JF: That was an especially bad week for America’s least favorite TV doctor.
We’ve known for a while that Dr. Oz is a fraud, but the Washington Post’s reporting exposed Dr. Oz for who he is: a malicious scam artist. Dr. Oz spent decades lying to his viewers about miracle cures and treatments that were not only ineffective, but in some cases actually dangerous. Then, on the same day, this bombshell reporting about his experiments terribly mistreating dogs and other animals came out. The allegations of Oz’s animal abuse are upsetting and vile.
This is just who Dr. Oz is. He made a living by lying on TV for the last 20 years, so why should we expect him to change now?
TV: Due to the focus on your dynamic with Oz, though, I’ve heard less about your opinions on issues that are central in other high-profile midterms races, such as protections in schools for LGBTQ youth. Could you comment on the attacks on trans youth that we’ve been seeing across the country?
JF: Schools should be safe havens for our kids. It’s vile the way the GOP has turned trans kids into a political punching bag.
As lieutenant governor, I always stood with the LGBTQ+ community and fought for state and local laws to prohibit anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. I regularly ordered the display of Pride flags, including the Trans Pride flag, from the balcony at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, even after Republican lawmakers banned the practice.
In the Senate, I will work to eliminate the filibuster so we can pass the Equality Act and codify protections for the LGBTQ+ community into law.
TV: When you ran in 2016, you were against fracking. You’ve since gone back on that stance, with many speculating that decision is about walking a line as a PA Democrat. Your primary opponent, Malcolm Kenyatta, won the endorsement of Braddock’s current mayor in part for coming out against fracking.
But as some have pointed out, Summer Lee ran on an anti-fracking platform and won her western PA race. Can you speak about your changing position on fracking? If you were to take federal office, what would your policy stances on climate look like?
JF: I’ve never taken a dime from the fossil fuel industry, and never will. My campaign has signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, just as my previous campaigns in 2016 and 2018 did. So you can know that every vote I’ll take in the Senate will be based on what I know to be right — and never just how my donors want me to vote.
And let me be clear: I previously supported a moratorium on fracking until we enacted stricter regulations and standards. And we’ve gotten those regulations in the years since, so I no longer support a moratorium.
This idea that we have to choose between jobs and a clean environment is wrong. We can and will uphold the union way of life for workers across Pennsylvania in a responsible way. I’ve always said that while Republicans need to get real about climate change, Democrats need to get real about our country’s energy needs. We can and we must transition to clean energy while also supporting the people who work in the energy industry now.