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WASHINGTON — In his run for the U.S. Senate, Dr. Oz repeatedly reminds audiences that, yes, he is a “Doctor.” He refers to himself as a “world-class” surgeon, pausing during campaign stops to measure voters’ blood pressure and pose for pictures with former patients. He’s spent the past year warning voters that “America’s heartbeat is in a code red.” His Trump-like slogan even has a health care twist: “Heal America.”

Even as Mehmet Oz brazenly promotes his medical bona fides, the surgeon-turned-TV star has spent much of his career embracing untruths, including touting astrology as a legitimate medical tool and the myth that apple juice contains unsafe levels of arsenic. Still, though, Oz’s strategy of touting his medical career — coupled with a surprise endorsement from President Trump — seems to be working: If the latest polls hold up, he’s poised to eke out a win in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary on May 17.


In a country plagued by medical misinformation, many health experts see the prospect of Senator Oz as just the latest assault on basic scientific fact. Others, though, argue the celebrity doctor is a more complex character. Even amid the falsehoods, they say, he’s endorsed vaccines and masks and spoken accurately about the science of abortion in a way that — at least when compared to the rhetoric of other GOP candidates — resembles a sound scientific message.

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