On May 4, the White House announced nominations for key Trump advisors, including those for members of the Presidential Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition to serve for two terms. On this list of nominations, representing New Jersey, was Mehmet Oz — or, how he’s more famously known as, Dr. Oz.
Also on the list was New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick as well as former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera — who Trump also nominated as a co-chair.
Axios reported that this council of Trump advisors used to be the "Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition" under the Obama administration. It was focused more on nutrition and the first lady’s healthy lunch efforts in schools. Trump, however, signed an executive order in February which reportedly rebranded the group as the "Sports, Fitness and Nutrition Council" (flipping the first and second words). It's still meant to focus on Americans’ health, but prioritizes sports instead.
More on Dr. Oz as one of the Trump advisors
Snopes noted the controversy behind Dr. Oz’s practices, which have been criticized by some U.S. senators as flawed. They feel that Dr. Oz promotes, as Snopes related, "alternative cures and dubious pseudoscience" through the "Dr. Oz Show."
Back in 2014, Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and others called supplements Dr. Oz promoted as "magic" — like Pure Green Coffee beans and raspberry ketone supplements — highly misleading. These products faced charges of false advertising from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), reported USA TODAY.
"My job, I feel, on the show is to be a cheerleader for the audience when they don't think they have hope and they don't think they can make it happen," Dr. Oz said in response. "It jump-starts you. It gives you the confidence to keep going."
In 2015, 10 nationally known doctors wrote a letter to Columbia University demanding that Dr. Oz be dismissed of his role as vice chairman of the Department of Surgery, but Columbia defended its choice in chairman. Dr. Oz's profile still appears to be on the Columbia website with the title, "Director, Integrative Medicine Center."
This year, a study posted in the Health News Review revealed that "about 78% of statements made on the Dr. Oz show [during a full month of episodes] did not align with evidence-based medical guidelines, society recommendations, or authority statements."
Dr. Oz tweeted on the day nominations for Trump advisors were announced, that the Sports, Fitness and Nutrition Council "offers a platform to amplify the best practices shown to work across our school systems."
I've been supporting children’s health programs with @HealthCorps and appreciate the need to improve lifestyle opportunities for our youth. Serving on @FitnessGov offers a platform to amplify the best practices shown to work across our school systems. https://t.co/dOgapXQinI— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) May 4, 2018
Snopes reported that Trump appeared on the "Dr. Oz Show" in 2016. It was here that Dr. Oz called the notes on the president's clean bill of health released before the election, "comprehensive." Watch the clip here. (Dr. Harold Bornstein, who wrote these notes, now claims they were actually dictated by Trump himself.)
The council Dr. Oz was nominated for will reportedly be traveling to the White House in the coming months to host a sports field day on the South Lawn.