Who could have imagined in 2004 that a guest dispensing health advice on Oprah Winfrey’s daytime talk show would eventually run for Senate in Pennsylvania — and be a real contender?

Certainly not Winfrey, who began featuring Mehmet Oz, a physician, on her show after meeting him in 2003.

His numerous appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show made him a household name, even before he got his own show in 2009. The Oprah Effect is so real that The Dr. Oz Show reportedly helped earn him an estimated net worth of $100 million — plenty of money to launch his Senate campaign. Oprah can giveth all right.

But Oprah can also taketh away. That’s why Pennsylvania needs Winfrey to call out Oz.

Oz — and Pennsylvanians — is currently waiting with bated breath for the results of a recount to determine if he’ll go on to represent the GOP on the ballot in November or fall to his opponent, hedge fund CEO David McCormick.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, it’s clear that Oz’s political ambitions would be bad for Pennsylvanians, and for democracy. So much is at stake — the legislative agenda of the Biden administration as well as the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.

If there’s anyone who can make that clear to voters, it’s Winfrey. She’s the person who dubbed him “America’s doctor” and her production company helped launch The Dr. Oz Show.

Early on, the media mogul had no way of knowing that her TV protégé would go on to push unproven miracle weight loss cures and promote bogus claims on Fox News that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were effective COVID-19 treatments. Now he appears to be showing support for Donald Trump’s Big Lie about winning the 2020 election.

That’s why I disagree with folks on social media who are calling on Winfrey to apologize for Oz’s political career. I watched Winfrey’s show religiously and subscribed to her magazine. She’s my friend in my head. Had she been able to predict the future, I believe she never would have supported him the way she did.

But even though I don’t believe she needs to take responsibility for Oz, that doesn’t mean she can’t use her enormous influence now to push back on his U.S. Senate bid. She should say that she does not support his politics.

» READ MORE: The Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary is probably headed for a recount

Winfrey is one of the world’s most influential and powerful women — and she hasn’t shied away from politics.

Her early endorsement of then-candidate Barack Obama helped turn the tide in his favor during the 2008 presidential election and helped America make history by electing its first Black president. Four years later, she turned out for Obama again in a big way during his reelection campaign. Winfrey also campaigned for Hilary Clinton and even considered a run against Trump in 2020.

The talk show diva hasn’t said much publicly about her TV mentee other than a statement to New York Magazine in 2021. “One of the great things about our democracy is that every citizen can decide to run for public office,” Winfrey said. “Mehmet Oz has made that decision. And now it’s up to the residents of Pennsylvania to decide who will represent them.”

Her relative silence so far has surely been a relief to Oz, who told New York event attendees in 2021 that he asked Winfrey not to support him, saying that he didn’t want to see her hurt.

I am holding out hope Winfrey is not going to let us down by staying neutral. Winfrey is, after all, a savvy businesswoman — and doing the right thing is good for business. Staying silent against a conspiracy theorist like Oz is not her brand.

Look at the film and TV projects Winfrey has acted in over the years: The Color Purple, Selma, The Butler, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Look at her philanthropic work: creating Oprah’s Angel Network, giving out millions in scholarships at Morehouse College and elsewhere, and building a school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa.

Look at what she created with Super Soul Sunday and her OWN TV network.

“She very much has an ethos as an artist of saying that people need to be on the right side of justice,” pointed out Steven W. Thrasher, an American studies professor at Northwestern University. “I would hope someone with that kind of artistic sensibility and the amount of power and influence that she has in the media would say something about this extremely dangerous person who may be entering the United States Senate.”

Here’s what I know for sure: Winfrey is a good person. Did she invite people on her show who she later regretted? No doubt. But as she’s also fond of saying “there are no mistakes” and “there’s no such thing as failure because failure is just that thing trying to move you in another direction.”

Winfrey couldn’t have predicted that Oz would become a dangerous threat to Pennsylvania by peddling pseudoscience amid a pandemic and election conspiracy theories.

But she can use her enormous influence to make sure that voters know where she stands now.

It’s time for Oprah to denounce Oz.