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Doctors who spread ‘reckless’ COVID-19 misinformation are Fox News’ newest stars — and darlings of the right wing

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A pair of doctors who have been condemned by physicians across the United States for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 have become media stars thanks to exposure to Fox News.

The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer reports that Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, the owners of a chain of urgent care clinics, have become celebrities among conservatives for their false claims that COVID-19 isn’t more deadly than the seasonal flu.

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“At their press conference, the two doctors laid out a theory of a vastly reduced coronavirus mortality rate that would soon be trumpeted across right-wing media,” Sommer reports. “Citing a 6.5 percent coronavirus positive rate for tests conducted at their clinic in Bakersfield, California, the pair claimed that meant roughly 6.5 percent of the people in surrounding Kern County (with a population of nearly one million) must also have already had the disease. In Erickson’s telling, that meant the virus had only a 0.03 percent mortality rate in California, and was much less dangerous than the flu.”

The two doctors were subsequently invited on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show to discuss their purported “findings” — and now they’ve generated backlash from their fellow medical professionals.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) put out a joint statement condemning them for spreading misinformation.

“These reckless and untested musings do not speak for medical societies and are inconsistent with current science and epidemiology regarding COVID-19,” the organizations said. “As owners of local urgent care clinics, it appears these two individuals are releasing biased, non-peer reviewed data to advance their personal financial interests without regard for the public’s health. COVID-19 misinformation is widespread and dangerous.”


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2020 Election

Trump’s team files fifth demand for Georgia to audit their ballot signatures as their campaign to overturn the election fizzles

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President Donald Trump's campaign has filed its fifth demand for the state of Georgia to audit the signatures on ballots.

The statement from the Trump team said that the "Georgia secretary of state should perform an immediate audit of the signatures on all absentee ballot applications and absentee ballot envelopes received for the Nov. 3 General Election. The Trump Campaign estimates that between 38,250 and 45,626 illegal votes from absentee ballots alone were cast in the state of Georgia -- far beyond the Biden-Harris ticket's current margin of 12,670 votes."

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Supreme Court hearing gets awkward as conservative Alito runs roughshod over chief justice Roberts

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President Trump is pressing the U.S. Supreme Court to allow him to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count -- a move that goes against more than 200 years of practice where non-citizen residents, even those in the U.S. illegally, were among those counted.

While questioning New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, conservative Justice Samuel Alito said that the prospect of submitting two documents, one detailing census numbers of every person inside the U.S. and another detailing numbers that exclude undocumented immigrants inside the U.S. "seems like a totally meaningless formality."

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2020 Election

Legal reporter shocked by Rudy Giuliani’s latest ‘breathtaking claim’ in fight over vote counting

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Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani held a press event in Arizona on Monday in which he lobbed out more false claims that the 2020 election was "stolen" from President Donald Trump.

Among other things, Giuliani alleged that that Arizona's process for picking its voting machines was "corrupt," even though he acknowledged he had no personal knowledge about how the process worked.

One claim, however, shocked Reuters legal reporter Brad Heath, who said it went beyond anything that Giuliani had argued before.

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