LOCAL NEWS

WA medical board: Idaho doctor peddled false COVID-19 claims

Jan 19, 2023, 6:12 AM | Updated: 7:16 am
7: Voting during a time of coronavirus, with safety precautions like signs reminding of social dist...
7: Voting during a time of coronavirus, with safety precautions like signs reminding of social distancing, before entering to cast a ballot at the Boyle Heights Senior Citizen Center in Los Angeles, CA, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The Washington state Medical Commission has accused a medical doctor in Idaho of violating standards related to COVID-19 and patient care.

The commission said Wednesday it had issued a statement of disciplinary charges against Dr. Ryan Cole of Idaho, who has a license in Washington state as a physician and surgeon. Cole lives in Idaho, has a medical license there and is currently one of Ada County’s appointed members of the Central District Board of Health, KTVB-TV reported.

Cole made false and misleading statements related to COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, treatments and masks, according to the Washington Medical Commission’s statement of charges.

Cole’s public statements about COVID-19 “were harmful and dangerous to individual patients, generated mistrust in the medical profession and in public health, and had a widespread negative impact on the health and well-being of our communities,” the commission wrote.

Cole’s wife told KTVB he was out of the country, but will issue a response.

The commission also alleged Cole provided negligent care to four patients to prevent or treat COVID-19 infections, saying he “prescribed medications that are not indicated for a COVID-19 infection, failed to properly document adequate justification for the treatment in the medical record, failed to take a history or perform a physical examination, and failed to obtain appropriate informed consent.”

Cole also provided inadequate opportunity for follow-up care, treated patients beyond his competency level and did not advise patients about standard treatment guidelines and preventative measures,” according to the charges.

The commission said it found Cole committed unprofessional conduct “based on the alleged facts.”

The Idaho Medical Association said in December 2021 it had filed a complaint about Cole with the Idaho Board of Medicine, which keeps investigative materials private during an investigation. The Idaho Board of Medicine told KTVB that only formal disciplinary actions by the board are public record. Its online records show no such action has been taken against Cole.

Susie Keller, the Idaho Medical Association’s CEO, said when the compliant was filed that the falsehoods had caused their nurses and physicians to be subjected to verbal assaults by patients convinced the fake information was true.

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WA medical board: Idaho doctor peddled false COVID-19 claims