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Central District Health ratifies Dr. Cole's appointment to health board

Dr. Cole, who has called the COVID-19 vaccines "needle rape," will now serve on the CDH Board of Health through September, 2026.

BOISE, Idaho — After receiving seven ballots in favor of his appointment, Central District Health ratified the appointment of Dr. Ryan Cole to the district's Board of Health. 

Dr. Cole will now serve on the CDH Board of Health through Sept. 3, 2026, according to CDH.

Cole owns a testing laboratory, Cole Diagnostics in Garden City, and has risen to prominence during the course of the COVID-19 for his outspoken views on the coronavirus vaccines, which includes calling them "needle rape," and his advocacy for unproven treatments like ivermectin, a medication used in horses and humans to treat parasites.

Dr. Jim Souza, the chief medical officer at St. Luke's, told The 208 back in March that, "I'm afraid this is more from our anti-vax colleagues to stoke fear and misinformation instead of science," after Cole gave a presentation to Idaho lawmakers.

On Tuesday, CDH received seven out of 12 votes from county commissioners in favor of Cole's appointment. Cole now fills the board's requirement for a physician to serve on the health board. Dr. Ted Epperly previously served in that position for three five-year terms. He was suddenly released from his position by Ada County commissioners because of his views on COVID-19 restrictions and public health measures.

"I think the Central District Health Board would now be best served by someone with a different perspective who represents the community," Chairman Rod Beck said in a statement.

Ryan Davidson called Epperly's worries and concerns about the COVID-19 as "doomsday predictions," and said, "Since Dr. Epperly supported such restrictions as a member of the Central District Health board, I cannot in good conscience support his re-appointment.” 

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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