An Oregon panel has indefinitely suspended the medical license of a doctor shown on video boasting of not wearing a face mask at his clinic, the state says.
The Oregon Medical Board voted Thursday to issue an emergency suspension of Dr. Steven LaTulippe’s license to practice medicine in the state until otherwise ordered out of concern for the “safety and welfare” of his patients, the panel says.
“I want to expose what I call ‘corona-mania,’” LaTulippe, a Dallas, Oregon, family physician, said at a Nov. 7 “Stop the Steal” rally by supporters of President Donald Trump, a video shows.
“I hate to tell you this — it might scare you, but I and my staff, none of us — once — wore a mask in my clinic,” LaTulippe said in the video, posted to YouTube by Multnomah County Republicans.
An investigation by the medical board found LaTulippe had advised a patient in July not to get tested for coronavirus, wear a mask or self-isolate, NBC News reported.
Investigators also found that visitors to LaTulippe’s clinic, which lacked screening procedures and hand sanitizer in the waiting room, were not told to wear face masks, according to the network.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise people to wear cloth face masks to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
LaTulippe did not respond to a call for comment on his suspension, KGW reported.
In an earlier interview, LaTulippe defended his treatment of coronavirus patients, The Statesman Journal reported. He said his office has a rigid screening protocol for COVID-19 patients.
“There’s been so much hype about this and so much false information and misinformation, the entire population is paranoid,” LaTulippe said, according to the publication. He said an order by Gov. Kate Brown requiring doctors to wear face masks is invalid.
“She has no jurisdiction to be imposing shutdowns and to be telling any doctor how to practice medicine. I don’t think she knows as much as I do about microbiology, virology, epidemiology and infectious disease,” LaTulippe said, The Statesman Journal reported.
He also did not return a call from the publication for comment on his license suspension.
More than 66 million cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 1.5 million deaths as of Dec. 6, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has more than 14 million confirmed cases with more than 281,000 deaths.