well as Montgomery county developer Jeff Bartos, and former ambassador Carla Sands.

“We have a great chance to win the Senate race,” said Morgan. “Dr. Oz is a very telegenic guy. He puts you at ease. I love the idea of a nonpolitician and a doctor who is a solutions-driven candidate.”

She believes bread and butter issues will carry the day with voters.

“People should ask themselves, are they better off today than under the prior administration,” said Morgan. “When we look at our household incomes, we’re paying more for gas and food. Which side of the table do you want to be on? Those that want to create energy independence and increases or those that want more regulation and reliance of foreign oil? Low-interest rates and oil are the mother’s milk of the economy. And Pennsylvania is losing jobs and young workers. We’re the third oldest (in demographics) state.”

“We need leadership and real solutions,” Morgan said.


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Pennsylvanians React to President Biden’s State of the Union Speech

Pennsylvania candidates and elected officials sent the Delaware Valley Journal their reactions to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

As might be expected, their sentiments differed by their party.

“President Biden began his speech tonight with a good message about Ukraine,” said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). I hope that his actions match his rhetoric and he will impose the comprehensive sanctions against Russia that I, and my Republican colleagues, have urged. The president then went on to rehash a mostly partisan, liberal wish list, including the tax-and-spend agenda that recently failed in Congress.

“Tonight was an opportunity for the president to turn a new page towards the unity he promised our country when he first took office, but unfortunately, Americans got more of the same.”

Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate David McCormick said, “Across the country and particularly in Pennsylvania, we’ve seen Joe Biden’s policies destroy our economy and increase prices for all Americans, hamstring our energy industry and return our reliance to hostile nations, flood our country with illegal immigration, drugs and human exploitation from the humanitarian crisis at the border, and catastrophically weaken America’s standing on the world stage culminating in chaos from Kabul to Kyiv and welcoming further aggression from our biggest threat – China.

“Under Joe Biden’s weak leadership, America is last. This sad reality becomes more evident by the day as Biden and the extreme left continue to gloss over the problems working American families, like in my home state of Pennsylvania, are facing while they continue to push their out-of-touch and unrealistic talking points. They are taking our nation in the wrong direction, and our world is less safe. Our country must elect leaders that will stand up to their hypocrisy and delusional agenda.

“Tonight Americans craved leadership. What they got was a reheated leftover of the same broken promises and stale rhetoric we’ve heard from the Left for decades. I’ve been fighting my whole life – from the battlefield of the Gulf War, to negotiating trade at the highest levels of government, to running two successful businesses that created hundreds of jobs. I have fought for this country and I believe in its greatness. I have what it takes to keep fighting and leading for Pennsylvania, restore the American dream for our children, and put America First once again.”

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican running for the Senate, said, “Tonight, Joe Biden painted a vastly different picture of his first year in office than the disaster experienced by the vast majority of Americans. Over the past year, Joe Biden’s destructive policies have contributed to record inflation and skyrocketing gas prices for working families, a drug and human trafficking crisis openly flowing across our southern border, and draconian mandates that have harmed our children, our economy, and the future prosperity of our nation.

“On top of his failure to manage critical domestic issues, Joe Biden’s incompetence on the world stage has resulted in unmitigated disasters ranging from the horrific pullout of American troops in Afghanistan to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Make no mistake, Joe Biden is responsible for the chaos we are experiencing — Joe Biden is the reason for the beleaguered state of our Union.”

Montgomery County businessman Jeff Bartos, a Republican running for the Senate said, “The president’s address to the American people tonight shows, once again, that he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Instead of confidently and honestly addressing the crises that are making everyday life harder for all Americans, the president simply regurgitated left-wing policies that have already failed the American people. Inflation is at a 40-year high, the southern border is overrun, crime is on the rise, Russia has declared war in Europe, China and Iran are emboldened, and gas prices are at an all-time high.  We need leadership, not platitudes, Unfortunately, the president chose not to unite the American people by declaring that we will harvest our abundant energy resources, unleash our economic might, and stop Russian aggression.”

Bartos continued, “This administration is more concerned with passing a progressive agenda than with solving the problems facing the American people. This November, it’s crucial that Republicans take back the House and the Senate to hold this administration accountable for its failures — starting with this Senate seat.”

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat running for the U.S. Senate said, “President Biden said it best himself tonight, we need to be making more things in America, and I couldn’t agree more. I will go to Washington and make sure that making stuff in America never goes out of style.”

Democrat Josh Shapiro, the attorney general who is running for governor, said on Twitter: I’ve heard it first hand — local police departments across PA are stretched thin because of historic staffing shortages.  Action is needed to ensure every community has the full public safety services they deserve. #SOTU

Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, a Republican candidate for governor said, “Under President Biden, the American people have endured a crippled economy, skyrocketing inflation, record-setting violent crime, an unprecedented crisis at the border, and a mismanaged pandemic. These issues impact every aspect of American life, but they have one thing in common – they are the result of a weak, aimless President who has proven himself incapable of defending and protecting the American people at home or abroad.

“In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf’s own reckless agenda has forced hardworking families across the Commonwealth to face crushing burdens, including job losses, shuttered businesses and schools, increased taxes and cost of living, and a sinking economy.

“That ends when I’m Governor. Pennsylvanians deserve a Governor who will put their needs first, and who will stand up for the rule of law while fighting to enact pro-business, pro-energy, and pro-family policies. It’s time for a Governor who will get the government off your back and will fight any federal attempts to intrude on our Commonwealth’s liberty, sovereignty, or constitutional rights. As Governor, I will restore conservative values to our state, end statewide mandates, and create an election system in which everyone can have faith. This is the kind of leadership that Pennsylvanians deserve and that I will provide.”

Former mayor and congressman Lou Barletta, the leading Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, said, “I’ve sat in the House chamber for State of the Union speeches before, and I have never seen a president more divorced from reality as Joe Biden. Honestly, no one needs Biden to tell them what the state of Pennsylvania is, because people are living with his disastrous policies every single day.

“Inflation is at a multi-generational high, fuel prices are through the roof, violent crime is rampant in our streets, and parents have been shut out of educational decisions concerning their children. If Biden wanted to tell the truth, he should have stood up and said, ‘They were right. I’m not up to the job.’

“The failed Biden presidency proves how important it is that we elect the right governor for Pennsylvania. Instead of allowing Russia to call the shots because of our weakness on the world stage, we need to protect our own national security by producing our own energy here at home. Pennsylvania can be a leader of the world in energy production, helping to restore us to energy independence and undercutting Vladimir Putin’s influence on the world supply.

“Josh Shapiro, the likely Democratic nominee for governor, would never stand up to Biden and would never let us tap our energy potential. He would do what the leftists demand and leave Pennsylvania falling even farther behind. When I’m governor, we will unleash our God-given energy resources, restore rights to the people, and make Pennsylvania a better place to live, learn, work, and raise a family.”

Dave White, a businessman and former Delaware County councilman who is running for governor, said, “Joe Biden’s State of the Union was so detached from reality, I doubt he has any clue what his policies are doing to American families. Inflation is hitting record highs, gas prices and crime rates are soaring, and crises of Biden’s making are popping up across the globe. Joe Biden is the worst president of my lifetime, and he clearly has no idea how to solve any of the problems our country is facing.”

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware Co.) said, “I’m leaving the Capitol this evening with a renewed sense of hope and determination. President Biden spoke directly to the American people tonight — laying out an optimistic vision for our nation, grounded in reality and sound policy choices. The president made clear that America’s best days lie ahead, and that, when we are unified behind a common cause, there is no challenge too great for America to overcome.

“Right now, we are navigating a series of unprecedented challenges. We have endured the physical and economic pain of a multi-year pandemic. Family pocketbooks are stretched with rising costs on things like energy, food, and other basic goods. And Russia has unleashed a volatile international conflict in Europe. President Biden did not avoid any of these challenges, he addressed them head-on.

“Tonight, President Biden issued a rallying cry to our fellow Americans and to the world, calling on us to stand strong as a united front against autocracy — rejecting Vladimir Putin and his unprovoked war in Ukraine. As the world responds to the horrific attacks in Ukraine, I am exceedingly grateful to have an experienced statesman-like President Biden at the helm. His ability to repair relationships with our allies and organize the international community has been crucial. Like President Biden, I believe that standing up for democracy at home and abroad is essential. So, I was pleased to see the president reiterate his commitment to advancing democratic values here in the U.S., which is more important than ever.

“The President also laid out a strategic economic vision for our country. As we turn the corner with COVID-19 and begin moving back toward a sense of normalcy, Americans are anxious about the inflation we are all experiencing. I understand that concern, and so does President Biden. That’s why he focused so much of his speech tonight on his plan to fight inflation by building a better America — one that actually works for working families. His plan to lower costs for American families while continuing a historically strong economic recovery focuses on key areas that we should all be able to agree on, regardless of political affiliation. Making more goods in America, reducing the cost of everyday expenses like child care and prescription drugs, promoting fair competition to lower corporate prices, and eliminating barriers to good-paying jobs — this is a winning plan. It’s a plan that will lower costs, not wages, which is what the American people need.

“In the midst of very heavy topics that President Biden addressed during his speech, I was thrilled to hear him highlight the importance of adults stepping up to mentor young people. Too many young people in the U.S. don’t have a meaningful connection with adults outside their homes, so it was encouraging to hear the president urge adults to serve their communities — and the next generation — by becoming mentors. An active, engaged citizenry is essential to any democracy, and mentors can play a critical role in preparing young people for this responsibility.

“At the core of President Biden’s vision for our nation’s future is his belief that the character, courage, and resilience of the American people are unmatched. He truly believes that, when given a fair shot, there is nothing his fellow Americans can’t achieve. I am inspired by the president’s faith in the American people, American values, and our American system of government because I share that faith. I look forward to working with President Biden and my colleagues in Congress to make his vision a reality.”

Republican Dave Galluch, a Newtown Square resident and former Navy explosive ordinance disposal officer, who is running for Scanlon’s seat, said, “Joe Biden closed his speech by saying ‘the State of the Union is better than it was a year ago.’ Inflation is at 40-year highs. Gas prices are soaring. Children face years of delays after prolonged school closures. Crime is climbing across the country. We have lost our energy independence. Our border is in disarray. Russia has invaded Ukraine. Our foes challenge us. Americans will tell you – we are not better off today than a year ago. We need solutions.

“What we needed to hear tonight was honesty. A speech filled with ideas to bring immediate relief to our pressing problems. Instead, President Biden delivered slogans and empty rhetoric.

“It is Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats who unleashed trillions of dollars that sent the cost of living soaring. It was Democrats who championed “Defund the Police.” It was the Biden administration that presided over the highest number of annual illegal border crossings in history. It was Democratic elected officials who shut down our schools, businesses and lives much longer than was necessary.

“In the Navy I learned that as a leader you’re either part of the solution or you’re not doing your job. None of these problems are new. Most have been fumbled, mishandled, or simply created by President Biden and out-of-touch ideologues like Mary Gay Scanlon who put partisan priorities like Build Back Better above commonsense, workable policies that would’ve delivered results. In short, they chose partisan politics and didn’t deliver.

“Ordinary American families can’t escape an unfortunate reality – their lives are harder today than they were before. The buck stops with those in charge. When I’m in Congress our pressing issues – not a party’s priorities – will come first. We will listen and deliver where others haven’t. We will be a part of the solution.”

Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) said via Twitter: “The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, like loved ones struggling with mental health and substance use disorder. Glad to hear @POTUS dedicate time in his #SOTU to both of these issues that have claimed too many lives already.

“My #SOTU virtual guest Roman Petyk: ‘President Biden deserves huge credit for rebuilding the transatlantic alliance. To have done this in one year is an amazing achievement. We must remember this.’

And “During Russia’s horrific invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of refugees need our help. Iryna Mazur, Esq., my #SOTU virtual guest, is the Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Philadelphia.”

Republican Christian Nascimento, who is running for Congress in Montgomery County said, “President Biden spoke about the world’s unity in the face of the attack on Ukraine by the criminal Putin, but failed to mention that his administration had previously withheld lethal aid. Our enemies are emboldened when our policies are weak, both abroad and at home. The rest of the speech was a recycle of a liberal wish list. Build Back Better might not have been mentioned, but Democrats continue to drive misguided government overreach.  What wasn’t covered was what the American people wanted to hear – how we get out of this spiral of soaring inflation, bring the global supply chain back to the US, and truest give parents a true voice and choice in their children’s’ education.”

Chester County Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat, said before the SOTU, ““Tonight, President Biden has an opportunity to show the American people that he understands the issues impacting our community most,” said Houlahan. “It may be his first State of the Union address, but he is no stranger to the dais. Both as Vice President and then as President during last year’s historic Joint Address to Congress, Biden knows what it takes to speak beyond applause lines and deliver a vision of unity, not only for the United States but also for the world. The question is whether or not he will rise to the occasion.”

“There are reasons to be optimistic. We hit 4 percent unemployment more than a year ahead of the Federal Reserve’s projection. Our economy gained 6.6 million jobs last year – the highest number of jobs gained in a year in U.S. history. We have gained back 87 percent of the jobs lost at the onset of the pandemic. The United States was the first country in the G-7 – the seven leading advanced economies – to recover all real GDP lost during the pandemic. And we passed a generation-defining infrastructure package, just to name a few very bright spots. So, at face value, these leading indicators and legislative accomplishments demonstrate the resiliency of our economy and the ability for our government to deliver. But they don’t tell the full story. Because at the same time, Pennsylvanians are hurting. The rising cost of goods, ongoing supply chain constraints, and rising energy prices are impacting the everyday lives of workers here in our community. Last week, I listened to mushroom farmers, daycare providers, small businesses owners, and others who are worn out and feel like no one is hearing them. I hear them, and I want President Biden to make it clear he hears them too and not only empathizes with their frustrations but also understands the commitment and necessity that we must have to do everything in our power to put partisan politics aside and help them.”

“In my short time in Congress, I have come to understand the importance of nights like tonight. At a time when our nation and our world are grappling with threats against the values and freedoms we hold so dear, we need strong moral leadership to unify Pennsylvanians, the American people, and the world. I look forward to seeing that tonight,” she said.

Guy Ciarrocchi, one of several Republicans vying to replace Houlahan, said, ““The State of the Union Address is the moment when President Biden is to assure us as Americans that he understands our problems and embraces our opportunities—and, offers us a path forward.

Sadly, his address ignores real problems—like inflation and economic insecurity—and offers no thoughtful solutions. President Biden is doubling down on the policies that brought us to where we are. If he won’t recognize reality and lead, we need a Republican Congress to force a reality-check and to step into that leadership void.”

Felice Fein, vice chair of the Chester County Republicans said, “Mr. Biden’s State of the Union Address included many of the very concepts that Mr. Trump presented in previous State of the Union speeches. Democrats seem to want us to believe these are revolutionary ideas. Does Mr. Biden really think we don’t remember that the Trump administration championed reducing the cost of insulin? Do they believe we forget that the Trump administration pushed for infrastructure funding but was blocked at nearly every turn by the Democrats?  I am glad to see that this administration and Speaker Pelosi seem so enthusiastic to do more with the opioid and mental health crises. When the Trump administration discussed these topics, it was met with a lackluster response. Good ideas should be championed whether authored by a Democrat or a Republican. On that, I think everyone would agree and should work to make it a reality!

“Finally, in response to the releasing of oil reserves to combat rising oil prices around the world, Mr. Biden wants us to believe that the rising prices are solely because of Russian aggression in Ukraine. To the contrary, oil prices were increasing well before any conflict. As soon as this administration shut down U.S. pipelines, taking away our energy independence, it caused oil prices to climb and sales of Russian oil to soar. This move effectively helped to fund Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Releasing oil from the reserves that Mr. Trump filled does nothing to aid our country or the world with its long-term need for energy.”

And Charlotte Valyo, chair of the Chester County Democrats said, “onight we saw what real leadership looks like. In just over one year, President Biden has reunited the world in the name of freedom and democracy to combat the most egregious act of tyranny that we have seen since World War II. As he has done throughout his career — and in contrast to what we see on a daily basis from Republicans — the President has spent his first year putting the country ahead of party politics. He has made progress in the battle against Covid-19, passed landmark legislation to rebuild our infrastructure. put our economy on the path to a historic recovery, and brought dignity and respect back to the Oval Office. Tonight I was proud to be a Democrat, proud to have supported President Biden, and proud to be an American.”

Liz Preate Havey, chair of the Montgomery County Republicans said, “Biden gave a meandering, uninspiring speech. He had an opportunity to give a speech to reset what the majority of voters believe is an unsuccessful presidency but he chose not to do that. This speech won’t change anything for President Biden or for Americans.”

Delaware County Democratic Chair Colleen Guiney said, “During times of tremendous hardship for the people of this nation and the people of Ukraine, President Biden Is working to bring us together to fight for fairness and progress. He urged Congress to come together to solve the problems of this nation. I am hopeful that they will follow his lead.”


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McCormick, Oz Both Bail on Monday’s Senate Debate

The two candidates polling at the front of the pack in Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. Senate race and blanketing the airwaves with attack ads, are passing on the opportunity to face off in person. Both businessman David McCormick and celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz are skipping a much-anticipated debate Monday evening at Villanova University.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Oz previously told organizers he could not take part in the debate due to a prior commitment. Now McCormick, a hedge fund CEO, is also a no-show.

“Dave is looking forward to debating. Hopefully, Mehmet will confirm a day and time soon,” said Jess Szymanski, a spokeswoman for McCormick.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bartos, a Montgomery County developer, responded to the decisions of McCormick and Oz to skip the debate with a jibe about their recent residencies in the commonwealth.

“Perhaps if this debate was held in Connecticut or New Jersey, Dave McCormick and Mehmet Oz would be inclined to attend and defend their records,” Bartos tweeted. “I’m looking forward to Monday’s debate, and unlike my out-of-state opponents, I will always show up for Pennsylvanians.”

While Oz now rents a house from his in-laws in Bryn Athyn, he also has a house in northern New Jersey and is an attending physician at New York  Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center. He practiced medicine while appearing on his TV show “Dr. Oz.” Oz spent his college years in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a joint MD and MBA from the Penn School of Medicine and the Wharton Business School.

McCormick had lived in Connecticut for about 12 years, where he was the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, until moving back to the Pittsburgh area. He grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Bloomsburg. He attended West Point and served as an Army paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne in Iraq during the First Gulf War, where he received the Bronze Star.

Jeff Bartos

He worked as a consultant in Pittsburgh, then at a software company, where he rose to president and CEO.

At a previous debate, also sans Oz and McCormick, Bartos quipped, “Being a lifelong Pennsylvanian is a distinguishing characteristic in this campaign for the United States Senate in Pennsylvania.”

Other candidates expected to attend the debate Monday are Kathy Barnette, a Fox News commentator and author, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress against Madeleine Dean in Montgomery County; Philadelphia lawyer George Bochetto; and Everett Stern, an investigator. It was unclear whether Carla Sands, the former ambassador to Denmark for President Donald Trump, would attend.

The debate is expected to be streamed and televised on PNC, which will also host a debate wrap-up afterward.


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Pennsylvanians React to Supreme Court Vaccine Mandate Ruling

In a 6-3 ruling Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden’s OSHA vaccine mandate on businesses with more than 100 employees.

However, the high court permitted the vaccine rule to be imposed on healthcare workers at institutions that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding, unless those employees have medical or religious exemptions.

OSHA issued its mandate in November, parts of which– including a mask mandate for unvaccinated workers — were scheduled to take effect this week.

In response, 27 states have sued the Biden administration in various venues over its attempts to use the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) to impose mandates on employers with 100 or more workers. The mandates, which required employees to either be vaccinated or undergo regular testing, would have affected 84 million workers.

Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain re-tweeted a statement calling the OSHA rule “the ultimate workaround for the federal government to require vaccination,” a point noted by the court during its oral arguments last week. Klain’s attitude fed suspicions among some legal observers that the White House’s decision to issue the OSHA order is just the latest example of the Biden administration issuing a policy they know is unlikely to survive legal scrutiny for the sake of political messaging.

For example, when Biden issued a federal moratorium on evictions last August, he admitted, “The bulk of the constitutional scholars say it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster.” The Supreme Court swiftly struck it down.

It only took a week for the Supreme Court to do the same with the OSHA mandate, once it reached the high court. “Under the law as it stands today, that power [to regulate the pandemic] rests with the states and Congress, not OSHA,” Justice Neil Gorsuch said Thursday.

“By blocking the OSHA mandate, the Supreme Court showed that it’s possible to take statutory limits on federal power seriously, not just constitutional ones,” said Ilya Shapiro, director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute. “After all, even if we accept federal regulation of workplace safety as constitutional, there’s a difference between occupational risk and the general risk of living in a pandemic.”

Some local businesses chafed under the mandate, while others supported it.

“The Pennsylvania Chamber fully supports vaccination to curb the pandemic,” said Chamber president and CEO Gene Barr. “However, we heard many concerns from employers in response to the ETS – both confusion over implementation and with losing employees during a workforce crisis. We urge lawmakers to work with the business community as partners helping employers get through both the pandemic and workforce crises.”

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said, “The Supreme Court’s decision to block the administration’s private employer testing and vaccine requirement is a welcome enforcement of the constitutional limits of the powers of the executive branch. I continue to believe the vaccine is the best choice for most Americans, and I hope those who are able but have not received a vaccine will do so soon. The Biden administration lacked the legal authority to coerce vaccination through employers. This unlawful and unconstitutional exercise fueled vaccine skepticism and led to employees leaving the workplace, exacerbating current staffing shortages for businesses.”

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) holds similar views.

“Over the past few months, I have heard from countless constituents across our community who have expressed concern over the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on private businesses,” said Fitzpatrick. “While I have been a proponent of COVID-19 vaccines since they became available, I believe receiving a vaccine should be a decision left up to individuals. I oppose the federal vaccine mandate and cosponsored H.J. Res. 65, a resolution expressing disapproval of OSHA’s vaccine mandate for private businesses with more than 100 employees.”

Fitzpatrick added, “I support the Supreme Court’s decision to block enforcement of this draconian mandate. Since the onset of the pandemic, our businesses have faced months of massive revenue losses, supply chain issues, workforce shortages, and skyrocketing costs. The overreaching OSHA standard will only add strain on our businesses and will further discourage people from entering back into the workforce, impeding Pennsylvania’s economic recovery. I have always believed that it was not in the best interest of the Commonwealth to implement or enforce OSHA’s vaccine mandate, and I will continue to stand with my colleagues against this misguided measure.”

Meanwhile, two doctors who hope to replace Toomey when he retires had opposing points of view.

Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz said on Twitter, “Joe Biden’s attempt to dictate a decision that should be made between a patient and their doctor was always unconstitutional. I will always stand against mandates that take the power away from patients.”

However, Dr. Kevin Baumlin, a Philadelphia ER doctor and Democrat, told the Delaware Valley Journal he supports vaccine mandates as a way to stop the virus by encouraging more people to get COVID-19 shots.

“I think it’s a bad day for public health and health policy,” said Baumlin. As for Biden’s mandate, “I think the intentions were good. We don’t want vaccine mandates because we want to hurt people. We want to keep people safe. This is a particularly contagious variant. It spreads easily. Therefore, the attempt to impose mandates in the workplace is to decrease illness, death and dying.”


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DR. OZ: President Biden’s COVID Fumble

While running for President, Joe Biden frequently claimed in his stump speech, “I am going to shut down the virus.” Now, almost a year into his presidency, evidence that he’s made good on his promise is nowhere to be found.

For all his tough campaign rhetoric, the Biden administration’s response to the prolonged COVID pandemic has been largely confusing, disorganized, and has fallen far short of its intended goals.

President Biden is fumbling the ball at the goal line after President Trump drove the ball all the way down the field.

Thanks to the brilliance of President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, America gave the gift of mRNA vaccines to the world and saved millions of lives, but there is more work to be done.

President Biden’s handling of the vaccine booster situation has left many Americans unsure of if and when they’re eligible for such a booster. We’re also behind other nations when it comes to at-home testing. This shouldn’t be the reality for a nation with the resources and ingenuity that America does.

To conquer this disease once and for all, we have to get bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci, who have lost the confidence of the American people, out of the way. President Biden needs to fully unleash the spirit of American innovation to crush this virus.

By now, we should be able to treat those infected with COVID far better, but we still don’t have enough FDA-approved therapeutics to treat people. While the President has made a number of videos with celebrities to promote vaccines, his administration hasn’t shown the same enthusiasm for potentially life-saving treatments.

It’s unfortunate that COVID-19 became political and an excuse for the government and many in the corporate media to control the means of communication to suspend debate.

To make matters worse, recently published emails show the level America’s medical leadership went to silence those who did not prescribe to their ethos. There was a coordinated effort between Dr. Fauci, the media, and tech companies to muzzle dissenting opinions from leading scholars so their ideas could not be disseminated. From the start, therapeutics meant to help with COVID-19 were regularly discounted by the medical establishment, and as a result, many great ideas were squashed and discredited.

President Biden’s message to the American people in the wake of the Omicron variant has been nothing short of fearmongering – and he’s refused to take accountability for his failures.

This summer, while the border crisis raged, President Biden largely ignored the fact that 18 percent of illegal immigrants released from Border Patrol custody tested positive for the virus – a risk to the health and safety of many Americans. But President Biden’s response to the summer surge of cases was instead a number of burdensome vaccine mandates that instead threatened Americans’ livelihoods.

Now, as we watch case counts rise again many Americans are worried we’ll be returning to the lockdowns that crippled their businesses, harmed their children’s education, and stifled their freedoms.

To those pushing lockdowns, I urge you to follow the science. I want our businesses open and students fully in the classroom. I understand the truth, the data, and the science behind combatting COVID better than anyone in this race. Special interest groups have tried to keep America closed, and I am running for Senate to put our businesses, our schools, and our communities first.

To combat this virus, America needs new leaders and new ideas, not just star-studded ad campaigns and a return to the same restrictions that put our lives on hold. I’m committed to using my wealth of experience to pursue policies to help us restore our way of life which will help better the lives of all Pennsylvanians.


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Senate Candidate Dr. Oz Decries Facebook Censorship

Dr. Oz is off Facebook, and he says it’s censorship.

Even before Facebook and Twitter nuked former President Donald Trump’s accounts, there were instances of Big Tech censoring conservatives, Republicans, and right-leaning media outlets.

A case in point is the New York Post’s bombshell report about Hunter Biden’s salacious laptop, which was suppressed by Twitter before the Nov. 2020 presidential election. Later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted the social media company should not have censored that article, but the damage was done. Facebook also put restrictions on the news article, whose accuracy has never been challenged or disproven.

Now, as celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz enters the 2022 Republican race for the Pennsylvania Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, he is accusing Facebook of returning to its old tricks.

“I just got some disturbing news,” Oz said in a press release on Tuesday. “Facebook has restricted my account – and is not letting me advertise to you. It could hurt the momentum that we’ve been building with this campaign. Now, we’ve asked them what’s going on and they say they’re looking into it, but it’s been more than 24 hours. I need to get my conservative messages out. They matter.

“I don’t want big tech putting their thumb on the scale to shift the balance of power here,” said Oz. “You need to learn about strong families and how to protect your individual freedoms. We’re not going to be canceled. We won’t be censored. We won’t be shut down.”

Oz spokeesman Casey Contres said, “Big Tech and the political establishment are trying to stop Dr. Oz’s campaign to empower Pennsylvanians, but it is not going to work. We are seeing incredible energy and enthusiasm at every stop and that will only continue to grow.”

Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and star of the television show, “Dr. Oz,” has entered a crowded field. It includes Republicans Montgomery County businessman Jeff Bartos, author and television commentator Kathy Barnette, Sean Gale, a Montgomery County lawyer, and Carla Sands, who served as ambassador to Denmark for President Trump. Democrats include doctors Val Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County commissioners, and Kevin Baumlin, a Philadelphia ER doctor; U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb; Lt. Gov. John Fetterman; and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia).

Libertarian Erik Gerhardt is also a candidate.

Facebook, meanwhile, did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Oz’s complaint.


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GIORDANO: A House Call With Dr. Oz

Shortly after Dr. Oz announced he was running for the Senate, he made a house call on my radio show. After that interview, I think Oz has some important issues to resolve, but he exhibited an asset that makes him a contender. He brings a fresh outsider vibe and a populist approach to the issues.

Prior to my show, it seemed The Philadelphia Inquirer had installed the Dr. Oz desk as it rolled out article after article attacking him, particularly on his place of residence. It seemed fixated on his failure to actually live in Pennsylvania and will use that as a launch point to try to portray him as a rich guy dilettante. Of course, when people like Hillary Clinton strolled into a New York Senate seat, there didn’t seem to be the same level of scrutiny.

The Inquirer even tracked Oz’s social media and pointed out it still frequently shows him at his North Jersey mansion. I questioned him twice on this and he went through a list of connections that he has to Pennsylvania, including his time getting his MD and MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and Penn’s Wharton School. My listeners as far as I can tell don’t care about his residency. They seem intrigued by something else.

Oz at least initially is bringing a certain freshness and outside the usual political stale box quality to this race. It is not quite Trumpian, but it has some of the same appeals. Oz’s story is a great immigrant success story, there is a Hollywood glitz, and it is attached to the proposition that he has achieved everything in life and now wants to use his skills to serve.

In the interview, Oz attacked critical race theory, cancel culture, and the Communist Chinese Party. I was impressed as he detailed the challenges we face from China. I sensed he has work to do in filling in his knowledge of specific issues affecting people in our area.

I think’s Oz’s medical gravitas plays well given the prominence of COVID and policies affecting our ability to deal with it. Oz has challenged the government by suggesting that it has overdone the issues involving COVID and have unnecessarily limited personal freedom.

He said on his website, “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 schools, shut down our businesses, and took away our freedom.” Given Oz’s medical background, that is an area that can work with voters in a Republican primary.

Of course, the biggest question I have with each Republican Senate candidate that I interview is can they overcome media bias and beat the Democratic candidate? The gold standard for Republican winners is they must be able to energize the conservative base of the party while also not scaring off voters in the Philadelphia suburbs. Pat Toomey is the model for that kind of blend.

I think Dr. Oz at this point lacks Toomey’s tremendous command of policy details, but I don’t think he would scare off suburban voters. Also, whoever the Republican candidate is who becomes the nominee will have the good fortune of probably facing Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who apparently thinks legalizing marijuana is the burning issue in this upcoming race.

In the end, Dr. Oz might fizzle out quickly despite celebrity, money, and connections. For now, I don’t think he is harming anything in this key Senate race. Who knows: Oprah might even visit the state.

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DelVal Doctors Diagnose Dr. Oz U.S. Senate Bid

Reports that TV star Dr. Mehmet Oz plans to run for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania as a Republican had tongues wagging this week.

Doctors have served in Congress, so it would not be unprecedented.  Currently, several Republican doctors are serving in the Senate including Rand Paul of Kentucky, Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, Kansan Roger Marshall, and John Barrasso of Wyoming.

In the House, doctors Larry Bucshon, a thoracic surgeon, represents Indiana, and Michael Burgess, an OB/GYN represents Texas.

Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican who currently serves Pennsylvania, is not running for reelection, leading to a long list of candidates, both Democrat and Republican, who are vying for Toomey’s seat.

But if he decides to run, Oz wouldn’t be the only doctor in the race.

Democrats Val Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners and an anesthesiology specialist, is a doctor. Kevin Baumlin, chair of Pennsylvania Hospital’s emergency department, is also running.

“We have many great candidates for the Senate and governor positions and in the final analysis the people of Pennsylvania will make the ultimate decision and select the candidates they believe can represent them at the highest level of leadership excellence,” said Dr. Nche Zama, a cardiothoracic surgeon from the Poconos, a Republican who is running for governor.

Dr. Robert Sklaroff, who practices hematology, oncology, and internal medicine and is affiliated with Nazareth Hospital, said of Oz, “It seems he has not reflected the fundamental views of the Republican Party, both regarding domestic policy (having supported a lot of progressive Democrats) and foreign policy (having supported Turkey’s Islamist President Erdoğan). From a medical perspective, he has hawked ‘miracle cures’ that aren’t based upon peer-reviewed data. My major concern is election integrity and he has never—to my knowledge—addressed violations of election integrity in 2020 which, in my humble opinion, continues to be the major threat to democracy.”

On a lighter note, Dr. Bob Michaelson, a retired Montgomery County resident, said, “I guess Dr. Oz (meets) the constitutional qualifications of being at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen, and a resident of his state. Being a public TV personality seems to have worked for others. I don’t know how well he would legislate, but I would prefer the Wizard of Oz in most cases.”

And forensic pathologist Dr. Jonathan Briskin said, “I think he should stay on TV.”

Oz, if he decides to enter the race, would face a crowded field including author and veteran Sean Parnell, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump; former ambassador Carla Sands; Montgomery County businessman Jeff Bartos; TV personality and author Kathy Barnette; and Montgomery County lawyer Sean Gale on the Republican side. Democrats include Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.

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