Mehmet Oz, the physician known to audiences of his eponymous TV show as “Dr. Oz,” will be tapped to join President Donald Trump’s new Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, according to a Friday Axios report.
The same report claims Oz will join New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the same panel, which will serve as a revamp of the long-running line of presidential advisory health councils dating back to the 1940s.
Famously, in 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush appointed bodybuilder and Hollywood action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger to head up his incarnation of the council, launching a political career that eventually put Schwarzenegger in the California governor’s mansion. Earlier reporting floated Arnold’s Pumping Iron co-star, Incredible Hulk actor, and champion bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno as the prospective head of the council.
Like Ferrigno, Oz has been active in Republican politics for years, even considering a run for office on the GOP ticket in 2007. The Harvard College and University of Pennsylvania Medical School grad hosted then-candidate Donald Trump on his show at the crux of the 2016 presidential election.
In 2013, Oz embarked on a trip to Israel where he gave an impromptu interview for Breitbart News with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Rabbi Schmuley asked Oz, who is a Muslim, about the similarities and conflict between Islam and Judaism. Oz said the two faiths were “Very similar traditions, theologies, and rituals. Of all our shared values, the most important to me, as a healer, is that ‘If you don’t nurture yourself, you cannot share your health with others.’ We need to love ourselves so we can love our fellow human beings.”
According to Axios’s source, in addition to Oz and Belichick, the new grouping may include LPGA golfer Natalie Gulbis, three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor, likely first-ballot MLB Hall of Fame relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, and Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Pro-Bowler Herschel Walker.
The son of Turkish immigrants, Oz rocketed to fame as a medical commentator on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Striking out on his own, he launched the long-running syndicated Dr. Oz Show and co-authored several bestselling self-help books. His frequent endorsement of certain non-traditional medical remedies, however, has made him the target of criticism from other doctors.