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Oregon doctor’s licence suspended over refusal to wear mask and dismissal of Covid as ‘common cold’

Danielle Zoellner
·3-min read
<p>Dr Steven LaTulippe at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Salem, Oregon, on 7 November 2020</p> ((Multnomah County Republicans))

Dr Steven LaTulippe at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Salem, Oregon, on 7 November 2020

((Multnomah County Republicans))

An Oregon doctor who was against wearing masks had his medical licence revoked after his public refusal to acknowledge the coronavirus as anything more than the “common cold”.

Steven LaTulippe made headlines after attending the Stop the Steal rally in support of President Donald Trump in Salem, Oregon, on 7 November. During the rally, he called Covid-19 the “common cold” and said his staff members have not worn masks throughout the entirety of the pandemic.

“I want to expose what I call corona mania,” Dr LaTulippe told the rally crowd in a video that was shared to YouTube by the Multnomah County Republicans.

“I want you to know that I never shut down during the entire Covid season ... I hate to tell you this, I might scare you, but I and my staff, none of us once wore a mask in my clinic,” he said as people at the rally cheered.

Dr LaTulippe owned a clinic near Portland and was attending the rally to speak about the “myth of Covid”, according to NBC News.

Less than a month after the rally, on 3 December, the Oregon Medical Board issued an indefinite suspension of the man’s medical licence because he "engaged in unprofessional conduct or dishonorable conduct.”

An investigation into the doctor’s practice found that a patient asked him in July if they should get tested for the coronavirus. Dr LaTulippe reportedly told the patient that asymptomatic people should not get a test or wear a mask as there was little proof it would prevent transmission of the novel virus.

The medical board also found the staff at Dr LaTulippe’s clinic refused to wear masks and also encouraged patients to remove their masks. There were no coronavirus checkpoints upon entering the facility or hand sanitizer, according to the online report.

This encouraged the medical board to vote on Thursday night to revoke the doctor’s licene.

The suspension was issued “due to the board’s concern for the safety and welfare of licencee’s current and future patients,” the board said in a statement on its website.

Dr LaTulippe will be unable to practice anywhere in the state of Oregon due to the suspension.

When speaking previously to NBC News, Dr LaTulippe claimed there was “bad science” behind health officials telling the public to wear a mask when interacting with people outside their household in order to curb the spread of Covid-19.

"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 told the news organisation.

In a report last week, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that seven studies confirmed the “benefit of universal masking in community level analyses.”

The CDC added: “Each analysis demonstrated that, following directives from organisational and political leadership for universal masking, new infections fell significantly.”

Updated guidance from the CDC on Friday also implored state and local officials to “issue policies or directives mandating universal use of face masks in indoor (non-household) settings” – which was stronger guidance from what the CDC has previously advised.

The United States has recorded more than 275,000 deaths due to the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. In comparison, a typical flu season will see about 34,000 to 42,000 deaths in the country.

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