5 things you need to know about CDH-appointed Dr Ryan Cole

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Ada County commissioners on Tuesday appointed Garden City pathologist Dr Ryan Cole as a new member of the Central District Health Board of Health, a controversial choice due to his views on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of people wrote letters supporting his appointment. Hundreds more have warned commissioners against the move, including many in the local medical community.

For his part, Cole, 53, described himself as apolitical. He is a registered Republican and lives in Boise.

While Elmore, Boise and Valley County Commissioners have yet to ratify his appointment, his selection has been a lightning rod in the Treasure Valley medical community. Here are five things to know about him:

1. He has extensive medical experience

Cole has worked around medicine for more than 30 years, according to a resume sent to Commissioners. He attended the US Air Force Academy before graduating from Brigham Young University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in pre-medical zoology. He then attended Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School, where he graduated in 1997.

He was also a resident and then a researcher in surgical pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His professional career has largely been spent in the Treasure Valley. He worked at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center before becoming CEO and Medical Director of Cole Diagnostics since 2004. He has also worked as a consultant at Boise Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, spokesperson for the College of American Pathologists and various other consulting positions.

He is licensed to practice medicine in 11 states, according to his resume. He said he was bilingual English and Spanish.

2. His lab has processed thousands of COVID-19 antibody tests

Cole operates Cole Diagnostics, a medical laboratory in Garden City, which he says employs around 80 people.

At the start of the pandemic, his lab ordered thousands of COVID-19 antibody tests, in a bid to see how widespread the virus was among those without any visible symptoms.

While some have praised his testing efforts, others have expressed concerns that he is benefiting from testing as he publicly promotes alternative treatments to the vaccine. Others wrote to the commissioners that the board of health may award future testing contracts to Cole Diagnostics, which could constitute a conflict of interest.

Commissioner Kendra Kenyon said profiting from the pandemic while minimizing accepted treatments “is unethical.”

Cole told the Statesman in an Aug. 9 interview that the cost of the tests nearly drove him into bankruptcy.

“I did all I could at the extreme personal financial risk of going bankrupt,” he said.

3. He is a fierce critic of COVID-19 vaccines

Cole has become well known for his public comments on COVID-19, particularly in relation to the vaccine.

Some of his speeches have gone viral, including a speech he gave at an event hosted by Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin during the 2021 legislative session. He has also appeared in numerous podcasts and interviews sharing his reviews. on vaccines, many of which can be found on his Facebook page.

He also testified as an expert witness against mandatory vaccines in the New Hampshire legislature earlier this year.

However, as his views have spread in the COVID-19 truth movement, he has also been criticized by members of the medical community and other officials for spreading misinformation.

At an event called White Coat Summit held in San Antonio, Texas in July, Cole described the vaccine as “fake”, “clot” and “needle rape”. He also promoted a disproved claim that thousands of people died after being vaccinated.

In the past, Cole has identified the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System as his source. However, those running the system have said its data cannot be used to determine whether the vaccine actually caused someone’s death.

Many Idaho doctors, including the Idaho Medical Association, had written to the commissioners expressing concern over Cole’s statements and the impact they could have on vaccination rates. Cole insinuated that doctors or institutions that oppose him are motivated to do so for monetary gain.

4. He advocated for alternative treatments to COVID-19

In his interview with the Commissioners, Cole said that a healthy lifestyle can help someone resist the worst effects of COVID-19.

In particular, he said vitamin D supplements may be an effective way to prevent COVID-19, more than wearing masks or social distancing. Studies on the effect of vitamin D on the virus have been largely inconsistent with their findings, and some have cautioned against overemphasizing the benefits of vitamin supplements.

He also advocated the use of ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug, to treat COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have warned people against taking the drug for COVID-19, especially the types produced for animals, which contain larger doses and may be harmful to them. humans to take.

Additionally, he said hydroxychloroquine could be an effective treatment, despite warnings from the FDA that it could cause heart rhythm problems, as well as kidney and liver problems.

5. He opposes the mandates of masks and vaccines

Much of the conversation surrounding the board of health’s position has centered around the potential for mask and vaccine warrants, as coronavirus cases in Idaho continue to rise.

Cole told commissioners on August 9 that he was opposed to all warrants and that people should be able to draw their own conclusions about how best to protect themselves from the virus.

“You should be able to be a responsible citizen but a free citizen to make the health decisions that are best for you,” he said. “I think forcing things creates mistrust.”

He told the Statesman after his interview that he would be more supportive of wearing masks if he thought they worked.

This story was originally published August 17, 2021 5:24 pm.

Kyle Land covers Boise, Garden City, and Ada County. Have a story suggestion or question? Email Land at [email protected]

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