Despite tough rhetoric toward China, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz once worked at a Chinese military hospital and spoke glowingly about the country, according to a recent report.
Oz in the 1990s performed surgeries in at least two hospitals, including the Chinese military “301 Hospital,” according to the Washington Times.
Oz, in an undated video posted on YouTube, said he first came to China in 1993 and “actually operated at Fuwai Hospital and the military 301 Hospital.” “I’ve had a long history of coming to this great country,” he added.
In the video, Oz indicated he was at a USANA baby care facility in Beijing. USANA Health Services was a sponsorship partner of his daytime TV health and wellness show that had a subsidiary in China.
The “301 Hospital” is described as a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Hospital on the website of an affiliate hospital. According to the description, it was founded in 1953 and is “an important health care base of the central government.”
“It is responsible for the medical care of military commissions, headquarters and other units, officers and soldiers, and the diagnosis and treatment of difficult diseases in various military regions, services and arms. The hospital is also a medical school of the People’s Liberation Army. It focuses on postgraduate education and is the only hospital running a school in the entire army,” it said.
On January 24, 2019, Oz tweeted a photo of himself and two relatives during a trip to Beijing, tweeting:
#TBT to a trip I’ll never forget — Beijing, 1992 with my father-in–law Gerald Lemole and brother–in–law Michael Lemole. We’re all doctors and were there to operate.
He encouraged followers to follow him on a Chinese social media platform Weibo, where he posted to an account in Chinese until May 2019.
The Times noted that Oz’s father in law, Dr. Gerald Lemole, was a cardiovascular surgeon like Oz and had taken a heart surgery team to Beijing in 1991 to train Chinese doctors, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer article.
Oz’s show’s website said Lemole was a visiting professor at Fengtai Heart Institute in Beijing and at another military hospital, the People’s Hospital, also known as the PLA Second Military Medical University in Shanghai.
Oz also filmed a video in May 2018 for USANA in which he said, “I love working in China.” And in an interview reportedly in July 2018, he said in an interview with Chinese state media network CGTN that he opposed trade wars with China, which went against then-President Donald Trump’s trade policies.
Oz also recently published a book with a Chinese co-author titled Yin Yang You. His coauthor is Anlong Xu, president of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, which is run by the Chinese Communist Party. The book was released on October 11 and promotes traditional Chinese medicine.
Trump has endorsed Oz, but the doctor’s past activities in China present an awkward contrast to his rhetoric on the campaign trail, where he and Republican primary opponent David McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, have criticized each other for being too close to China.
Oz’s Communications Director Brittany Yanick said in a statement to Breitbart News:
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. That kind of global improvement in healthcare 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 CCP rich for years with his Wall Street insider hedge fund’s investments while McCormick off-shored Pennsylvania jobs.
Oz and McCormick are the top two Republican candidates in the Republican primary election vying to replace Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). The primary takes place on May 17.