White House tells Dr Oz and Herschel Walker to resign from fitness council

TV doctor and former football star, appointed to sports and health body by Trump, are both Republican Senate candidates

The White House has asked two Trump-appointed members of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition to resign from their posts or be fired.

On Wednesday, the White House sent letters to Dr Mehmet Oz and former football star Herschel Walker – two Republican Senate candidates in Pennsylvania and Georgia, respectively – asking them to submit their resignations or face termination.

“On behalf of President Biden, I am writing to request your resignation as a Member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition,” wrote Gautam Raghavan, an assistant to Joe Biden. “Please submit your resignation to me by the close of business today. Should we not receive your resignation, your position with the council will be terminated effective 6.00pm tonight.”

Oz and Walker were appointed to the council in 2018 by then president Donald Trump. In December 2020, before leaving office, Trump reappointed them for an additional two-year term.

Under the Biden administration’s policies, federal candidates are not allowed to serve on presidential boards, a White House official told CNN.

Oz criticized the White House’s call for his resignation, tweeting an image of the letter with the caption, “It’s sad that he would politicize such an important issue like health. The doctor he should ask to resign is Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, for a multitude of obvious reasons.”

“Clearly Joe Biden can’t be around anyone who doesn’t completely fall in line with his fearmongering authoritarian one-size-fits-all Covid handling. I am proud of my service and will not resign,” Oz said in a video message on Twitter.

Members who are part of the council are considered special government employees and according to the Hatch Act “may not be candidates in partisan elections” while performing official government duties, CNN reported.

Walker has yet to comment publicly on the resignation request.

On Wednesday, the White House announced the appointment of the WNBA player Elena Delle Donne and the chef and philanthropist José Andrés as co-chairs of the council.


Maya Yang

The GuardianTramp

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