White House asks Dr Oz and Herschel Walker to resign from Presidential Council

The two Trump-appointed members of the Presidential Council on Sports, Nutrition and Fitness are running for political office

Mehmet Oz, a Republican candidate for the US Senate in Pennsylvania, said President Joe Biden is trying to 'politicise' health. AP
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The White House has removed Dr Mehmet Oz and former American football star Herschel Walker from the President’s Council on Sports, Nutrition and Fitness while they run for sears in the US Senate.

Dr Oz, who was appointed to the council by former president Donald Trump and is best known as the host of The Dr Oz Show on daytime TV, claimed in a series of tweets that he was asked to resign from his position for political reasons.

“It’s beyond sad that [US President] Joe Biden would politicise such an important issue like health,” he said in a video he posted to Twitter.

In the video, Dr Oz suggests that Mr Biden fire Dr Anthony Fauci, the president's medical adviser, “for a multitude of reasons” he does not detail.

He added that he had no intention of resigning and “if President Biden wants to politicise health, he’ll have to fire me".

The White House on Wednesday posted two new appointments to the council, while an official said Dr Oz and Mr Walker were asked to resign because the White House doesn’t permit candidates for federal office to serve on boards.

The two men announced their campaigns in Pennsylvania and Georgia, respectively.

Social media was abuzz about the news, with “You're Fired!” trending on Twitter on Wednesday evening as a reference to a phrase coined by Mr Trump.

The Hatch Act — a US federal law that does not allow civil service employees to run for political office while in their positions — was also trending on Twitter on Thursday as people discussed the reasoning for their resignation requests.

The letter from the White House Office of Presidential Personnel asked the two men to resign by the end of the day on Wednesday or be removed.

Mr Walker refused to resign, writing in a tweet: “I'm not a quitter so you are going to have to fire me.”

The White House announced it has appointed Jose Andres, a chef, restaurant owner and founder of World Central Kitchen, an international relief organisation that promotes healthy food and sets up field kitchens to respond to food crises around the world, to join the council.

It also appointed Elena Delle Donne, a two-time winner of the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player award, an Olympic gold medallist and founder of the Elena Delle Donne Charitable Foundation, which raises money for Lyme Disease research and special needs programmes.

Associated Press contributed reporting

Updated: March 24, 2022, 6:23 PM
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