- The Washington Times
Monday, May 2, 2022

Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, who has built his Republican primary campaign on a “tough on China” approach, once performed surgeries at a Chinese military hospital in the 1990s.

Mr. Oz discussed his work at the Chinese “301” military hospital in an undated YouTube video that the celebrity physician recorded in Beijing while promoting a sponsor of his long-running daytime-TV health and wellness talk show.

“I first came to China in 1993 and actually operated at Fuwai Hospital and the military 301 hospital,” Mr. Oz said in the video. “I’ve had a long history of coming to this great country and learning more about the health of the Chinese people and what they need.”

The 301 hospital, also known as the People’s Liberation Army Hospital, was founded in 1953. Its English-translation website describes it as “a large-scale modern comprehensive hospital” and medical school which also serves as “a world-class military hospital.”

In a Twitter post in 2019, Mr. Oz displayed a photo of himself and two relatives during their trip to Beijing.

“I’ll never forget — Beijing, 1992 with my father-in-law Gerald Lemole and brother-in-law Michael Lemole,” Mr. Oz tweeted. “We’re all doctors and were there to operate.”

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Dr. Gerald Lemole was a cardiovascular surgeon like his son-in-law, and took a heart-surgery team to Beijing in 1991 to train Chinese doctors in surgery, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer article.

Mr. Oz has criticized his main GOP rival, former hedge fund executive David McCormick, for profiting from business deals in China. He has called Mr. McCormick “China’s friend, not ours” in an attack ad. The candidates have traded accusations of being too cozy with China.

Oz campaign communications director Brittany Yanick said his opponents shouldn’t use his work helping others as a political smear.

“Dr. Mehmet Oz, over 30 years ago for a few days, traveled to teach other doctors and local surgeons how to save lives with advanced heart surgery techniques,” Ms. Yanick said in a statement to The Washington Times.

“That kind of global improvement in health care should be universally championed and not used as a pathetic political attack. Teaching doctors to save lives is drastically different than Beijing’s favorite candidate getting himself and the [Chinese Communist Party] rich for years with his Wall Street insider hedge fund’s investments while McCormick off-shored Pennsylvania jobs,” she said.

“The Dr. Oz Show” had a lucrative sponsorship deal with Usana Health Services, whose largest market is China and has a Chinese subsidiary, Usana Baby Care.

In the video, Mr. Oz described Usana’s Beijing facility as “magnificent.”

“The sourcing of the raw materials was incredibly careful,” he said. “I love the science, I love the quality control. Every aspect of this USANA Baby Care facility is top level, best of brand, and it’s world class for good reason, it deserves it.”

Mr. Oz, Mr. McCormick and several other Republicans are vying for the party’s nomination to replace retiring Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey. Mr. Oz received a boost last month when he was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is leading the Democratic field in polls, while polling in the Republican primary has not shown a clear favorite. The primary is on May 17.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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