‘CHINA GAVE US COVID’: Tweet from Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Oz draws criticism

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  • Dr. Mehmet Oz, a TV personality, heart surgeon and candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race, posted a tweet reading, “CHINA GAVE US COVID,” on March 1.
  • ​​Dr. Risa Hoshino, pediatrician and influencer, was among many social media users to criticize Oz for perpetuating anti-Asian hate with his message.
  • “Exactly why I keep speaking out against Anti-Asian hate. Because even ‘doctors’ are spouting this racist nonsense,” Hoshino wrote.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a TV personality and heart surgeon who is now running in the Pennsylvania Senate Republican primary, has come under fire for his tweet blaming China for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The tweet, posted on March 1, reads: “CHINA GAVE US COVID.”

Oz joins a long list of GOP candidates and leaders who have outright blamed the pandemic on China, or insinuated as much by using terms such as Chinese virus, “Wuhan virus” and “Kung Flu.”

Many have spoken out against attributing the virus to China, as it has contributed to the rise of anti-Asian hate and violence since the start of the pandemic. 

​​Dr. Risa Hoshino, an Asian American pediatrician and influencer, publicly denounced Oz’s behavior as “despicable” in an Instagram post.

“Exactly why I keep speaking out against Anti-Asian hate. Because even ‘doctors’ are spouting this racist nonsense,” she wrote in the caption. “People like him are the reason why I’m still scared to be on the streets of NYC by myself. Why I lean against the subway ads so I don’t get pushed in front of a train. Why I carry pepper spray on me. Why I am looking over my shoulder and don’t put in my ear phones.”

Oz has made his stance against China a repeated talking point throughout his political campaign. On his campaign website, listed under his issues, is a page titled “Get tough on China.” 

“Every year we see more and more companies ship American jobs overseas, while failing to stand up to China as they steal our intellectual property and manipulate their currency,” the section begins.

In February, he released an ad targeting his opponent David McCormick alleging that McCormick is “China’s friend, not ours.”

Before then, in late January, he tweeted a link to a local newspaper’s coverage of his campaign stop in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he told gatherers, “I think China is coming after us.”

Featured Image via DoctorOz

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