The White House is trying to remove two Republican Senate candidates from a presidential advisory panel, but at least one of them has no intention of going quietly. Dr. Mehmet Oz and former NFL star Herschel Walker were told in emails Wednesday that they would be "terminated" if they didn't resign from the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition by the end of the day, NBC reports. Both men were reappointed to the panel for two-year terms by then-President Trump in Dec. 2020. Walker, who is seeking the GOP nomination in Georgia, is the panel's chairman.
Oz, who is running in Pennsylvania, slammed Biden in a series of tweets Wednesay, saying the president "can’t be around anyone who doesn’t completely fall in line with his fear-mongering authoritarian one-size-fits-all COVID handling." Oz said he has no intention of stepping down and the doctor Biden should ask to resign "is Dr. Fauci, for a multitude of obvious reasons." Oz accused the administration of politicizing health, though White House officials said the two men were asked to resign because the administration doesn't allow candidates for federal office to serve on boards and commissions.
The council members are considered special government employees who "may not be candidates in partisan elections" under the Hatch Act, CNN reports. The White House issued a statement Wednesday describing the panel as a committee that "aims to promote healthy, accessible eating, and physical activity for all Americans, regardless of background or ability." The statement said Biden plans to appoint two new co-chairs: WNBA star Elena Delle Donne and chef Jose Andres. (Read more Dr. Oz stories.)