DALLAS, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Medical Board has suspended the license of a doctor who said he refuses to wear a mask in his clinic west of Salem and encouraged others to not wear masks.
Dr. Steven LaTulippe told a pro-Trump rally in November that he and his staff do not wear masks while working in his Dallas clinic, KGW-TV reported.
A state order requires health care workers to wear face coverings in health care settings to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
The medical board voted Thursday to suspend LaTulippe’s license immediately. The indefinite suspension prevents LaTulippe from practicing medicine anywhere in the state. According to a statement on the Oregon Medical Board website, the suspension was issued “due to the board’s concern for the safety and welfare of licensee’s current and future patients.”
LaTulippe ran a family practice clinic called South View Medical Arts in Dallas.
His comments came during a “Stop the Steal” election rally in Salem on Nov. 7. The video was posted on 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. He also said people should “take off the mask of shame.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federation of State Medical Boards both urge health care professionals to wear face masks while inside health care facilities. In a report updated in late November, the CDC reiterated that multiple studies have shown that widespread use of cloth masks controls the spread of COVID-19.
LaTulippe did not answer a phone call from the media outlet on Friday morning seeking comment. He also declined to give an interview earlier this week.