Two of the top Republican Senate candidates in Pennsylvania have adopted masks and vaccines as precautions for contracting COVID-19, with one even saying that the masks should not be a “political statement” and it’s about “being kind.”
But that was all before he started adopting the MAGA brand and ran to the far right to get the GOP nomination in Pennsylvania. These days, Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick are trying to outdo each other in their contempt for COVID-19 protections.
McCormick, the former CEO of hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates, has been hammering Oz for his past support for masks.
“Mehmet Oz will read any script that comes before him. There was no greater advocate of mask mandates than Oz,” he tweeted Monday, along with a compilation of videos from Oz that previously promoted masking.
Matt Wolking, a GOP adviser working for the McCormick campaign, also highlighted a December 2020 tweet from the famous doctor, better known as “Dr. Oz”: promoting the use of masks.
This is a very different line from what Oz is saying these days. This week, Oz was on Fox News saying the left is “forcing” mask warrants on people, even though they “don’t work.”
Oz has also spoken out against companies demanding vaccines for employees and said President Joe Biden’s administration was misleading the public about what the COVID-19 vaccine would be capable of.
“It would block the ability of a private company to insist that employees have invasive procedures, which is a vaccine,” Oz told The Washington Examiner. “It should depend on the employee.”
The Oz campaign did not return the HuffPost comment request.
McCormick has also turned down orders.
“I think the main principle here is that the government should not dictate individual behavior in terms of masks, vaccines or evidence, and that the principle of individual freedom and individual responsibility should be what drives our policies in these cases.” , added. in a March 11 interview on “The Rich Zeoli Show.”
In a Feb. 15 interview with The Brian Kilmeade Show, McCormick, speaking of the Super Bowl, criticized “the utter hypocrisy of these mask warrants,” marching by elites and, finally, not following them themselves ”.
But last year, Bridgewater ordered its employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office and to wear masks when they return. McCormick was CEO of the company at the time.
McCormick’s spokeswoman Jess Szymanski distinguished between government-mandated and corporate-mandated mandates.
“Dave strongly opposes government mandates for vaccines and masks and supports the rights of individuals and private companies to make decisions that best suit their unique situation. He also believes that companies should work closely with its workers to adapt to their own health care decisions in the best possible way, ”he said.
Bridgewater also tried to adapt to individual needs and preferences with COVID-19 vaccines through a combination of testing and work from home, and other protocols that were largely successful.
However, McCormick’s actions in Bridgewater – and the apparent recognition that there was a benefit to masks and vaccination – are not in line with his current rhetoric.
Oz and McCormick are favorites to attend the GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania, scheduled for May 17. The two men have moved to the far right during their races.
Bloomberg Businessweek summed up McCormick’s transformation as follows: “To the surprise of the Bridgewater crowd, he undid his Davos Man personality and transformed faster than Clark Kent into a telephone booth into a MAGA acolyte who was Trump’s propaganda. and that he was attacking China. “
Oz’s transformation has been even more obvious, in large part due to his celebrity status and long public records on his television appearances and columns. Everything has changed, from abortion to environmental policies, while he and the other candidates in the camp have fought to win the favor of former President Donald Trump.
On April 9, Oz bore fruit. Trump supported the famous doctor, even though many of his longtime advisers were pushing him to support McCormick. According to The Washington Post, Trump was upset by a 2021 video in which McCormick praised Joe Biden and blamed Trump for polarizing the country.