Oregon Doctor’s License Suspended Over Anti-Mask Comments

Steven Latulippe oregon doctor

South View Medical Arts Steven Latulippe.

Steven LaTulippe is the Oregon doctor who has now been temporarily banned from practicing medicine because he discouraged his patients from wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Oregon Medical Board suspended LaTulippe’s license as of December 3, 2020.

LaTulippe has also publicly downgraded the seriousness of COVID-19. In a video posted by the Multnomah County Republicans on November 7, Latulippe described COVID-19 as a type of “common cold” and claimed Americans had been “utterly duped.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Oregon Medical Board Ruled LaTulippe Presented a ‘Serious Danger to the Public Health’

steven latulippe

Oregon Medical BoardSteven LaTulippe’s medical license was suspended over his anti-mask comments.

The Oregon Medical Board voted to apply an “Order of Emergency Suspension” against LaTulippe on December 3, 2020. The suspension will remain in effect “until otherwise ordered by the Board.”

The suspension was ordered because of LaTulippe’s approach to the coronavirus. According to the order, which can be read in full here, LaTulippe told his patients that wearing a mask was not only unnecessary but “very dangerous” to certain patients.

LaTulippe also advised against social distancing. He told at least one patient that interacting with others would help the patient build up immunity to the virus. The Oregon Medical Board detailed LaTulippe’s medical advice in the suspension order:

4.1 On or about July 02, 2020, Patient A – a member of the OHP – contacted Licensee’s medical clinic to request guidance on when and if to be tested for COVID-19. Patient A was told asymptomatic persons should not be tested, that wearing masks does not prevent transmission of COVID-19, and was directed not to self-isolate because being around other people would provide Patient A with immunity to COVID-19. On or about July 23, 2020, after Patient A had questioned the appropriateness of the COVID-19 advice provided, Patient A was terminated as a patient.

4.2 Licensee and the staff in his clinic refuse to wear masks in the clinic and urge persons who enter the clinic wearing masks to remove their masks.

4.3 Licensee regularly tells his patients that masks are ineffective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and should not be worn. Licensee further asserts that, because virus particles are so small, they will pass through the recommended N95 masks and most other face coverings people are choosing to wear. Licensee directs patients to a YouTube video providing false information about mask wearing.

4.4 Licensee regularly advises, particularly for his elderly and pediatric patients, that it is “very dangerous” to wear masks because masks exacerbate COPD and asthma and cause or contribute to multiple serious health conditions, including but not limited to heart attacks, strokes, collapsed lungs, MRSA, pneumonia, and hypertension. Licensee asserts masks are likely to harm patients by increasing the body’s carbon dioxide content through rebreathing of gas trapped behind a mask.

LaTulippe’s advice contradicted recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The medical agency, citing multiple scientific studies, has concluded that a mask can help prevent transmission of the virus.

2. LaTulippe Compared COVID-19 to the Common Cold & Claimed Masks Were ‘Designed to Control You’ During a Pro-Trump Rally

Oregon's Stop the Steal peaceful protest 11/7/2020Patriots gather to protest the many questionable voting discrepancies in this 2020 election. We also gathered to show our support to our President Donald Trump. Peaceful protest gathering was at the Oregon State Capital in Salem Oregon Nov. 7 2020.2020-11-08T05:11:17Z

LaTulippe addressed a crowd during a “Stop the Steal” rally in Salem, Oregon, on November 7. The event, which drew supporters of President Donald Trump, was held to contest the outcome of the presidential election and echo Trump’s claims about voter fraud, as KOIN-TV reported.

LaTulippe discussed the coronavirus during the rally and the Multnomah County Republicans posted his speech to YouTube. LaTulippe acknowledged that the coronavirus is real, but claimed it was no more dangerous than the common cold.

He also repeated his assertion that masks do not provide protection against the virus. He compared wearing an N-95 mask to putting up a “chain-link fence to block the mosquitoes. This is utter stupidity.”

LaTulippe further claimed that the government was using masks as a tool to “control” the masses. He told the crowd, “We have been utterly duped, and I want you to know that this is insanity and the purpose was only to shut down the American people. This is a threat to your freedom, a threat to our Constitution. I petition all of you, please, take off the mask of shame. It is a mask that is just designed to control you and to shut you down.”

In the order suspending LaTulippe’s medical license, the Oregon Medical Board cited regulations put in place by the Oregon Health Authority. The agency has required patients to wear masks when entering health care clinics and offices. The notes in the suspension order include that COVID-19 can be passed on even if a patient is not showing symptoms.

3. LaTulippe Refused to Have Staffers Wear Masks but Did Require Certain Patients to Wear Face Coverings

steven latulippe

South View Medical ArtsSteven LaTulippe.

As LaTulippe explained during his November 7 speech, he and staff members have never worn masks at his health clinic. He claimed his clinic had not encountered any problems related to this policy and that none of his employees have gotten sick.

The suspension order from the Oregon Medical Board noted that LaTulippe only asked patients to wear a mask if they were exhibiting symptoms such as fever or a cough. He told NBC News on December 2 that he treats those patients in a disinfected back room “at the end of the day after all of his other patients” have left. LaTulippe told the network he believes federal guidelines about masks are based on “bad science” and he doesn’t feel it’s right for him to be “demonized.”

The Oregon Medical Board further explained that at his clinic, LaTulippe had not implemented any screening procedures, such as having patients’ temperature checked before entering. A Board investigator said the clinic did not have any hand sanitizer in the waiting area and that no one wore masks.

The Board ruled that LaTulippe’s “instruction and example to patients to shun masks actively promotes transmission of the virus within the extended community” and described his skepticism about masks as “counter to basic principles of epidemiology and physiology.”

4. LaTulippe Has Been a Licensed Medical Professional Since 2000

dr. steven latulippe

Oregon Medical BoardDr. Steven LaTulippe.

LaTulippe operates a health clinic called South View Medical Arts in Dallas, Oregon. According to his bio on the clinic’s website, LaTulippe attended Boise State University and the University of Massachusetts before earning his medical degree from Loma Linda University in California.

According to his profile on the Oregon Medical Board, LaTulippe graduated from Loma Linda in May 1997. He then completed an internship and a residency program at Wheeling Hospital in West Virginia.

LaTulippe earned his license to practice medicine in Oregon in April 2000. His profile lists “Family Practice” as his specialty but the Board included the following footnote: “Specialty is self-reported by the licensee. It does not necessarily indicate specialty board certification.”

LaTulippe wrote on his clinic website that he is certified with the American Board of Family Medicine. A search of the ABFM’s records confirmed that LaTulippe has been certified with the organization since 2000.

5. LaTulippe Is an Air Force Veteran & an Ordained Minister

LaTulippe is an Air Force Veteran and described himself during the November 7 rally as a “retired officer.” He noted on his health clinic website that he flew the “KC-135 Stratotanker and the RF-4C Phantom” during his time in the service. He also wrote that he served in the Oregon Air National Guard as a physician for seven years.

LaTulippe says he is also an ordained minister. He stated on his website that he attended Boise Bible College and the Cincinnati Bible Seminary.

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