Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute Wed, 05 Oct 2022 22:41:40 GMT Wed, 05 Oct 2022 22:41:40 GMT Dissing Cash Adam Dick undefined

New poll results from the Pew Research Center show a large decrease in Americans’ use of cash in the last seven years. Forty-one percent of individuals asked by Pew in July about all their purchases “in a typical week (including things like groceries, gas, services, or meals)” indicated that they used cash to pay for none of those purchases. This is a big increase from just seven years ago. In answer to the same Pew query in 2015, the cashless spenders came in at 24 percent.

Meanwhile, there was a big decline in the percentage of polled individuals who answered that they used cash for all or almost all such purchases. In 2015, that was the answer of 24 percent of polled individuals. In July of this year, these cash devotees came in at only 14 percent.

The percentage of people who gave the middle ground answer that they used cash for some of the purchases dropped from 51 percent to 44 percent over the seven years.

These poll results are concerning because moving away from using cash for purchases tends to bring with it moving away from privacy. Credit card and cashless payment systems leave a trail of who bought where, and often what was bought as well. Cash transactions, in contrast, tend to leave no trace in databases of what particular purchasers did.

The danger of digital trails of purchases was recently highlighted when credit card companies put in place the means for
tracking purchases at gun shops. This tracking can be used to launch investigations of and take actions against such purchasers even though the right to keep and bear arms is explicitly recognized in the United States and state constitutions. Similar targeting of individuals could be undertaken because of their purchases at businesses that provide other products that may be frowned upon by government and corporate interests as politically incorrect, against the “green agenda,” or somehow suspected of being related of bugaboos du jour such “white supremacy” and “domestic terrorism.”

One big change over the last seven years is the rise in businesses, including entertainment venues such as sports stadiums, going “cashless.” This has increased the pressure on people to reduce their use of cash. If you value privacy, you can look for alternative places where cash is accepted. Places refusing your cash can push, but you can often step out of the way, opting to shift your purchases to alternative places where your cash is accepted.

By the way, here is another advantage of using cash more for purchases. Doing so can
advance frugality, helping individuals pay down debts, avoid overspending, or make more money available for funding investments and dealing with emergencies.

]]> Wed, 05 Oct 2022 22:41:40 GMT
Gov. Gavin Newsom Sics California’s Medical Boards on Doctors who Challenge the Coronavirus Party Line Adam Dick

On September 8, I wrote about California Governor Gavin Newsom having AB 2098 — legislation that “tells the state’s medical boards to punish doctors who challenge the coronavirus orthodoxy” — on his desk for him to either veto or sign into law. The punishment the state medical boards could impose under the legislation includes revoking doctors’ medical licenses.

Here is an update. On Friday, Newsom
signed into law this bill directing the prosecution of an attack on free speech, medical freedom, and the pursuit of better health.

The coronavirus orthodoxy, or party line, the legislation seeks to protect has repeatedly been wrong — from promoting “social distancing” and mask wearing that have not been shown to provide a net benefit in countering coronavirus to advocating that everyone take the “safe and effective” coronavirus “
vaccine” shots that turned out to be both exceedingly dangerous and ineffective. The coronavirus orthodoxy also demanded that much of the economy and social interactions be shut down for an extended period of time in a supposed effort to reduce the spread of the not-very-threatening-to-most-people coronavirus. In short, the coronavirus orthodoxy is an enemy of wellbeing.

Newsom’s decision to sign AB 2098 into law is not surprising given that he has been one of the governors most adamant in imposing a coronavirus crackdown.
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CDC Takes a Step Back in Its Push for Mask Wearing at Health Care Facilities Adam Dick

Sanity and freedom has returned at most places many Americans visit, with masks mandated signs, and even masks recommended signs, having been removed. But, at many health care facilities across the country mask mandates have remained in force.

The continuation of mask mandates at health care facilities is especially infuriating because, for our health’s sake, we would hope the people running these places would have understood from early on that the masks both cause health problems and are not shown to provide net protection against coronavirus. Basic medical expertise of the people to whom health care is entrusted is sadly deficient. Alternatively, taking action consistent with that expertise has been overcome by the fear of negative repercussions for standing up for reality in the face of the coronavirus scare.

Walking into a doctor’s office or hospital with their enforced mask mandates is like walking into the future depicted in the movie
Idiocracy. You’re supposed to trust the medical judgment of these mask mandate enforcers? Oh brother.

Given a Friday
change in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more health care facilities have been terminating their mask mandates. The change is, though, far from a full repeal. What the CDC should have done was admit that pressuring people to wear masks at health care facilities because of coronavirus is an inexcusable violation of freedom with no medical justification. Instead, the CDC admitted no fault and lifted its guidance only in areas of the country that lack what it considers a high level of transmission of coronavirus.

This CDC change for health care facilities will bring some relief to some people by freeing them from demeaning mask mandates. But, it leaves in place, as has happened in
school district and county government coronavirus policies that defer to CDC guidance, dormant mask mandates that can spring back into enforcement if the coronavirus transmission numbers increase again. Plus, with the CDC and health care facilities having admitted no fault for the mask mandate overreach, what preposterous demands might they impose in the name of countering the next health-related scare?]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2022 14:21:56 GMT
Revolution in Italy? Voters 'Threw The Bums Out!' Daniel McAdams
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Most Americans Shrug Off Badgering that They Take the New Coronavirus ‘Bivalent’ Booster Shot Adam Dick

In the face of incessant media badgering to rush out and take the latest version of experimental coronavirus “vaccine” shot — the “bivalent” booster, the vast majority of Americans are saying “nope” and continuing on with their lives. Three weeks into the all-out push to have every American over 12 years old take the new shot (giving these new booster shots to younger children is up next), it appears that less than two percent of eligible Americans have done so.

The growing resistance to the coronavirus shots pushers’ propaganda gives one hope for America. With each new experimental coronavirus shot Americans are being urged to take, the percentage who acquiesce declines. The line that the shots are needed, safe, and effective has proven a farce on all counts. And the latest shot rushed into distribution has taken the previous shots’ mockery of the process for ensuring safety and efficacy
to the next level. The truth is out there; increasingly Americans are seeing past the media hype and finding it.]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2022 04:46:22 GMT
Americans, Overcoming Nonstop Propaganda, are Increasingly Not Worried about Russia Defeating or Even Taking Over Ukraine Adam Dick

The propaganda masters at the big money media and the United States government have pulled out all the stops in their effort to stir up Americans to oppose Russia in its war with Ukraine and to support extreme and expensive efforts of the US government to help the Ukraine government’s side in that war. But, as time has worn on, Americans are increasingly saying it is not a big deal to them whether Russia, led by supposed archvillain Vladimir Putin, wins the war or even takes over Ukraine.

The Pew Research Center conducted a poll from September 13 to 18 in which Americans were asked whether they are concerned about the possibility of “Ukraine being defeated and taken over by Russia” — a question Pew also had asked in April 25 to May 1 polling. Looking at the answers in September compared with in May, a big drop in concern about the possibility of “Ukraine being defeated and taken over by Russia” is evident over the four month period.

While in May 55 percent of polled individuals said they were very or extremely worried about that possibility of Russia defeating and taking over Ukraine, by September only 38 percent were. Meanwhile, the percentage of people saying they are not too concerned or not at all concerned about such a result jumped from 16 percent to 26 percent.

The percentage of polled individuals choosing the middle ground answer that they are somewhat concerned grew from 28 percent to 34 percent.

Notably, the poll question asks about concern regarding Russia taking over all of Ukraine as a result of winning the war — an outcome more extreme than most people think is likely. Consider if the poll instead asked if people are concerned about Russia defeating Ukraine and requiring it to stop exercising control of areas of Ukraine with large Russian population majorities and to maintain neutrality in regard to Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Then, surely, concern levels would have registered yet lower.

These poll results demonstrate a major propaganda fail. Given time, many Americans have seen through the lies. They have stopped being had.

Further, a good number of Americans have bristled at the great amount of US government spending undertaken to support the Ukraine government’s war effort. More and more Americans are also likely increasingly disturbed by the high ongoing cost in lives and destruction that such spending has caused and promises to cause in the future by dragging out a war that Russia and Ukraine would probably otherwise have already settled by agreement.

Indeed, the September poll found an increased percentage of individuals declaring the US government has given too much support to Ukraine. The percentage of polled individuals providing this answer rose from 12 percent in May to 20 percent in September. Among Republican and Republican-leaning polled individuals, the view that the US has provided too much support to Ukraine rose from 17 percent in May to 32 percent in September. Should this trend in views continue to progress, constituents’ pressure on American politicians to turn off the Ukraine money spigot can be expected to continue increasing.
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Scandal At Vanderbilt: Mutilating Children...For Profit! Daniel McAdams
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WWIII? Russia Announces Partial Mobilization For Ukraine War Daniel McAdams
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Surveillance of Credit Card Purchases at Gun Shops Adam Dick

In his latest weekly editorial titled “Why You Should Use Cash to Buy Guns” legal scholar and Ron Paul institute Advisory Board member Andrew Napolitano discusses how credit card companies have newly put in place a means to track credit card users’ purchases at gun shops. For people who continue to use credit cards for purchases at gun shops, Napolitano warns that the results can include United States government agents reviewing their purchase histories and even showing up on their doorsteps asking to see their guns.

As the title of Napolitano’s editorial suggests, paying with cash at gun shops instead of with credit cards could help prevent the new privacy invasion and harassment from the government. But, beware: There is a war on cash taking place right now in America. Cash is on the government’s no-no list just as are guns. Further, the United States and other national governments are studying and developing central bank digital currencies intended to take the place of cash. The new digital currency promises to be a powerful surveillance and behavior control tool that can be readily applied to gun shop purchases and all other spending.

Your days to make cash purchases at gun shops may be numbered. And, then, one day a bureaucrat may make an entry in a government database that results your digital currency being blocked from use at gun shops too.]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2022 21:21:18 GMT
Breakaway Ukraine Republics To Hold Referenda On Joining Russia, Putin Speech Expected Daniel McAdams
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Biden: 'Pandemic Is Over' (Just In Time For Elections!) Daniel McAdams
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Leaks Reveal Disgraceful Facebook and FBI Operation Supposedly Purposed to Counter Domestic Terrorism Adam Dick

On Thursday, I wrote about a Wednesday Washington Times article detailing allegations by current and former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents that FBI agents had been given quotas for investigations of “domestic terrorism” and “white supremacy” related crime. The results included a bunch of FBI agents spinning their wheels on trying to find crimes and criminals where none are, while surveilling and investigating plenty of people critical of government in the process.

Disturbingly, the investigations of these individuals would arise based on the individuals having exercised their right to criticize government. An FBI agent bluntly described the situation in the article: “If they have a Gadsden flag and they own guns and they are mean at school board meetings, that’s probably a domestic terrorist.”

Allegations by Department of Justice officials, reported in a Wednesday New York Post article by Miranda Devine, provide additional information about the FBI’s expansive efforts undertaken in the name of countering domestic terrorism. The allegations relate that Facebook repeatedly provided the FBI with customers’ private conversations in redacted form that the FBI then used to obtain subpoenas to seek more information from Facebook, and which Facebook then provided in spades. “But when the targeted Facebook users were investigated by agents in a local FBI field office, sometimes using covert surveillance techniques, nothing criminal or violent turned up,” the Post article reports.

What kind of people did Facebook turn over to the FBI? The article provides this answer:
The Facebook users whose private communications Facebook had red-flagged as domestic terrorism for the FBI were all 'conservative right-wing individuals.'

'They were gun-toting, red-blooded Americans [who were] angry after the election and shooting off their mouths and talking about staging protests. There was nothing criminal, nothing about violence or massacring or assassinating anyone.

'As soon as a subpoena was requested, within an hour, Facebook sent back gigabytes of data and photos. It was ready to go. They were just waiting for that legal process so they could send it.'
It sure looks like investigation and surveillance targeting individuals due to those individuals’ political views — a disgraceful use of government power.]]> Fri, 16 Sep 2022 20:06:36 GMT
A Danger of Giving FBI Agents Quotas on Domestic Terrorism and White Supremacy Related Crime Adam Dick

Sometimes police will be given quotas for ticketing drivers. Results of the pressure put on cops to meet their ticket targets tend to include that many drivers are pulled over and ticketed for minor infractions that would be better overlooked or based on dubious or fabricated grounds. Is a similar quota system, with expectable similar results, developing now in regard to “domestic terrorism” and “white supremacy” related crime at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)?

A Wednesday Washington Times article by Kerry Picket and Joseph Clark, referencing information provided by current and former FBI agents, suggests that is the case. Picket and Clark write:
Current and former FBI agents tell The Washington Times that the perceived threat has become overblown under the administration. They say bureau analysts and top officials are pressuring FBI agents to create domestic terrorist cases and tag people as White supremacists to meet internal metrics.

“The demand for White supremacy” coming from FBI headquarters “vastly outstrips the supply of White supremacy,” said one agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We have more people assigned to investigate White supremacists than we can actually find.”

The agent said those driving bureau policies “have already determined that White supremacy is a problem” and set agencywide policy to elevate racially motivated domestic extremism cases as priorities.

“We are sort of the lapdogs as the actual agents doing these sorts of investigations, trying to find a crime to fit otherwise First Amendment-protected activities,” he said. “If they have a Gadsden flag and they own guns and they are mean at school board meetings, that’s probably a domestic terrorist.”

The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag with a yellow field showing a timber rattlesnake and the words: “Don’t Tread on Me.” It is often used as a symbol of liberty.
Read the complete article here.]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2022 21:28:48 GMT
'End of Empire' - RPI's Daniel McAdams on Liberty Lockdown Podcast RPI Staff
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New York Keeps Third Party Candidates Off the Ballot Adam Dick

In the November election, Republican and Democratic candidates for New York governor will face no opposition on the ballot from any third party candidates. The reason is not that nobody desires to run as a third party candidate. Instead, third party candidates were unable to meet the state government’s newly-imposed increased number of signatures required on ballot access petitions.

Tim Williams provides details in a September 6 article at Spectrum News 1. Williams explains that a new state law has made two big changes detrimental to candidates running for statewide office as neither Republicans or Democrats. First, it greatly increased the number of signatures third party candidates must collect, raising the number from 15,000 to 45,000. Second, it also greatly increased the vote total in a governor or president election that is needed for a third party to escape being subjected to the massive signatures collection requirement in the next election, meaning third parties will likely face the newly raised ballot access signatures requirement election after election.

Williams notes in his article that, in this first election since 1946 with only two governor candidates on the New York state ballot, Green Party governor candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian Party governor candidate Larry Sharpe are planning to continue their campaigns as write-in candidates. It is much tougher, though, to gain recognition and votes as a write-in candidate than as a candidate whose name is on the ballot. Plus, third party candidates have already spent great amounts of money and effort in fruitless attempts to qualify for inclusion on the election ballot instead of on ordinary campaigning.

Efforts to alternatively seek ballot access through the courts have failed so far for the New York third party candidates. On Friday, a New York state appellate court upheld a state trial court’s decision against Sharpe and other Libertarian candidates for statewide offices, including the federal office of United States senator, who have been blocked from the ballot. The court sided with the state board of elections that had determined there was an insufficient number of petition signatures to qualify the candidates for the ballot under the new law.]]> Mon, 12 Sep 2022 20:35:32 GMT
Simone Gold, Fighter for Medical Freedom Adam Dick

Simone Gold is a fighter for medical freedom. Many Americans first learned of her when in July of 2020 Gold, who founded America’s Frontline Doctors, spoke along with other doctors at a Washington, DC press conference. The doctors challenged the coronavirus party line that had been pushed relentlessly in America over the preceding few months. That press conference, at which Gold spoke first among the doctors and served as the master of ceremonies, was a refreshing breakthrough of the voice of dissident doctors challenging the coronavirus crackdown and the accompanying propaganda campaign.

Gold and her organization continued fighting for medical freedom and against extreme coronavirus crackdown measures since. Among other things, America’s Frontline Doctors came out in opposition early on to the heavily pushed by politicians and media insistence that the experimental coronavirus “vaccine” shots were safe and effective and something everyone should take. The organization also helped people obtain early treatment for coronavirus so they could avoid serious sickness. Meanwhile, the coronavirus scare propagandists said there was nothing to do but wait until sickness becomes so bad that hospital admission is required.

On Friday, Gold was released from prison. Her crime? None. It was just a misdemeanor for, as reported in the Washington Times, “entering and remaining in a restricted building.” Yet, the building was the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, so the full force of the US government was employed to cause the great harm to Gold and many other people who walked into that building and did nothing destructive.

While in the building, the Washington Times notes that Gold “gave a speech in Statuary Hall about her opposition to coronavirus vaccine mandates and government-imposed lockdowns.” Ordinary people would not find her doing this worrisome. But, for the Biden administration devoted to coronavirus tyranny it is downright threatening.

In addition to her 60 days prison sentence, the Washington Times article reports that Gold was punished with a 9,500 dollars fine and 12 months of supervised release starting after her time in prison. Gold is among the many victims of a very harsh crackdown on people presented as opponents of President Joe Biden and repeatedly, though farcically, painted as taking part in an “insurrection” on January 6 of last year.

Here’s to Gold returning to her work fighting for medical freedom. We can use her help.]]> Sat, 10 Sep 2022 04:04:25 GMT
California Bill on Governor’s Desk Puts in Jeopardy Medical Licenses of Doctors Who Do Not Toe the Line on Coronavirus Adam Dick

During the coronavirus scare, a small dissident group of American doctors stood up against the concerted effort of many politicians, people in the media, “public health” bureaucrats, doctors, and medical organizations to portray the coronavirus “vaccine” shots as “safe and effective” and something everyone should take.

Dissenting doctors also explained that, despite the scare campaign proclaiming otherwise, exposure to coronavirus created natural immunity, most people — especially younger and healthier people — faced minimal to nearly zero risk of death or serious sickness from coronavirus, and early treatments with common medicines and vitamins could prevent serious sickness.

Some doctors also wisely pointed out early on that actions such as mask wearing, business closures, and “social distancing” were ineffective in stopping the spread of coronavirus. A major warning from dissident doctors was that hospital protocols for dealing with coronavirus such as forced isolation of patients from friends and family, as well as routine use of ventilators early on and remdesivir later, created huge health risks of their own.

Pushers of the coronavirus scare denigrated all of these arguments of dissenting doctors as fringe and dangerous. But, as time has passed, more and more evidence supports these arguments. It is becoming increasingly understood among critical observers that it is the doctors derided as disinformation agents who turned out to be right all along.

These brave doctors stood up for people’s health and liberty by disputing the heavily pushed, and dangerous, coronavirus party line.

If only more people had heeded these doctors’ protestations, the harm from coronavirus and extreme actions taken in the name of countering coronavirus could have been significantly reduced.

Government, media, and big tech companies sought to silence these heroic doctors. In some cases, medical boards even sought to revoke their licenses — an action that puts a doctor out of business.

Now, in California, Governor Gavin Newsom has a bill — AB 2098 — on his desk that tells the state’s medical boards to punish doctors who challenge the coronavirus orthodoxy. AB 2098 directs the state medical boards to take action against such doctors in the state, including revoking these doctors’ license. That threat hanging over doctors would serve as a huge disincentive for even a small group of doctors to stand up for what they believe is true. It is a means of placing on doctors a medical propaganda straitjacket preventing them from using their unique expertise to advise people.

Suzanne Burdick provides a detailed examination of AB 2098 in a Wednesday Children’s Health Defense article you can read here.]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2022 14:51:22 GMT
Why Many Marijuana Buyers in New York will Choose Black Market Dealers over Newly Legal Stores Adam Dick

High taxes and extensive regulation can make doing business, including providing a quality product at a low price, difficult to impossible. It looks like the New York state government is about to demonstrate this fact, as have some other marijuana-legalizing state governments before it, with the roll-out of its recreational marijuana legalization. 

Burdened with high taxes and regulations galore, expect new legal marijuana stores to have a tough time competing against sellers in the established illegal market. In a Wednesday Reason article, J.D. Tuccille provides an overview of why legal recreational marijuana appears likely to fail in supplanting the illegal market in the state. Concluding his examination of the matter, Tucille writes:
A legal market with high taxes and overly stringent regulations is still a market in which people aren't arrested and jailed. Rules can be loosened to what people will tolerate, as they have been elsewhere. But New York officials have yet to learn that markets function based on the choices of participants. The wishes of government regulators who want to use them as social-engineering tools and ATMs don't really matter. Marijuana markets will thrive so long as there are customers to be served. The question is whether they will thrive in the open under light taxes and regulations, or underground to escape the heavy hands of politicians.
Read Tucille’s article here.]]> Thu, 01 Sep 2022 02:01:09 GMT
Scott Ritter’s Show — Conversations with Russians to Improve Understanding between America and Russia Adam Dick

Scott Ritter’s Show debuted this week — at a time when it is much needed.

Big money media is painting Russia as an archvillain, the United States Congress and president are imposing sanctions on Russia while sending weapons and other aid to Ukraine in order to kill Russians, and the US Secretary of State is steadfastly avoiding pursuing diplomatic efforts to improve US-Russia relations. In contrast, Ritter, who many followers of Ron Paul Institute (RPI) activity are familiar with from his articles posted at the RPI website and his speech at a June 4 RPI event, has been saying the US should be following a more peaceful path in regard to Russia.

It appears that a desire to promote understanding between America and Russia is at the core of the new show’s purpose. It thus stands in contrast to efforts of media and government politicians to regularly manipulate presentation of information to direct Americans into hating and fearing Russia. Ritter talks about his goal for the show at the beginning of the show’s first episode. Ritter states:
I’d like to welcome you to the inaugural edition of the Scott Ritter Show. The idea behind this is to have a conversation with important Russian figures to enter into a dialogue—a discussion—a debate about the current events in order to create a better understanding between the United States and Russia and indeed anybody who is watching this show.
Good luck to Ritter in pursuing this goal.

In the first episode of Scott Ritter’s Show, Ritter has an interesting discussion with Leonid Petrovich Reshetnikov whose background includes having been the head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies and having worked in Soviet and then Russian foreign intelligence. The discussion is largely related to the ongoing war in Ukraine. You can watch the episode here.
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The Coronavirus Crackdown Continues: School Kicks Out Four-Year-Old Child for Not Wearing a Mask Adam Dick
One poignant example of the vile enforcement that backs up the remaining mask mandates on children at schools is on display in a report at KRON-TV news. The report concerns school officials, including an on-campus cop, on Thursday kicking a four-year-old boy out of a Mountain View Whisman School District school in California because the boy would not wear a mask. You can watch the report here:

The news report is not all bad news though. The report relates that the school district revoked its mask mandate for students later the same day.

Still, looking below the surface, that policy change is less reason for celebration than one may first suppose. The school district’s “COVID Plans” web page now describes masks as “recommended.” That means that many parents and students will still feel pressure to act as if the mandate were still in place. The liberty and health respecting course would be for the school district to neither mandate nor recommend.

Further, the school district’s web page indicates that it is following a policy that ensures the mask mandate can spring back into force. The web page states:
As Aug. 18, our local COVID transmission rates have dropped below the 'high' category as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  As we’ve stated earlier this month in our COVID guidelines, reaching this threshold means our masking protocol can change.
 This autopilot mask policy, similar to the one employed by the Los Angeles County government, means that, if coronavirus statistics reach a certain CDC-defined level, then the full mandate can be reimposed. That would mean the school district’s schools again could kick out the boy and any other children who dare to leave their faces uncovered.]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2022 13:21:21 GMT