How Dr. Oz's Candidacy at Penn State Can Promote Public Health

How Dr. Oz’s Candidacy at Penn State Can Promote Public Health

Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate, for 16 years hosted a popular and syndicated daytime television show.. He relied on his credentials as a television doctor for his campaign.

But his nomination has encouraged the media to scrutinize the spread of misinformation for a long time, including what University of Alberta professor Timothy Caulfield described in Scientific American. Misleading, science-free and unproven alternative therapies. His Democratic opponent, Jon Fetterman, was running TV ads about Oz’s questionable recommendationsAnd the which public health professionals despise. A group of Pennsylvania physicians called “The Real Doctors Against Oz” began a campaign against his candidacy, and announced that “A major threat to public health. “

Oz’s false claims are being played out just as public health officials warn of a Possible increase in transmission of the coronavirusand since only 4 percent of Americans have received the latest omicron-focused products booster vaccineAnd the According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As a Republican candidate for the Senate in the fifth most populous state, Oz has a political platform to defend — or against — vaccine safety in a race that is capturing national interest. If he chooses to promote vaccines, our research He suggests that Oz could use his campaign to influence public health and increase vaccination rates in Americans. In particular, he has a chance to reach out to his core supporters, who gather on skeptical about the vaccine ideological right.

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Oz supporters tend to be more willing to accept that Wrong information about the vaccineless likely to plan or get Vaccination against corona virus; more skeptical From the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC; And less likely to worry about getting new variables. After several years high Politicized and polarized discussion Regarding the pandemic, Republicans are unlikely to heed the advice of health experts like Anthony S. Fauci.

But Oz as a doctor and well known and trusted The former host of a TV show, he could be an effective messenger for why Americans should be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Social science research has found that when people listen to Leaders they trustThey are more likely to change their mind about politically and socially contentious issues. Issues related to the epidemic are politically controversial, given that over the past two years, the coronavirus has become A highly polarizing partisan issue. But since Oz and ordinary Republicans — in Pennsylvania and nationally — share a common partisan identity and positions on other hot political issues, they might as well. more like to me find him Vaccines trusted. So it is more like To be able to change their mind.

Who is vaccinated? The answer has changed since the first wave.

Here’s how we did our research

We tested this theory in our research And you find that, yeah, maybe it can change opinions.

Here’s the background. Oz hasn’t always supported vaccination on his daytime talk show. was once in a while Leaves anti-vaccination singly In his program, where they promoted misleading scientific information. he has Promoted common ideas against vaccinationAnd the Such as advising parents of unnecessary spacing of childhood vaccinations beyond what the CDC recommends.

However, Oz also, on occasion, used his offer to promote vaccination. For example, on March 4, 2019, episodeAfter an outbreak of measles, Rockland, New YorkOz warned his viewers of the dangers posed by measles, and touted the two doses of the MMR (mumps and rubella) vaccine as “97 percent effective.” At the time, our research team happened to be transmitting a nationally representative longitudinal survey using the National Opinion Research Center’s AmeriSpeak panel of 3,005 respondents (1803 of whom were available to reconnect) at the University of Chicago. AmeriSpeak is a nationally representative, probability-based sample of US adults, constructed using a two-stage stratified sampling framework that covers 97 percent of US households. Speakers can reply Either online or over the phone. We took advantage of this natural experience to assess what regular Oz viewers believed before and right after this episode.

In fact, Oz made a difference. Prior to this episode, only 12 percent of his viewers—those who know the least about vaccines—had seen routine, low-risk vaccinations. After that, 31 percent did.

The research found that Republican candidates are increasingly sharing disinformation

We don’t know yet if Oz will risk promoting vaccines and vaccine safety in the course of the campaign this fall. He may have a hard time changing minds on the ideological right, after several years in which the coronavirus vaccination became part of partisan culture wars.

Leading opponents of vaccinations Like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., he continues to promote Oz’s anti-Fascist rhetoric since he chose to take advantage of Republican positions for political gain. But if he chooses to change direction, we Research He suggests that when Oz speaks, his audience listens.

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Dominic Stequa (decustecu) is an assistant professor of political science at Colorado State University.

dead dead (matt_motta) is an assistant professor of health law, policy, and management at the Boston University School of Public Health.

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