In December 2021, Dr. Mehmet Oz (better known as Dr. Oz) announced that he was running as a Republican in Pennsylvania for an open seat in the U.S. Senate.
This announcement was a bit unexpected for the medical expert who, for the past 12 years, had hosted his own daily TV show, The Dr. Oz Show. But his time spent in the public eye only seemed to tarnish his professional reputation as he became embroiled in a number of heated medical controversies.
And as of April 30, it appears that Columbia University had quietly cut ties with him. Strangely enough, then something else weird happened. People were getting text messages that said that he had been shot and died. Was there any truth to this? Spoiler alert: No, Dr. Oz is alive and currently active on Twitter. But keep scrolling as we get to the bottom of this.
Dr. Oz became part of a text-message death hoax.
On April 30, Insider reported that Columbia University had quietly scrubbed Dr. Oz from its website. The Ivy League school had removed his personal pages, which noted the positions he had held at the school, such as Vice Chair of Surgery and Director of Integrated Medicine. However, Dr. Oz, who has worked as a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University since 2001, appears to still be listed in the surgery faculty directory.
This abrupt move came after years of public criticism regarding his medical advice. Not to mention, his candidacy may have also played a role in the school's decision to delete him from most of its website.
Shortly after Dr. Oz was stripped of his prestige at Columbia, people apparently began receiving texts that he had been shot and passed away. Some folks took to Twitter to share this wild news.
The text claimed that Dr. Oz had been "shot to death" in Lower Manhattan.
The tragic message was then ironically paired with somewhat of a sales pitch: "As America grieves the sudden loss of Dr. Oz, his estate has quickly decided to give out free samples of his revolutionary CBD gummies.”
While the text looked unbelievably suspicious — and most didn't take it seriously — it was obviously still concerning that messages claiming Dr. Oz was dead were being sent around.
As it turns out, people have apparently been getting CBD-related scam texts about Dr. Oz for months now. Per Snopes, they often contained links to CBD scam sites, and they sometimes also used other celebs' names — like Dr. Phil or Dr. Sanjay Gupta — for false endorsements as well.
The outlet also notes that Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and Dr. Gupta have previously spoken out about the issue of their names and/or likeness being falsely used with CBD scams.
As these kinds of messages are clearly scams, it's best to delete them and block the sender if you get them.
Dr. Oz is no stranger to controversy.
The Trump-endorsed candidate has sparked outrage in the medical community with some of his advice. In fact, some folks have even questioned whether or not he is an actual doctor.
To confirm, Dr. Oz is in fact a real doctor. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1982, and then went on to graduate with an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. He then earned a Medical Degree (MD) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Furthermore, he is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon and has worked as a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University since 2001.