Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Mehmet Oz on Friday released a letter from his doctor affirming his health as he works to keep the spotlight on Democratic nominee John Fetterman’s recovery from a stroke earlier this year.
The campaign also released doctors’ letters to Oz from 2014 and 2018 in addition to a heart EKG report from this year, making the information public two days after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette urged both candidates to release their medical records.
The op-ed written earlier this week by the newspaper’s editorial board said Fetterman should do so to “reassure the public” amid questions over his health.
“In the interest of full transparency over my own health, I saw my doctor again to get the most current appraisal of my health status. I agree that voters should have full transparency when it comes to the health status of candidates running for office,” Oz said in a statement.
Rebecca Kuth wrote in her check up of Oz on Thursday that, “You report overall excellent health. On exam here, your blood pressure was in the normal range at 102/70. Your weigh (182 pounds) is at the upper normal range for your height, giving you a body mass index, BMI or ratio of weight to height, of 25 (ideal BMI range is 19 – 24). The rest of your exam is fine.”
Oz has focused in on Fetterman’s health and fitness to serve as a campaign issue, accusing Fetterman of hiding from voters and pressing him to debate. Fetterman was absent from the campaign trail for several months after suffering a stroke just before Pennsylvania’s primaries in May.
His campaign has said he is almost fully recovered but dealing with some lagging auditory processing issues. Fetterman earlier this month committed to a debate with Oz in late October, saying that he had always intended to debate the celebrity doctor. He’s also stepped up his campaign events and held rallies in the state.
None of that has lessened the pressure from Oz, who is trying to close a gap with the Democratic lieutenant governor in a key race that could determine control of the Senate.
Polls have consistently shown Fetterman in the lead, including one from Muhlenberg College and Morning Call released Thursday that showed Oz trailing by 5 points. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report last month moved the race from “toss up” to “lean Democratic.”
In a statement reacting to the released doctors’ letters, Fetterman doubled down on painting Oz as a carpetbagger — a favorite talking point of his — pointing to the fact that the Republican candidate saw a doctor in New York. He also said he has already provided some proof that he was fit to run for Senate.
“Today Dr. Oz confirmed that he does not actually live in Pennsylvania, because no one who does would have a primary care doctor on 5th Avenue in Manhattan,” Fetterman said. “We didn’t need to know Dr. Oz’s bone density. We need to know whether he would vote to ban all abortions after 15 weeks. We need to know whether he would vote to raise the minimum wage. We need to know whether he even plans to stay in Pennsylvania after the election.”
“In June, I released a letter from my doctor where he clearly stated that I am fit to serve. Dr. Oz built his entire career by lying to people about health. I trust my actual doctor over the opinion of a charlatan who played one on TV,” he added.