A family doctor in Oregon publicly bragged that he and the staffers at his clinic have refused to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic while caring for patients as he compared COVID-19 to a ‘common cold virus.’
‘I and my staff, none of us, not once, wore a mask in my clinic,’ said Dr. Steven LaTulippe, the owner and operator of the South View Medical Arts clinic in Dallas, Oregon, which lies about 60 miles southwest of Portland.
LaTulippe, a family doctor who specializes in pain management and addiction, made the comments during a ‘stop the steal’ rally in Salem on November 7.
‘Stop the steal’ is the campaign launched by supporters of President Trump who claim that the November 3 election, which was won by President-elect Joe Biden, was tainted by widespread voter fraud. Those claims have not been substantiated.
Video of LaTulippe’s comments was posted to YouTube by the Multnomah County Republican Party.
‘I petition all of you, take off the mask of shame!’ LaTulippe said.
‘I want you to know that I never shut down during the entire COVID season from the time it was declared until now,’ he said last month.
LaTulippe said he wanted to appear at the rally in order to ‘expose what I call corona mania.’
‘I hate to tell you this, I might scare you, but I and my staff, none of us once wore a mask in my clinic,’ he said in comments that were first reported by KGW-TV.
Dr. Steven LaTulippe, the owner and operator of the South View Medical Arts clinic in Dallas, Oregon, told a rally last month that he and his staff refuse to wear face masks. He is seen right at the ‘Stop the steal’ rally in Salem, Oregon, on November 7
‘And how many problems did we have in our clinic from that?
‘Zero. Absolutely none.’
The doctor claimed that he has treated almost 80 COVID-19 patients.
‘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,’ he said during the rally.
‘This is a threat to your freedom, a threat to our Constitution.’
LaTulippe added that masks are ‘just designed to control you and to shut you down.’
LaTulippe is listed as having worked at Salem Hospital, which released a statement distancing itself from him.
‘Dr. LaTulippe is not employed by Salem Hospital nor does he provide care at any Salem Health hospital or clinic location,’ a Salem Health spokesperson said in a statement.
‘He is listed on a Salem Health community provider website as a courtesy extended to all physicians in our service area regardless of their employment affiliation.’
Last week, Salem Health placed a nurse on administrative leave after she posted a video on social media in which she said she does not follow safety directives meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when she is not at work.
The hospital network said it is investigating the post by the nurse, in which she said she does not wear a mask in public, travels and lets her children have play dates.
LaTulippe’s practice of not wearing a mask could prompt the Oregon Medical Board to revoke his license, which remains active as of Thursday. A search of OMB records indicates that the doctor has not been subject to any disciplinary action in the past
The nurse’s original TikTok video was deleted, along with her account, but a duet of her video with a side-by-side reaction by another user remained on the app.
The nurse was wearing scrubs and had a stethoscope draped over her shoulders in her video, which appears to have been recorded in a break room.
Salem Health released a statement on Saturday saying the nurse’s views and ‘cavalier disregard’ for COVID-19 safety measures do not reflect those of the hospital.
‘Salem Health believes we all need to do our part to protect the vulnerable and stop the rapid spread of COVID-19,’ the hospital said in a statement on its Facebook page.
‘This includes requiring staff, patients and visitors to follow guidance from the CDC and others about mask wearing and social distancing.’
Phone calls from DailyMail.com to LaTulippe’s clinic went unanswered on Thursday. Teresa LaTulippe, who works alongside her husband in the clinic, has also been contacted for comment.
The doctor, however, has not backed down from his claim, telling NBC News that ‘there’s bad science behind [COVID-19 mitigation measures].’
‘I have absolutely zero problems with infectivity, and I have completely successful treatments, so I ask, “What is the problem?’ Why would I be demonized if I know what I’m doing?”’ he said.
‘I have a very rigid virus and flu-season protocol at my clinic, and it has worked very well for me for years,’ LaTulippe continued.
‘I’ve never had any of my staff or myself get sick.’
LaTulippe said that while he and his staff refuse to wear masks, he does ask patients who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 to wear them.
He said he treats patients who believe they were infected with coronavirus in a separate back room that is disinfected both before and after they leave.
‘I’m very interested in sound medical practice, and I’m interested in good science,’ LaTulippe said.
An Oregon oncology nurse, right, is under investigation after she bragged about defying coronavirus safety guidelines in a video posted to TikTok
Grames’ video and her TikTok profile have both been deleted from TikTok but the clip was saved and then reshared by other users
The video, which was posted to TikTok, shocked users who then sought to identify her
The nurses’ employer shared their concern about the video and attempted to reassure people in a statement made on the company’s Facebook page
‘And when science and medicine become perverted with corrupt politics, then I’m up for a fight, and that’s what made me go to that rally and say what I said.’
LaTulippe’s practice of not wearing a mask could prompt the Oregon Medical Board to revoke his license.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, issued an executive order requiring health care professionals in the state to wear face coverings at all times during the pandemic.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday tightened guidelines on wearing face masks, recommending that, where COVID-19 is spreading, they be worn by everyone in health care facilities and for all interactions in poorly-ventilated indoor spaces.
In June, the WHO urged governments to ask everyone to wear fabric masks in indoor and outdoor public areas where there was a risk of transmission of the virus.
A search through Oregon Medical Board records indicates that LaTulippe is still an active doctor with no past history of disciplinary action against him.
A spokesperson for the Oregon Medical Board told DailyMail.com that it could not comment on any specific complaints against any medical practitioner.
But it did note that ‘noncompliance with executive orders…may result in disciplinary action’ by the board if doctors engage in ‘conduct that does or might endanger the health or safety of the public.’
Oregon state law calls for ‘suspending, revoking or refusing to grant license, registration or certification’ to any medical professional who engages in ‘unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.’
That could include ‘any conduct or practice contrary to recognized standards of ethics of the medical profession or any conduct or practice which does or might constitute a danger to the health or safety of a patient or the public.’
Meanwhile, the Oregon Health Authority reported 18 new deaths on Wednesday due to COVID-19.
OHA also reported 1,244 new cases of the virus. As of Wednesday, the statewide death toll since the start of the pandemic is now 953.
The number of known COVID-19 cases in Oregon is now up to 78,160.
The state has experienced a surge in cases over the past two weeks.
In 14 of the last 15 days, state officials have reported a daily count of at least 1,000 new cases.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 14 million people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached 274,648.