Andrew Harnik.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders took over today's press briefing for Sean Spicer, who was stuck on Capitol Hill in a meeting with Senate GOP leaders following their decision to delay the health care vote. But rather than focusing on the drama surrounding the health bill, the briefing was largely centered on the administration's opinion of the media, and things got heated quickly. The highlights:

Sarah Sanders:

  • On Trump's fake news tweet: Sanders said coverage of Trump has been "disgraceful," including the focus on "this Russia hoax."
  • On media's reporting: "If we make the slightest mistake... it is a tirade from people in this room... if the media can't be trusted to report the news, then that's a dangerous place for America."
  • Which stories does the WH believe should be retracted? Sanders said the administrations disagrees with "all of the stories" that claim Trump and his campaign team colluded with Russia.
  • On Senate health bill: "We're continuing to be optimistic... for us it's never been about the timeline."

Energy update from Secretary Rick Perry who, to the delight of WH reporters, took questions for roughly 35 minutes:

  • On climate change: "The climate is changing and man is having an impact on it" but we need to have "an intellectual" conversation about it. "The science isn't settled."
  • On Trump's invitation to attend Bastille Day in Paris: "I would always look at an invitation to a party as a good thing."

Go deeper

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Coronavirus cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

America's coronavirus outbreak is slowing down after a summer of explosive growth.

By the numbers: The U.S. is averaging roughly 52,000 new cases per day — still a lot of cases, but about 10.5% fewer than it was averaging last week.

33 mins ago - Health

We're doing a lot less coronavirus testing

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. is cutting back on coronavirus testing. Nationally, the number of tests performed each day is about 17% lower than it was at the end of July, and testing is also declining in hard-hit states.

Why it matters: This big reduction in testing has helped clear away delays that undermined the response to the pandemic. But doing fewer tests can also undermine the response to the pandemic.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,624,316 — Total deaths: 749,421— Total recoveries: 12,831,800Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,197,147 — Total deaths: 166,027 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: U.S. records deadliest coronavirus day of the summer — America's two-sided COVID-19 response
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.