We’re All Screwed If Dr. Oz is the New Coronavirus Expert

Dr. Oz has been all over TV, giving us advice for avoiding the coronavirus. With a deep history of blatant health lies, he's the last person we should trust.
Posted in: HeadlinesOp-ed
March 9, 2020 11:23 PM UTC
  • Dr. Oz has become a figurehead in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Oz is known for his pseudo-scientific alternative medicine claims.
  • If he’s the new voice of reason, we could be in for a world of hurt.

Dr. Oz is inexplicably becoming a leading voice in the public’s defense against the coronavirus.

Our savior is here to tell us things we mostly already know. | Source: Twitter

While his health advice is pretty standard, it seems we’re forgetting an important lesson here. It might be time to stop taking advice from entertainers.

Yes, Dr. Oz is a Doctor. No, He’s Not a Virology Expert.

Dr. Oz is indeed a doctor. He specializes in thoracic surgery. Thoracic surgeons generally address issues of the heart and lungs, which can be affected by the coronavirus. But he’s giving advice on how to protect yourself against the spread of the virus. This is not his specialty.

It doesn’t appear as though he’s given any advice outside of mainstream acceptance. In other words, Dr. Oz is not offering any new input; he’s just trying to get a little bump in popularity during the coronavirus panic.

At this point, he’s an entertainer first and foremost, and he’s likely making his decisions with his Hollywood career in mind. Haven’t we already learned that entertainers don’t make the best leaders?

This Is One Doctor Who Has Not Earned Our Trust

Dr. Oz has a laundry list of questionable health tips. He’s a suspected anti-vaxxer who once claimed that green bean extract was a “magic weight-loss cure.” Oz once told us to brush our teeth with strawberries to help whiten them. Researchers at the University of Iowa later showed us that this combination did nearly nothing at all.

In 2014, members of the U.S. senate scolded him for this green bean extract claims. Dr. Oz came clean:

There’s not a pill that’s going to help you long term lose weight without diet and exercise.

In 2015, at least one thousand doctors called for his resignation from Columbia University.

Is this really the man we should be following?

The Protocol For Surviving Dr. Oz

Oz recently released his “coronavirus survival protocol.” It contains much of the standard information: wash your hands, stop touching your face, stock up on supplies, etc. Of course, he adds a few new-age tips like meditation and elderberry syrup.

Who’s the doctor that other doctors trust? I don’t know, but it’s not Dr. Oz | Source: Twitter

While most of these tips are likely either helpful or harmless, we have to be discerning with our trust. We’re vulnerable when we’re afraid.

Over the coming months, people might try to convince us to buy all kinds of “super-immunity boosters” that will “destroy” the virus. These miracle cures will probably be about as useful as green bean extract was for weight loss. To help us avoid the sway of opportunistic charlatans, here’s a guide for surviving the advice of unqualified people like Dr. Oz:

  • Fact-check everything you read online.
  • Try to find scientific studies that back up claims made by people like Dr. Oz.
  • Read advice from established institutions like the CDC.
  • Whatever you do, do not mistake entertainers for authority figures.

We can come out of this coronavirus panic without losing our wits. Let’s see if Dr. Oz can do the same.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor, or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us and we will look at it as soon as possible.

Last modified: June 13, 2020 9:39 PM UTC

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Aaron Weaver @aaaaronweaver

Aaron is a contributor and editor for ccn.com. He has been a professional writer and journalist for over ten years. After graduating with honors from Western Michigan University, he's written extensively for newspapers, websites, and various TV shows and web series. Email: aaron.weaver@ccn.com