Mehmet Oz visits Kensington in Philadelphia to talk about solving the opioid epidemic – NBC10 Philadelphia

Pennsylvania’s Republican candidate for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat traveled to the epicenter of Philadelphia’s opioid epidemic on Monday, trying to draw attention to the national problem and attempting to find support in the strongly Democratic city.

Dr Mehmet Oz, who is running against Democratic candidate John Fetterman in the Nov. 8 election, said he came ‘to talk about these tough issues because that’s how we start changing government policies and solving problems. at the cultural and societal level.

He held a town hall in Germantown and visited Kensington with a local barber, even picking up a used needle at one point while talking about drug use in the heroin-ravaged neighborhood.

“Being here today and listening to your stories, some inspiring and some heartbreaking, is my number one job – both as a candidate and your next senator,” he said in a statement after his visit. . “A big part of that is creating more opportunity in your communities so that we start breaking cycles and creating both wealth and more opportunity for success.”

Oz trailed Fetterman in the polls throughout the summer, but campaigned statewide, including during a campaign stop with former President Donald Trump in western Pennsylvania last month. last. He most recently attacked Fetterman relentlessly for the Democrat’s refusal to debate Oz.

Two weeks ago, Fetterman agreed to debate Oz in October and said it was nonsense that he was dodging Oz. Fetterman’s campaign said that historically there were no debates in statewide races until October.

Before his stop in Kensington, Oz took part in a discussion in Germantown about helping low-income families and residents. He pulled out a “Plan to fight for black communities“, but there was some opposition to this event.

That included state Rep. Chris Rabb, a Democrat who represents part of Philadelphia in the state legislature, who tore up an Oz campaign pamphlet in front of the Republican.

“I arrived, and after the Oz staff first tried to stop me from attending the meeting, they led me to a spot on the panel one seat below Oz. I repeatedly tried to speak during the program and have my voice heard, but was never allowed,” Rabb said. “I was disgusted by what I heard at this event, which clearly showed that Oz didn’t understand my community and was only there for a photo op. After the program ended and Oz started addressing the cameras, I got up, tore up Oz’s brochure, and left.”

Oz wandered around Kensington before leaving town, making the rounds to a local barber. At one point, the Republican picked up a used heroin needle.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz holds a used needle in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (NBC10)

“So what do you say to your daughter when she walks past?” he asked the hairdresser.

“To be honest, I have to be honest with her,” the barber replied. “I have to tell him that there are some people here who are, you know, stoned, basically doing drugs, injecting heroin.”

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