John Hood mug

John Hood

RALEIGH — When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, Gov. Roy Cooper and other officials began exercising government power in ways unprecedented in modern times.

They shut down businesses, withheld basic public services such as in-person schooling, and ordered healthy, law-abiding citizens not to travel, to visit their loved ones, or even to enter a house of worship (though that last edict didn’t long survive legal challenge).

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