Gem State Roundup

Controversial pathologist takes first step toward running for Idaho governor

By: - March 11, 2022 12:37 pm
Photo of Ryan Cole and Richard Urso in a Tennessee subcommittee

Dr. Ryan Cole, left, and Dr. Richard Urso testified recently before a Tennessee health subcommittee. (Screen capture from Tennessee General Assembly livestream)

Dr. Ryan Cole has taken the first step toward running for governor in Idaho.

Cole filed paperwork Friday to appoint a treasurer for a campaign for governor. He appointed himself as treasurer, but hasn’t yet filed official candidacy paperwork to run for governor, according to the most recent update from the Idaho Secretary of State.

Idaho Dispatch said Friday on Twitter that Cole filed to run on the Constitution Party ticket.

Cole is a pathologist who serves on the board of Central District Health, the state’s largest regional public health department. He gained local and national attention in 2021 after giving a presentation in the Idaho statehouse that downplayed public health measures to control COVID-19.

He since has become a fixture on the national speaking circuit alongside health care providers such as Drs. Robert Malone, Pierre Kory, Peter McCullough and Richard Urso. Together, they spread inaccurate, incomplete and misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, the virus and its treatments.

For example, Cole has claimed since last year that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are causing a wave of cancers and new infections, without providing any evidence to support those assertions.

Cole has traveled the U.S. in recent months, giving speeches in Washington, D.C., other metro areas and recently at a church in Garden City. At some of those events, his fellow presenters have suggested Cole run for governor of Idaho.

Cole is currently under investigation by the Washington Medical Commission and has been the subject of complaints to the Idaho Board of Medicine, including allegations that he treated patients without being qualified to do so, as a laboratory doctor. He also was removed from one of Idaho’s largest health networks last year, following his claims regarding COVID-19.

The treasurer appointment was first reported by Ruth Brown of Idaho Reports.

This story was updated March 12, 2022.

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Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Dutton hails from Twin Falls. She attended college at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, data visualization and more.