• Jun Park

Trump meets Oz - Dangerous combination

Rarely I see news that gave me the chills like this Headline did on CNN, Dr. Oz catches Trump's attention as he pushes unproven drug to fight coronavirus.

This makes me start to get very nervous of the next steps against Covid-19.

Throughout my career I have had the great fortune to have been paid to research topics in business that have phenomenal impact. I have always been attracted to the impact of entertainment in the public bias of products, and the commercial impact of them. Some of those models that are among the most successful, currently Shark Tank. But today, we focus on the Oz Effect,

Doctor Mehmet Oz, a celebrity doctor who is better know for his syndicated daytime program The Dr. Oz Show. His show has been well documented to have instant commercial impact to the products advertised by Dr. Oz, using phrases like "lightning in a bottle" or a "miracle cure" to various different ailments that today affect everyday Americans. Such vocabulary used for marketing and sales purposes was not traditionally used by medical doctors,

¨"Products that were promoted by The Dr. Oz Show would increase sales in some cases up 4000% overnight."

Such vocabulary has been reprimanded very famously during a U.S. Senate hearing, criticized for using colorful terminology and bogus claims to supplements presented during his show, abusing his title as a doctor, and having a very strong sway on the public that would rush the markets to get those products. Many companies selling out their products that previously did not sell, but more importantly, many customers taking supplements believing that they would change their appearance, health, and life.

Believing that a pill can change your life is not an exaggeration nor it is fiction, it is what even today makes the difference between life and death in many parts of the developing world.

Now, I start to get the chills. What happens when the leader of a country stops listening to science, and starts listening to a very commercially successful "quack doctor"?

Current state of affairs in the U.S. has President Trump fighting and accusing the WHO of incompetency and blame them for the current situation in the U.S. A very well documented path to lock-downs that found the president at odds with his senior staff and the WHO itself, calling the coronavirus a hoax. President has started to listen to a "medical expert", doctor Oz.

What happens when you put a leader with that does not listen to his experts, starts listening to a celebrity which is known to make unproven claims, in the middle of a pandemic crisis?

It looks like we are all about to find out. And it scares me.

President has already been pushing for a medical treatment, with unfounded claims that are apparently originating from the celebrity doctor, pushing anti-Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a way to treat the coronavirus.

One can only hope, that this celebrity doctor, remembers that he was once a doctor, and took an oath, the Hippocratic Oath. One particular line that comes to mind;

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

In the potential absence of science and logic in the upcoming decisions that are probably to come, I wish us luck. Luck is, like what is coming, not a science.