The state of Oregon’s Medical Board voted Thursday evening to issue an Order of Emergency to immediately suspend the license of Dr. Steven LaTulippe after he declared at a recent pro-Trump rally he and his staff never wear masks in his clinic while treating patients, which is a violation of a state mandate.
LaTulippe, who has been practicing medicine since graduating from Loma Linda University Medical School in 1998, owns a family practice clinic called South View Medical Arts in Dallas, Oregon.
He made the controversial comments at a “Stop the Steal” rally held in Salem, Ore., on Nov. 7, and a video of his speech was posted to YouTube by the Multnomah County Republican Party.
“I and my staff, none of us, not once, wore a mask in my clinic,” LaTulippe said at the rally, adding, “I petition all of you, take off the mask of shame.”
He went on to dismiss the seriousness of Covid-19, equating it to the “common cold.”
Oregon’s Medical Board stated LaTulippe’s license was suspended due to the Board’s “concern for the safety and welfare of the licensee’s current and future patients.”
Under the suspension, he is banned from practicing medicine anywhere in the state.
“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,” said LaTulippe. “This is a threat to your freedom, a threat to our Constitution… It is a mask that is just designed to control you and to shut you down.”
Last week, a nurse in Oregon was placed on administrative leave after mocking the state’s pandemic protocols in a TikTok video that went viral. The nurse, Ashley Grames, who worked in the oncology unit at Salem Health Hospital in Salem, Ore., proclaimed she does not wear a mask in public, arranges play dates for her kids, and still travels. Salem Health released a statement last Saturday asserting that Grames displayed a “cavalier disregard for the seriousness of this pandemic and her indifference towards physical distancing and masking outside of work.” A record high of 30 new coronavirus deaths and more than 2,100 new cases (also a state record) were reported in Oregon on Friday, according to the New York Times database. Over the past week, there has been an average of 1,515 cases per day (an increase of 47% from the average two weeks earlier) and an average of 16 deaths (a surge of 104%).
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new Covid-19 guidelines calling for “universal face mask use” outside of individual homes and advised state and local officials to impose mask mandates throughout the country. “Compelling evidence now supports the benefits of cloth face masks for both source control (to protect others) and, to a lesser extent, protection of the wearer,” the CDC report states.
66,000. The most recent report from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects 270,000 additional Covid-related deaths in the U.S. over the next four months but notes that 66,000 lives could be saved if 95% of Americans wear masks this winter.