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President Trump and Dr. Scott Atlas

Screenshot from Fox News/ MediaMatters

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

President Donald Trump announced this week that Dr. Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, will serve as a new "adviser" to the president on COVID-19. Atlas, whose background is in diagnostic radiology, is not an expert in infectious disease but rather a pundit and frequent Fox guest who has been repeatedly wrong about the pandemic.

Atlas, who has appeared 20 times on Fox News since the end of April, predicted in March that there would only be 10,000 deaths from COVID in America, said in April that the pandemic "appears to be entering the containment phase," and claimed in May that "the curves have been flattened." More recently, he has taken to making unproven claims downplaying the risk of COVID-19 in considering whether to reopen schools for in-person learning.

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Sen. Kamala Harris

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

For months, I've adhered to the conventional wisdom that Joe Biden was most likely to pick Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. She's highly qualified, young but not inexperienced, a woman of color, a talented public speaker, not afraid of a fight, perceived as relatively moderate, and has been through the rigors of a national campaign. Her appeal to Biden was impossible to miss.

And yet somehow, the defenders of President Donald Trump seemed totally caught off guard when the choice came down on Tuesday. They have no unified strategy of how to attack the California senator.

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