A doctor in Oregon has had his license revoked for continually refusing to follow COVID-19 guidelines when dealing with patients and spreading misinformation about face masks.
The Oregon Medical Board issued a final order on September 2 against Steven Arthur LaTulippe for “dishonorable or unprofessional conduct; repeated negligence in the practice of medicine; and gross negligence in the practice of medicine.” He was also fined $10,000.
LaTulippe’s license was first suspended last December. The suspension was upheld in May after the board found that his family practice, Southview Medical Arts in Dallas, operated in such a way that it constituted an “immediate danger” to the public and presented a “serious danger” to public health and safety.
He also spread misinformation to his patients about masks being ineffective against COVID-19 and falsely claimed they could cause carbon dioxide poisoning.
The board found that LaTulippe frequently told his patients to remove their masks, even if they were suffering from COVID symptoms, and relied on his receptionist to determine how sick his visitors were by sight alone, The Oregonian reported.
“[LaTulippe] had trained his receptionist ‘to look at [the patient] and just take a look at them and see if they look sick,’ and, if the patient was ‘smiling and happy,’ the receptionist was instructed to ask how the patient was feeling,” medical board documents said.
At least 95 percent of LaTulippe’s patients did not wear masks at the clinic between March and December 2020, he told board officials.
Those who did wear masks had either tested positive or were displaying extreme symptoms. Even then, LaTulippe did not cover his face when dealing with them.
He believed the body’s natural immune system was a more effective defense against COVID-19 than wearing a mask, the board said.
The physician was also recorded dismissing the importance of masks in a speech at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Salem on November 7, which backed Donald Trump‘s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
“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 told the crowd, reported The Huffington Post. “And how many problems did we have in our clinic from that? Zero.”
The clip, originally posted on YouTube by the Multnomah County Republican Party, has since been removed for violating the platform’s community guidelines.
The Oregon Medical Board also found that in at least eight cases, LaTulippe prescribed high doses of opioids to patients who may not have required such strong and addictive medication.
Newsweek has reached out to LaTulippe for comment, but attempts to contact him by phone on Friday morning were not successful.