OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Medical Commission confirmed Wednesday that it has issued a statement of charges against Dr. Ryan Cole, MD, related to statements he has made about COVID-19 and related to his treatment of the virus.
Cole lives and practices in Idaho, and is currently one of Ada County's appointed members of the Central District Board of Health. He also has a license to practice as a physician and surgeon in the state of Washington. Several doctors in 2021 filed complaints with the WMC regarding Cole. Washington State Department of Health online records list Cole's license as active and valid through May 29, 2024. It also says enforcement action is "pending."
"The statement of charges alleges that Dr. Cole made numerous false and misleading statements related to COVID-19 and treated patients with COVID-19 or seeking to prevent getting COVID-19 in a manner that was beneath the standard of care," the WMC said in a written news release.
Among the allegations outlined in the WMC's statement of charges is that Cole's statements in public presentations about COVID-19, the use of ivermectin to treat the virus, and the effectiveness of masks "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 WMC also alleges that Cole provided negligent care to four patients to prevent or treat COVID-19 infections -- specifically, prescribing "medications that are not indicated for a COVID-19 infection," failing to properly document adequate justification for that treatment, failing to take a medical history or perform a physical examination of the patients, and failing to obtain "appropriate informed consent."
"Respondent (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," the summary of the WMC's allegations goes on to say.
Among the "numerous false and misleading statements" Cole allegedly made are that COVID-19 is a completely survivable virus for most people who are not in elderly, high-risk categories; that "children survive [COVID-19] at a hundred percent;" that asymptomatic spread of COVID is "infinitesimally small;" that ivermectin, approved for treatment of some parasitic worms, but not for COVID or other viruses, is "a known antiviral medication" that decreases the COVID death rate by 68 to 90 percent; that the COVID-19 vaccination is "an experimental biological gene therapy immune-modulatory injection" and "a fake vaccine... the clot shot, needle rape;" that the vaccine has caused more deaths than COVID itself; and there is no evidence that masks prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The WMC finds that "based on the alleged facts," Cole has committed unprofessional conduct. Cole is required to file a response to the statement of charges by Jan. 30. If, after a hearing, Cole is found to have committed unprofessional conduct, he faces sanctions that may include suspension or revocation of his medical license in Washington, or corrective action short of suspension or revocation, such as limitations on his practice, censure or reprimand, monitoring, fines, or probation.
The WMC's statement of charges can be read in the window below (mobile users tap here):
KTVB reached out to Cole on Wednesday. His wife said he was out of the country, but will be putting together a response.
What, if any, discipline Cole may face from the State of Idaho is unclear at this time. The Idaho Medical Association has said it filed a complaint about Cole with the Idaho Board of Medicine, which keeps medical records, staff reports and other investigative materials confidential during an investigation. The Idaho BOM has 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.
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