Tag Archives: private

Azerbaijan resolving employment issues of war participants and private sector responds positively to appeals – President Aliyev

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 14

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The Azerbaijani government constantly pays attention and takes care of citizens who became disabled during the second Karabakh war, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said on July 14 at the ceremony of providing the families of martyrs and disabled during the war with apartments and cars in Khojasan settlement, Trend reports.

“The issues of employment of participants in the war are being resolved, and I am very glad that the private sector responds positively to our calls, which is natural,” the president said.

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This post originally posted here Trend – News from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkey.

Brian May on Freddie Mercury’s ‘very private side’ and how he faced up to his insecurities

Brian continued: “And if you peeled of all the layers of the onion, you’d find a lot of complexity, a lot of it which he denied, which is smart I think really.

“People would say is your music important Freddie and he would say, ‘No, no it’s just tomorrow’s Fish and Chips paper. No I don’t think my songs are worth anything.’”

However, the Queen guitarist shared that underneath that, of course, Freddie felt he had stuff to say through his lyrics.

He added: “Freddie was always expressing himself in rather daring ways, inside is this rather insecure person and on the outside was a warrior that he was building himself into.”

Author: George Simpson
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

The Cosy Cinema: a private cinema sleepover just for you

Located just outside Cardiff, film fans have the option of either renting a cabin for a three-hour period, or going all-in for a sleepover. There are a choice of streaming sites to watch, including Netflix, Disney+, Prime, Sky TV and YouTube. You can also log into your own PS4 account.

The pod includes a double bed and bathroom facilities, and a Cosy Kiosk packed with treats priced at £1 each.

Guests can log into their Netflix, Disney+, or PS4 account. (Airbnb)

While there are no kitchen facilities, there are a wide range of takeout options you can organise for delivery and host John is more than happy to give you his recommendations. 

The variety of streaming platforms allow users to jump right back into their favourite shows and films from home, and the PS4 access means gaming fans can also kick back and play in style.

The cabin has wifi and parking including, and is a short walk from Dinas Powys train station. 

The Cosy Cinema is an eight-minute walk from Dinas Powys train station (AirBnb)

The first pod has proved immensely popular for bookings this summer, but according to the Cosy Cinema Instagram account more cabins are being fitted out and are available to book. 

They offer different packages, including a special three-hour down time offering for key workers; an overnight stay from 5pm-10am is £115; and a VIP overnight stay from 5pm-12pm is priced at £135. 

The pods can be booked via AirBnb or via their Instagram.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Princess Anne's body language with Zara's children shows royal 'very different' in private

Speaking to Express.co.uk, body language expert Judi James commented on their interactions.

She suggested Princess Anne could be different behind the scenes to what is seen in public.

“Princess Anne has never been a lover of the PDA, posing in a more traditional, hands-off way with two husbands and her own children,” Judi said.

“But the way that daughter Zara has emerged as a wonderfully tactile and openly affectionate woman suggests there might have been a very different version of her mother away from the cameras.”

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Judi continued to say Princess Anne is more publicly affectionate with her grandchildren than she is with others in public.

“With her grandchildren though we do finally get to see the more demonstrative side to the Princess,” the expert continued.

“Playful and doting, Anne blends the usual watchful eye of any grandmother with a tendency to join in games with an enthusiasm that makes her look like a child herself.”

Princess Anne has been a working royal for more than 50 years which means she is most often working on behalf of the monarch when seen in public. 

Princess Anne seems happy for her grandchildren to have fun rather than worry about royal protocol, Judi concluded.

She said: “All children love to play swings between two adults and Anne chats to Zara here while allowing her granddaughter to play between them.

“Like Zara, Anne seems happy to encourage the energetically playful side of the girls, allowing them to enjoy tearing about and having fun rather than worrying about royal protocols.

“When she made the decision to drop royal titles for her own children Anne appears to have allowed them and their own children the freedom to be demonstrative and happily playful that she and her brother Charles rarely enjoyed.”

The royal line of succession – who outranks who?

The line of succession to the British throne dictates the order in which each member of the Royal Family would ascend to the throne.

It is also seen as a ranking of importance with the head of the line, the Queen, taking the place of ruler.

Older children come before younger children. Traditionally boys came before girls, but this law was changed on 26 March 2015 before the birth of Prince William’s first child.

Incredibly, Catholics are still excluded from the line of succession, as are children born outside of wedlock.

The royals, who usually stick to a strict protocol when appearing in public, often arrive at events in ascending order of importance, with the most important royal arriving last.

Prince Charles, 72, is currently first-in-line to the British throne, followed by Prince William, 38, his oldest son.

Then comes Prince William’s children, George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, and they are followed by Prince Harry, 36. Prince Harry is succeeded by his son Archie Harrison, born in May 2019.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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GPs are fighting NHS plans to share your medical records with private companies next month

As it stands, all 36 GP surgeries in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have agreed to withhold the data when collection begins July 1, 2021. An email calling on colleagues to mirror the protest has now been circulated to some 270 practices in England, The Guardian has reported.

Doctors believe the automatic siphoning of NHS medical records, including details on mental and sexual health data, criminal records, and more, will undermine trust between patients and their GP, Dr Ameen Kamlana, who is based in Tower Hamlets and taking part in the protest, has claimed.

“There’s an immense amount of good that can come from responsible and secure use of public data, public health records,” Dr Kamlana told The Guardian. “However, our issue here with this particular proposal is that it’s been rushed through. There has been no public information campaign to inform the public about the plans, and in order to allow them to decide for themselves whether they are happy about it.

“Essentially what’s being asked for here is people’s entire health record, so everything that we’ve coded in people’s records from the time of their birth to the time of their death, including their physical, mental and sexual health, including their health-related concerns with family and work and including their drug and alcohol history. Essentially all your most intimate private details of your life is being asked to be handed over and we were concerned that the public aren’t aware of what’s being done.”

Not included in NHS Digital’s upcoming database will be patient’s full addresses, any images or videos taken during private consultations, or legally restricted data, such as IVF treatment or gender reassignment.

NHS Digital says that anything in your records that could be used to directly identify you will be scrambled before it’s uploaded from your local GP practice. However, the organisation admits this process is completely reversible – NHS Digital will hold onto the code that unscrambles the data to its original state.

It claims that it will only ever reverse the anonymised data to reveal the identity of the patient “if there was a lawful reason to do so and it would need to be compliant with data protection law”. However, privacy campaigners have criticised the plans as “legally problematic”.

The records of 55 million patients in England compiled next month will then be made available to academics and commercial third parties, privacy campaigners have claimed. These records will be used for research and planning, with NHS Digital claiming that records “decide what new health and care services are required in a local area, informs clinical guidance and policy, and supports researching and developing cures for serious illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.”

If you’d like to be omitted from the database, there is still time to remove your NHS records. To be exempt from the data-grab, you’ll need to fill out a form and submit it to your GP.

If you don’t do this before the deadline, which is June 23, 2021, your medical records will become a permanent feature of the NHS Digital database. Opting out after June 23 will still work, but will only apply to future data – any historic data will still be available to researchers, academic and commercial partners of the NHS. You can find the form required to opt out here.

Advocacy group MedConfidential, a privacy-focused group that has been pivotal in raising the alarm, told the Financial Times: “They’re trying to sneak it out, they are giving you six weeks nominally and if you do not act based on web pages on the NHS digital site and some YouTube videos and a few tweets, your entire GP history could have been scraped, never to be deleted.”

Speaking to Express.co.uk, a spokesperson for NHS Digital spokesperson said: “Patient data is already used every day to plan and improve healthcare services, for research that results in better treatments, and to save lives. During the pandemic, data from GPs has been used to benefit millions of us: helping to identify and protect those most vulnerable, roll out our world-leading vaccine programme, and identify hospital treatments, which have prevented people dying from covid.

“We have engaged with doctors, patients, data, privacy and ethics experts to design and build a better system for collecting this data. The data will only be used for health and care planning and research purposes, by organisations that can show they have an appropriate legal basis and a legitimate need to use it. We take our responsibility to safeguard patient data extremely seriously.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Study: Little Impact of Private Equity on Dermatology Practices

A new study suggests that private investor ownership of dermatology practices has little impact on spending, but does result in a small increase in the number of patients seen per dermatologist, and slightly higher reimbursement per clinician.

The authors reported that — with an average of five quarters postacquisition — there was no statistically significant differential between investor-owned and non–investor-owned practices “in total spending, overall use of dermatology procedures per patient, or specific high-volume and profitable procedures.”

Dr Robert Tyler Braun

Essentially, the study findings were equivocal, reported Robert Tyler Braun, PhD and his colleagues at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York. “The results provide mixed support for both proponents and opponents of private equity acquisitions,” they wrote in the study, which was published in Health Affairs.

But two dermatologists not involved with the study said the analysis has significant limitations, including a lack of pathology data, a lack of Medicare data, and a lack of insight into how advanced practice clinicians, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, were used by the private equity (PE)–owned practices. The study was not able to track “incident to billing.”

Leaving out Medicare data is a “huge oversight,” Joseph K. Francis, MD, a Mohs surgeon at the University of Florida, Gainesville, said in an interview. “The study is fundamentally flawed.”

“With all of these limitations, it’s difficult to draw meaningful conclusions,” agreed Clifford Perlis, MD, Mbe, of Keystone Dermatology in King of Prussia, Pa.

Both Francis and Perlis also questioned the influence of one of the study’s primary sponsors, the Physicians Foundation, formed out of the settlement of a class action lawsuit against third-party payers.

In addition, Francis and Perlis said they thought the study did not follow the PE-owned practices for a long enough period of time after acquisition to detect any differences, and that the dataset — looking at practice acquisitions from 2012 to 2017 — was too old to paint a reliable picture of the current state of PE-owned practices. Acquisitions have accelerated since 2017.

In March 2021, Harvard researchers reported in JAMA Health Forum that PE purchases in health care peaked in the first quarter of 2018 and surged to almost as high a level in the fourth quarter of 2020, with 153 deals announced in the second half of the year. Of the 153 acquisitions, 98, or 64%, were for physician practices or other health care services.

Braun said his study focused on 2012-2017 because it was an available data set. And, he defended the snapshot, saying that he and his colleagues had as much as 4 years of postacquisition data for the practices that were purchased in 2013. He acknowledged there were less data on practices purchased from 2014 to 2016.

“It is possible that our results would change with a longer postacquisition period,” Braun said in an interview. But, he said there was no way to predict whether that change “would look better or worse for private equity.”

Modest Price Increases

The authors analyzed data from the Health Care Cost Institute, which aggregates claims for some 50 million individuals insured by Aetna, Humana, and United Healthcare. The data do not include Medicare claims.


They examined dermatologists in practices bought between 2013 and 2016 and compared them to dermatologists who were in practices not owned by private equity. Each dermatologist had to have at least 2 years of data, and the authors compared preacquisition with postacquisition data for those in PE-owned practices.

They identified 64 practices – with 246 dermatologists – bought by private investors. Preacquisition, PE practices were larger than non-PE practices, with 4.2 clinicians (including advanced practitioners) per practice, compared with 1.7 in non–investor-owned practices.

The authors looked at volume and prices for routine office visits (CPT code 99213), biopsies (11101), excisions (11602), destruction of first lesion (cryotherapy; 17000), and Mohs micrographic surgery (17311).

Prices for a routine office visit rose nominally in the first quarter after acquisition (under $ 1), stayed at 0 in the second quarter, decreased in the third quarter, and was 0 again in the fourth quarter. It was not until the fifth quarter post acquisition that prices rose, increasing by 3% ($ 2.26), and then rising 5% ($ 3.20) in the ninth quarter.

Braun said the price increases make sense because practices get “rolled up” into larger platforms, theoretically giving them more negotiating leverage with insurers. And he said the paper’s results “are consistent with physician practice consolidation research — mainly hospitals acquiring practices — that prices increase after acquisition.” He acknowledged that the dermatology paper found “more modest effects,” than other studies.

Francis, however, said the increases are basically “pocket change,” and that they reflect a failed promise from private investors that clinicians in PE-owned practices will be paid more. The small differences in pay may also mean that insurers are likely not acquiescing to the theoretical leverage of larger dermatology entities.

PE-owned dermatologists saw about 5% more patients per quarter initially, rising to 17% more per quarter by eight quarters after purchase, according to the study.

The study reported a significant increase in Mohs surgery and cryotherapy in the first quarter post purchase, and a significant increase in biopsies after eight quarters. But Braun and colleagues concluded that total spending per patient did not change significantly after acquisition. “That says that maybe physicians aren’t changing their behaviors that much,” Braun said in an interview.

Perlis disagreed, noting that practices rarely change quickly. “Anecdotally, most groups that are taken over, nothing changes initially,” while the new owners are getting a feel for the practice.

He also said the paper erred in not addressing quality of and access to care. “Quality and patient satisfaction and access are also other important factors that need to be examined.”

Not Benign Players

Both Perlis and Francis said the study may have been improved by having a dermatologist as a coauthor. Braun countered that he and his colleagues consulted several dermatologists during the course of the study, and that they also conducted 30 interviews with proponents and opponents of PE ownership.

The authors warned of what they viewed as some disturbing trends in PE-owned practices, including what Braun called “stealth” consolidation – investors making small purchases that fall outside of federal regulation, and then amassing them into large entities.

He also commented that it was “alarming” that PE-owned practices were hiring a larger number of advanced practitioners. The authors also expressed concern about leveraged buyouts, in which investors require a practice to carry high debt loads that can eventually drive it into bankruptcy.

“These are not benign players,” said Francis. He noted that it took “an act of Congress to stop surprise billing,” a tactic employed by PE-owned health care entities. “Policy makers should be looking at what’s best for patients, especially Medicare and vulnerable patients.”

Perlis also has qualms about PE-owned practices. “The money to support returns to investors has to come from somewhere and that creates an inherent tension between patient care and optimizing revenue for investors,” he said. “It’s a pretty head-on conflict.”

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Fury as man's private garden paved over by Labour run council

Will Howell, 49, owns a flat on a block of council-owned homes and, until three years ago, had his own garden along with his neighbours in the council-owned flats. However, Birmingham City Council has since paved over the gardens to create a communal space, something it says other residents have enjoyed.
The dad had only agreed to it on the basis he would get a new garden – but that still has not happened, despite the work being carried out in 2018 after a consultation.

Speaking to Birmingham Live, Mr Howell said: “A council officer said it was obvious I didn’t mow my garden and asked why I would miss it, and what the problem was with making it a communal garden.

“I conveyed to him the garden is part of my property – it is registered with the land registry.

“It’s my own private garden. The kids used to play in it.

“Just because my garden is overgrown doesn’t give Birmingham City Council the right to take my garden and turn it into a communal area.”

Mr Howell, a performance manager in the building industry, moved into the property with his partner at the time along with their children  – now 19 and 17 – in 1997, before purchasing it in 2003.

At the back of the property in Shard End, Birmingham, were six separate gardens with six sheds made out of brick, measuring around 2m x 2m x 1.5m, he said.

Mr Howell added: “You could fit the kids’ bikes in there and my own cycle in there. They replaced that with a one-metre cubed box.

“They said they would replace it like for like. You couldn’t fit a kid’s bike in it, just a couple of Wellington boots.”

The garden itself was 8m x 5.26m and had a picket fence surrounding it. Mr Howell said it was overgrown because he didn’t have time to tend to it due to work.

He said he was promised the garden would be reinstated following the work – and Mr Howell agreed to it at that point.

But after work finished in 2018, he did not hear from anyone about when a new garden would be put in place, and despite chasing – it is still not in place today.

He said: “They seemed to make promises when they needed to do the work and they went missing afterwards.

“I wasn’t asking for anything over and above. I was just asking for my garden to be put back the way it was. You can’t go round making promises to people and then take their garden away.

“That garden was seriously missed during the Covid period.

“My niece and nephew don’t like it out the back because it’s open to anyone. There are dogs chained up and there’s no private area.

“I just want them to do the right thing. They had their chance at the beginning and made their excuses. They have just left me in the lurch.”

He has also been told by the council he owes £25,000 for the rest of the refurbishment work to the building carried out at the same time, including insulation, rendering, a new roof and an air intake system.

This has now been registered against his property, meaning he would have to pay it off from the proceeds of the sale of the flat.

He said: “That’s more than I paid for the property in the first place.”

Birmingham City Council, controlled by the Labour Party, said it would be working with Mr Howell on a “suitable solution”.

A spokesperson said: “The improvement works were completed to the block as part of a Capital Improvement Programme – as part of any improvement work, consultation does take place with residents who are contacted throughout the process.

“In relation to the Heath Way, the area was identified for major refurbishment, as the gardens at the back were significantly over grown, and unusable to families and residents within the blocks.

“Whilst we do ensure we take into account individual concerns as part of the overall consultation a wider decision has to be made for the benefit of the whole block.

“The work that took place significantly improved the lives of residents in these blocks and the feedback that was gathered from the wider community has been extremely positive.

“In relation to Mr Howell’s concerns a member of the homeownership team will be contacting him to discuss his individual issues further and work with him on a suitable solution.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

George Clooney forced to snub Prince Harry outing leaving Duke to make private trip

George and Amal Clooney arrive for Royal Wedding ceremony

The film star today turns 60 today, and for many he still embodies the coolness, swagger and beauty that he has exuded throughout his long career on screen. Throughout his life Clooney – who made his TV debut in 1978 as an extra on miniseries Centennial – has developed a huge number of celebrity friendships, including with the likes of Hollywood royalty Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Nicole Kidman. But his relationship with a different kind of royalty saw him thrust once again into the spotlight, after he attended Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
Alongside his wife Amal, the pair witnessed the Queen’s grandson marry Meghan, who herself enjoyed a career in acting, at a spectacular ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, three years ago.

Although there had been a suggestion that George and Amal “didn’t know” the newlyweds well, the two couples’ closeness has been demonstrated on a number of occasions in the years since they tied the knot.

According to pro-Sussex biography Finding Freedom, one of these episodes meant Harry had to take a private outing on one of George’s motorbikes without the star as the Oscar-winner was suffering from a previous accident.

The book claims that the couples met up at the Clooneys’ idyllic Italian villa in Lake Como, just months after the royal wedding.

George Clooney forced to snub Prince Harry outing leaving Duke to make private trip

George Clooney forced to snub Prince Harry outing leaving Duke to make private trip (Image: GETTY)

George Clooney turns 60 years old today

George Clooney turns 60 years old today (Image: GETTY)

Among the other guests to visit the home, which some say is worth an eye-watering £100million, included Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie.

According to a source, George had arranged for Harry and Meghan to fly out from London to Italy in his private jet, where they were then picked up by an unmarked car and driven away from Milan’s airport.

Prior to the visit in August 2018, George was still recovering from a motorbike accident in Sardinia, which left the star hospitalised.

Reports at the time suggested George’s condition, sustained while he was filming TV series Catch-22, was not life-threatening, and he would later return back to the Lake Como villa.

JUST IN: Meghan Markle’s ex-husband Trevor ‘went to Oscars without her’

George Clooney and Alma were guests at the royal wedding

George Clooney and Alma were guests at the royal wedding (Image: GETTY)

Harry and George share a love of motorbikes and, while Meghan and Amal “spent a lot of time relaxing by the pool”, the Duke “checked out” the Hollywood star’s motorbike collection.

They added: “Harry took one of them out with one of his protection officers.

“George recently had an accident, so he wasn’t back on his bike yet.’

“The Duke and Duchess weren’t the only guests that weekend.

“Eugenie and her fiance, Jack Brooksbank, were already at the villa when Harry and Meghan arrived, their visits overlapping briefly.”

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George Clooney and Alma are now close with the Sussexes

George Clooney and Alma are now close with the Sussexes (Image: GETTY)

And although they appeared to have forged a strong bond, a journalist claimed that prior to the royal wedding in 2018, the Clooneys admitted they weren’t that close with the Sussexes.

Among the guests at the wedding included other celebrities such as Sir Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham, Idris Elba, Oprah Winfrey and Meghan’s castmates from the US show Suits.

In the ceremony, George and Amal were given a “prime pew” to watch the service, and sat next to Lady Carolyn Warren, whose husband John is the Queen’s bloodstock adviser.

But journalist Rachel Johnson detailed a story “doing the rounds” regarding the couples’ relationship.

Royal weddings across the generations

Royal weddings across the generations (Image: EXPRESS)

Ms Johnson claimed that Carolyn Bartholomew – a lady who shared a London flat with Harry’s mother Princess Diana – had been “waiting for the wedding service to start” and struck up a conversation with the Clooneys.

Carolyn, who is also Harry’s godmother, asked them “how they knew Harry or Meghan”.

The journalist added: “‘We don’t’, the Clooneys answered brightly.”

But the Clooneys were invited, along with 200 guests, to the evening reception, which took place at Frogmore House.

Reports from the time suggest George was the last man on the dancefloor at the celebration and danced with both Harry’s wife and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Florida private school won't employ vaccinated teachers

MIAMI — A private school founded by an anti-vaccination activist in South Florida has warned teachers and staff against taking the COVID-19 vaccine, saying it will not employ anyone who has received the shot.The Centner Academy in Miami sent a notice to parents on Monday informing them of a new policy for its two campuses for about 300 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Teachers or staff who have already taken the vaccine were told to continue reporting to school but to stay separated from students.

Co-founder Leila Centner told employees in a letter last week that she made the policy decision with a “very heavy heart.” Centner asked those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine to wait until the end of the school year, and even then recommended holding off.
Centner stood by the decision Tuesday in a statement sent to The Associated Press, which featured the biologically impossible claim that unvaccinated women have experienced miscarriages and other reproductive problems just by standing in proximity to vaccinated people.

“You can’t pass it from one person to another if you stand next to someone,” said Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, an NYU Langone gynecologist. “That’s a very horrible misconception because it opens up this crazy thinking that you can stand next to people and get what they have, which we know historically has in public health really created a lot of damage.”

The Florida Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the school’s stance on the COVID-19 vaccine.

MORE | Experts dispel myths about the COVID-19 vaccineThe Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and leading women’s health authorities have declared the COVID-19 vaccines being used in the U.S. to be safe and effective, and they are undergoing unprecedented scrutiny for safety. Around the country, teachers were prioritized for early access to the vaccines to protect them from exposure to the coronavirus as schools reopened.

Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist with Florida International University’s Wertheim College of Medicine, said there is no evidence that unvaccinated people face any risks from the vaccinations of others.

Centner and her husband David Centner started the school in 2019 after moving to Miami from New York. The school’s website promotes “medical freedom” from vaccines and offers to help parents opt out of vaccines that are otherwise required for students in Florida.

Earlier this month, Centner criticized measures by the CDC to curb the spread of the virus, and said her school went against the guidelines from the moment it reopened in September.”We did not follow any of the tyrannic measures that were in place. I did not force our kids to wear a mask,” Centner said while attending a “Health and Freedom” rally for a Republican candidate that featured supporters of former President Donald Trump and critics of public health restrictions in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

MORE | What are the side effects of the COVID vaccine? See our FAQ

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