Can two links to a specific path on the site on the home page be harmful for SEO?
<html> <body> ... <main> <div> ... <a href="/news">News</a> </div> </main> <footer> <div> ... <a href="/news">News</a> </div> </footer> </body> </html>
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No, it is not harmful.
Websites can put the same link in both the header and footer to show Google special pages. If you think it adds to the user experience, let it be.
I think this is also an important factor for brand building, mostly corporate websites do this.
Lastly, I've gone through many SEO experts' blogs and almost all of them do what you're talking about.