The medical license of an Oregon doctor who refused to wear a face mask despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been revoked weeks after a video surfaced of him dismissing Covid-19 as a “common cold.”
Steven LaTulippe made the comments Nov. 7 during a “Stop the Steal” rally in support of President Donald Trump outside the State Capitol in Salem.
“I want to expose what I call corona mania,” LaTulippe said in a video posted on YouTube by the political group Multnomah County Republicans.
Less than a month later, on Dec. 3, the Oregon Medical Board issued an emergency suspension after finding that LaTulippe “engaged in unprofessional conduct or dishonorable conduct,” online records show.
According to the emergency suspension, LaTulippe in July allegedly told a patient who asked for guidance on when to get tested for the coronavirus that asymptomatic people should not be tested and that wearing a mask does not prevent transmission. LaTulippe directed the patient not to self-isolate because being around other people would provide immunity from Covid-19, according to the state board’s documents.
The medical board also found that LaTulippe and his staff refused to wear masks in the clinic and urged patients to remove their own masks. Medical board investigators who visited LaTulippe said there were no screening procedures upon entering the premises and no hand sanitizer was available in the waiting area.
As a result of these findings, the medical board ruled that LaTulippe “constitutes an immediate danger to the public, and presents a serious danger to the public health and safety.”
The suspension prevents LaTulippe, who was licensed in 2000, from practicing medicine anywhere in Oregon.
In a previous interview with NBC, LaTulippe said he believes there is “bad science” supporting guidance over wearing face masks when coming into contact with people outside of one’s household.
“I have absolutely zero problems with infectivity, and I have completely successful treatments, so I ask, ‘What is the problem?’ Why would I be demonized if I know what I’m doing?” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a mask to reduce transmission of the virus. A Nov. 20 report cited seven studies conducted in various settings that “confirmed the benefit of universal masking in community level analyses.”
While the physician has refused to wear a facial covering, LaTulippe previously said he asked patients who believe they have Covid-19 or are showing symptoms of the virus to wear one.
He said he established a protocol of seeing those patients at the end of the day after his other patients were gone and treated them in a back room that is disinfected before and after their visit.
“I’m very interested in sound medical practice, and I’m interested in good science,” he has said. “And when science and medicine become perverted with corrupt politics, then I’m up for a fight, and that’s what made me go to that rally and say what I said.”
*story by NBC News