Early on in the pandemic, Winfrey was called on to renounce Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Phil McGraw for peddling coronavirus disinformation. Oz announcing this week that he's running for the U.S. Senate is a reminder that Winfrey -- who turned him into a household name -- has had a penchant for promoting pseudoscience that harms society, says Margaret Hartman. As Kurt Andersen summed up in Slate in January 2018 amid talk of an Oprah presidential run, "Perhaps more than any other single American, she is responsible for giving national platforms and legitimacy to all sorts of magical thinking, from pseudoscientific to purely mystical, fantasies about extraterrestrials, paranormal experience, satanic cults, and more. The various fantasies she has promoted on all her media platforms—her daily TV show with its 12 million devoted viewers, her magazine, her website, her cable channel—aren’t as dangerous as Donald Trump’s mainstreaming of false conspiracy theories, but for three decades she has had a major role in encouraging Americans to abandon reason and science in favor of the wishful and imaginary." Hartman adds: "The events of the past few years have made it impossible to ignore the damage caused by Oprah, particularly on the medical front, even if you just want to watch the woman expertly extract royal family dirt from Prince Harry. Would we be living in a country where about a quarter of the eligible population is refusing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination if Oprah hadn’t invited model/actress Jenny McCarthy on her show in 2007 to promote the false claim that vaccines cause autism? (As Vox’s Julia Belluz noted, McCarthy declared, 'The University of Google is where I got my degree from' and Oprah remarked, 'thank God for Google' — foreshadowing today’s anti-vaxxer rhetoric about 'doing your own research.') And what responsibility does Oprah bear when a man she dubbed 'America’s Doctor' and helped get his own show uses it to promote bogus health advice and miracle cures so often that he winds up being grilled in a Senate subcommittee hearing on consumer protection? Or when he shares dubious advice on the COVID-19 pandemic during his regular Fox News appearances? I don’t know exactly how much blame lies with Oprah, and how much blame lies with us for failing to question and call out the junk science she brought into our lives. But as Oprah recently said in a podcast interview with self-help guru Deepak Chopra, 'I worry about where we are as a country … I can see this kind of spiraling into the lack of truth on the part of a lot of individuals and you and I both know that can lead ultimately to no good.' And with Dr. Oz potentially headed to the Senate, I can’t ignore her role in creating that spiral."