A physician in Oregon has lost his medical license because he refused to wear a mask while treating patients and was spreading misinformation about masking, according to an Oregon Medical Board order.
MedPage Today reported on Monday that the board revoked the license of Steven LaTulippe in an order signed September 2. LaTulippe is a family doctor who specialized in pain and addiction medicine and had been practicing in Dallas, Oregon.
The order said LaTulippe told patients that masks are ineffective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus and “routinely directed patients to watch a YouTube video” that supported his fraudulent claims.
LaTulippe also regularly told patients that masks could be dangerous to their health, according to the order. He allegedly “advised, 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 (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection), pneumonia, and hypertension.'”
LaTulippe was also said to have not followed proper safety screening measures for COVID-19 by not taking the temperatures of patients entering his clinic. He also allegedly did not ask patients typical questions during the pandemic, such as if they had been in close contact with anybody who had tested positive for the virus or had symptoms.
His receptionist was instructed to determine if a patient was sick by looking at them. “If the patient was ‘smiling and happy,’ the receptionist was instructed to ask how the patient was feeling,” the order said.
The Oregon Medical Board’s order claimed LaTulippe “did not wear a mask when treating patients” between March 2020 and December 2020. He also did not require patients or clinic visitors to wear masks unless they were acutely ill.
Furthermore, the order said LaTulippe regularly told patients masks “should not be worn.” He allegedly informed patients that SARS-CoV-2 particles were small enough to pass through masks.
LaTulippe’s wife, who worked at the clinic for her husband, was also cited several times in the Oregon board’s order. She was said to also routinely refrain from wearing masks and advised patients to do the same, including telling one person who came to the clinic that wearing masks would cause problems because of carbon dioxide toxicity.
When a woman who had accompanied her elderly parent to the clinic continued to wear a mask, LaTulippe’s wife allegedly said to her, “Oh, you’re one of those people.”
The order also said previous investigations into LaTulippe found he mismanaged numerous patients he had treated for pain or opioid addiction.
Three disciplinary orders against LaTulippe came within the past year, before his license revocation for breaking medical rules regarding COVID-19 and masks. In the period of late November 2020 to early December 2020 alone, LaTulippe himself reported he treated 125 patients with COVID-19 at the clinic.
In addition to revoking his license, the Oregon Medical Board ordered LaTulippe to pay a civil penalty of $10,000 for eight instances of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, 22 instances of negligence in the practice of medicine and five instances of gross negligence in the practice of medicine.
In early December 2020, LaTulippe called COVID-19 “a common cold” while speaking at a November “Stop the Steal” rally in support of former President Donald Trump. Video of him making the comments were shared on YouTube and reported on by NBC affiliate KGW of Portland.
Newsweek contacted LaTulippe’s office for comment, but attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.
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