Unlike fellow Ohio congressman Jim Jordan, Brad Wenstrup has kept a low profile in the US House of Representatives since he was elected in 2012 to represent Ohio’s 2nd District.
Now all eyes will be on him as he takes the helm of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus (COVID) Pandemic. He and his subcommittee will investigate the origins of the disease, the development of vaccines, how roughly $5 trillion in federal aid was used and the societal impact of coronavirus-related school closures. A report of their findings is expected by January 2, 2024.
As a podiatrist, combat surgeon, and co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus, Wenstrup is well suited to tackle the medical and ethical issues surrounding the COVID pandemic.
Perspective during the Pandemic
Wenstrup has expressed concern that COVID-19 was the result of US-funded gain of function research that took place at a lab in Wuhan, China. And he has introduced legislation that would ban direct and indirect funding of gain of function research in China and other countries.
In January of 2021 during the height of the COVID pandemic, Wenstrup penned an opinion piece in which he voiced concerns about the pandemic response and the vaccines. He also decried the lack of doctor-patient care and disease treatment, and he promoted the use of Monoclonal antibodies, Zinc, Vitamin D, and other health supplements to boost the immune system.
Saved the life of Steve Scalise
Congressman Wenstrup is probably best known for rushing to give emergency medical attention to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise from Louisiana in June of 2017. Scalise and others were shot by a lone gunman while they were practicing for a charity baseball game. Wenstrup used his skills as a combat surgeon to quickly render aid and was credited with saving Scalise’s life. In an interview Wenstrup said,” I felt like I was back in Iraq but without my weapons. Scalise was as brave as he possibly could be. …If Scalise was not there, he’s the one with the security detail, we wouldn’t have had any protection, and God knows how bad that might have been.”
Served in Army Reserve
In 1998 after the attacks on U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar As Salaam, Tanzania, Wenstrup took it upon himself to join the Army Reserve, even though no one in his family had served. This began his 25-year military career of service.
Served as Combat Surgeon in Iraq
After 9-11, the call came for him to deploy. The doctors at his partnership covered for him so he could fulfill his duties. He joined the 344th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq, where he served as the Chief of Surgery and the Director of the Wound Care Clinic.
Retired Col. David Brandt served with Wenstrup in Iraq as Army surgeons at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. They were tasked with providing medical care for service members, civilians and even some of the most notorious members of the Saddam Hussein regime. “He never once forgot about his Hippocratic oath, regardless of who the patient was,” recalled Brandt.
More about Congressman Wenstrup
A Cincinnati native, Wenstrup graduated from Saint Xavier High School and the University of Cincinnati. He earned a medical degree in Chicago as a podiatric physician and after completing his surgical residency he established private practice in Cincinnati, treating patients for 26 years.
Wenstrup served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1998-2022, retiring with the rank of colonel. In 2005-06, he served a tour in Iraq as a combat surgeon, and was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge for his service. In 2018, Colonel Wenstrup was awarded the Soldier’s Medal for heroism.
During his time in Congress, Wenstrup fulfilled his Reserve duties by serving as the Medical Policy Advisor for the Chief of the Army Reserve as well as seeing patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
Brad and his wife, Monica, reside in southern Ohio with their two children.