Too Little Blood, Still Too Much Dr. Oz

The need for all blood types is once again critical, so contact the Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) and schedule an appointment. The need is critical, here and in Connecticut.

Now about Dr. Oz. I am still baffled that the RIBC has associated itself with this lying charlatan. More troubling is the fact that he is now a political candidate, running as a Republican to represent the state of Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate. This despite the fact that he doesn’t live in Pennsylvania.

I called this to their attention last December and thought someone might want to correct the situation, but this giddy announcement concerning the RIBC connection with Dr. Oz is still accessible through the website’s ‘news’ section. I wrote this up at the time, so they have had five months to pull the page down.

Are non-profits even allowed to engage in political advocacy? The RIBC financial contribution page makes their status clear:

The Blood Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Tax ID: 131949477.

How does the IRS feel address this?

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

I am not a tax expert, but it seems one could make a colorable argument that the RIBC has been “indirectly participating” in Dr. Oz’s campaign. They may want to check with their tax attorney just to be on the safe side. Or, pull down the page.

Having the RIBC sliding into the political realm is a terrible idea no matter the persuasion, but Dr. Oz is a dangerous quack and the RIBC is endangering its reputation as a scientific institution.

(For more info go to the NYT 12.26.21: ‘Magic’ Weight-Loss Pills and Covid Cures: Dr. Oz Under the Microscope.)

And Donate Blood Today!

RI Blood Center, 405 Promenade Street, (directions), 401.453.8383


Screen grab of the Oz page.

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