An Oregon doctor admitted to breaking COVID-19 regulations, calling the virus a ‘common cold,’ and saying he doesn’t wear a face mask while caring for patients

Close up of respiratory protective masks.

  • Dr. Steven LaTulippe, the owner of South View Medical Arts in Dallas, Oregon, was recorded saying he and his staff haven't worn masks while treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • In a video first reported by NBC affiliate KGW of Portland, he also compared COVID-19 to the common cold, and told a crowd of people that masks are "designed to control you."
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A doctor in Oregon was recorded saying he and his staff hadn't worn masks while treating patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Physician Steven LaTulippe, the owner of South View Medical Arts in Dallas, Oregon, made the comments while speaking at a November 7 rally held to support President Donald Trump in Salem, Oregon.

Video of his comments was first reported by NBC affiliate KGW of Portland, and shared in a video on YouTube posted by the political group Multnomah County Republicans.

"I want you to know that I never shut down during the entire Covid season. … 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 continued as the crowd cheered. "And how many problems did we have in our clinic from that? Zero. Absolutely none."

He told a crowd that masks are "designed to control you," and called Covid "a common cold virus."

LaTulippe was right in saying coronaviruses often cause upper-respiratory tract illnesses like the common cold, but SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the Covid pandemic, can cause more serious illness and death, the National Institute of Health reported earlier this year.

And in an interview with Insider on Thursday, LaTulippe stood by his November 7 comments.

"As far as the mask goes, I stand by what I said — I and my staff have never worn a mask, and I was the only physician who kept my office open from the start of the pandemic," he said. "From that time I've had zero problems."

LaTullipe told Insider he does educate his patients on how to minimize exposure to the coronavirus, and has a strict regimen in treating patients with the virus, which includes treating them at the end of the day, sanitizing rooms before and after they enter, and making them wear masks if they're coughing or showing other symptoms.

He also cricized health experts for wavering on whether masks should be worn, and in a separate interview with NBC News, LaTulippe said there's "bad science" behind mask-wearing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage people to wear masks.  

The CDC has said that masks can help prevent a wearer's respiratory droplets from reaching others, and help protect other people from contracting the coronavirus if the person wearing the mask is unknowingly infected with the virus.

In a report from November 20, the CDC said seven studies confirmed "the benefit of universal masking in community-level analyses."

"Each analysis demonstrated that, following directives from organizational and political leadership for universal masking, new infections fell significantly," the study said. "Two of these studies and an additional analysis of data from 200 countries that included the US also demonstrated reductions in mortality."

COVID-19 has killed more than 274,000 people in the US since the pandemic began, and 1.5 million people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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