Oregon suspends family doctor’s license after refusal to wear mask

Face masks are shown in a file image taken Sept. 10, 2020 in West Reading, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

The Oregon Medical Board has indefinitely suspended the medical license of a doctor who said at a pro-Trump rally that he doesn’t wear a mask at his Dallas, Oregon, clinic and doesn't require his staff to wear face-coverings either.

Dr. Steven LaTulippe also said at the Nov. 7 rally in Salem that he encourages others not to wear masks, according to KGW-TV.

A state order requires health care workers to wear a mask in health care settings. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say multiple studies have shown that cloth masks are effective in slowing the transmission of the coronavirus.

Oregon regulators voted late Thursday to suspend LaTulippe’s license immediately due to concerns about patient safety.

LaTulippe did not respond to a request for comment from KGW-TV and has previously declined to comment.

The suspension prevents LaTulippe, who ran a family medicine clinic called South View Medical Arts, from practicing medicine anywhere in the state.

The Multnomah County Republican Party posted a video of LaTulippe's speech at a “Stop the Steal” post-election rally on YouTube.

“I and my staff, none of us, not once, wore a mask in my clinic,” LaTulippe said, adding that people should “take off the mask of shame.”

He has said publicly that he has treated about 80 patients for COVID-19, but incorrectly equated the virus to the “common cold.”

Despite his public statements urging people to not wear masks, LaTulippe told NBC News that he does ask patients who have suspected cases of COVID-19 to wear a mask in his clinic. He said he treats them after other patients have left for the day, and in a back room that is disinfected before and after use.

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