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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The White House is eyeing a proposal that would try to identify early warning signs of violent behavior in people with mental illness, the Washington Post reports. Supporters see it as a way for President Trump to address mass shootings without making changes to gun laws.

Why it matters: As we've written time and again, most mentally ill people are not violent, and the majority of mass shooters have not been diagnosed with a mental illness. And while the stated intention of the proposal is a good one, there are reasons to question whether it'll work.

The big picture: This proposal is part of a larger push to create a new agency called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency, or HARPA. It would be modeled on DARPA, the research arm of the Pentagon.

  • The administration first discussed creating HARPA in 2017. It's gotten new momentum following recent mass shootings, per the Post.
  • Trump reportedly likes the idea of HARPA, but Congress would have to act to create a new agency.

Details: The mental-illness proposal would use artificial intelligence to try to identify changes in someone's mental state that could make that person more likely to become violent.

Yes, but: AI excels at identifying hidden patterns in huge amounts of data, and has been used before to help identify mental conditions — like finding the imperceptible vocal qualities that might suggest depression, Axios' Kaveh Waddell writes.

  • But scientists warn that people often have different tells, and that applying the same test across large populations can give rise to costly mistakes.

Go deeper: America's mental health problem isn't mass shootings

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.