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Oregon doctor refuses to wear face coverings during patient care, admits breaking COVID rules

Dr. Steven LaTulippe, a family medicine doctor in Dallas, Oregon, said he and his staff have not worn face masks in his clinic since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon doctor has refused to wear a mask while caring for patients, despite government orders requiring health care providers wear face coverings to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

“I and my staff, none of us, not once, wore a mask in my clinic,” said Dr. Steven LaTulippe, a family medicine doctor at South View Medical Arts in Dallas, Oregon.

LaTulippe’s comments were captured on video during a speech at the “Stop the Steal” election rally on Nov. 7 in Salem. 

They were posted to YouTube by the Multnomah County Republican party.

“I petition all of you, take off the mask of shame!” LaTulippe told a cheering crowd in the video.

In Oregon, an executive order from Gov. Kate Brown requires health care workers to wear a face covering at all times while in a health care office, with limited exceptions.

RELATED: VERIFY: Q&A about new COVID-19 restrictions during freeze in Oregon

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federation of State Medical Boards also both urge health care professionals to always wear face masks while inside health care facilities.

LaTulippe declined to comment about his statements in the video, according to his wife who helps run the practice. She said he may be willing to speak at a later time after consulting his lawyer, but only if he could meet face-to-face.

South View Medical Arts in Dallas is owned and operated by Dr. LaTulippe. The Oregon Medical Board website listed LaTulippe’s specialty as family practice and showed no board actions against LaTulippe.

“I want you to know that I never shut down during the entire COVID season from the time it was declared until now,” said LaTulippe in the Nov. 7 speech.

LaTulippe’s name, background and contact information also appear on the Salem Health website under the section called “find a doctor.”

When reached for comment, Salem Health distanced itself from LaTulippe.

“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."

On Sunday, an oncology nurse at Salem Health was put on administrative leave after she posted a TikTok video where she bragged about violating the state’s pandemic restrictions.

RELATED: 'I still travel, don't wear a mask when I'm out': Salem nurse placed on leave over TikTok video

“Salem Health believes we all need to do our part to protect the vulnerable and stop the rapid spread of COVID-19,” said the Salem Health spokesperson.

On Tuesday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 24 COVID-related deaths, the highest single day total of the pandemic, raising the state’s death toll to 936 people.

RELATED: Oregon reports new single-day record 24 COVID-19 deaths

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