Dr. Oz is a fraud who ought to be fired from Columbia University and have his medical license revoked. Instead, he'll be headed to the White House.
In a press release, the Trump Administration announced its plan to appoint America's Quack to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. This is an abomination to the biomedical science community.
It is impossible to overstate how ridiculously inept this decision is. Founded in 1956 by President Eisenhower, the Council is largely symbolic. Members have included people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who (at the time) was just a muscular celebrity. But symbols matter. Appointing Dr. Oz to such a prominent position is tantamount to endorsing his body of work.
And what a body of work it is.
Dr. Oz: America's Quack
Americans trust their doctors to give them good health advice. When you go to your general practitioner for a check-up, you expect him or her to give you the best, science-based health advice they can offer. Anything less is arguably malpractice.
Dr. Oz is not restrained by such ethics. A study published in the British Medical Journal examined a sample of his medical recommendations. It concluded that a pathetic 46% were based on something resembling scientific evidence. That's worse than a coin toss.
Dr. Oz is also a snake oil salesman, peddling all manner of pseudoscientific nonsense. As of 2014, he had advocated for at least 16 different miraculous weight loss regimens. Additionally, according to Forbes, Dr. Oz talks to the dead, says that 200 orgasms per year will extend a person's life by six years, endorses Reiki healing, and claims that his wife and kids use homeopathy.
America's Quack also has a penchant for interviewing strange Hollywood celebrities on his TV show. (Colby Vorland, a PhD student in nutrition, posted a spreadsheet of Dr. Oz's guests.) His viewers have been regaled with the wisdom of biomedical luminaries such as Jenny McCarthy (an anti-vaxxer), Gwyneth Paltrow (The Vagina Whisperer), Deepak Chopra (who pushes absurdities like "quantum healing"), and "Crazy Joe" Mercola (a conspiracy theorist who says, among many other insane things, that birth defects in Brazil weren't due to Zika virus but vitamin A deficiency).
Let's review. Dr. Oz has given a national platform to:
- Conspiracy theorists
- Snake oil salesmen
- People who talk to the dead
And now, he will be given one of the nation's most prestigious platforms from which he can offer more harmful pseudoscience, with the full blessing of the President of the United States. This is a travesty.
If Mr. Trump truly wants to serve the medical interests of the American people, he should do what he does best: Call Dr. Oz a loser and fire him on live television.