White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump's new press secretary Kayleigh McEnany held her first White House briefing on Friday, the first official press briefing since March 11, 2019.

Driving the news: McEnany announced that she plans to continue holding on-camera press briefings moving forward, a regular practice that ended during Sarah Sanders' tenure. Stephanie Grisham, McEnany's predecessor, did not hold a single briefing.

  • "I will never lie to you. You have my word on that," McEnany promised reporters.

The highlights: McEnany announced that the Trump administration will provide $12 billion to 395 hospitals across the country that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus. New York, New Jersey, and Illinois will receive the most money.

  • On China’s coronavirus response: McEnany said Trump's assertion that the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan lab is consistent with what analysts think, though the intelligence community said this week that its origin is still under investigation.
  • On the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden: "We are pleased with the former vice president to go on the record," she said.
  • On Michael Flynn: When asked whether Trump still believes his former national security adviser lied to the FBI and Vice President Mike Pence in light of new documents released this week, McEnany said: "I would point you to the vice president's statement, that he is implying to believe that Flynn did not mislead him." Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017, though he has been attempting to withdraw that plea.

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Mike Allen, author of AM
Jul 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign vows virus focus

Joe Biden puts on a mask after a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign contends that President Trump's talk of delaying November's election is an effort to distract, and vows to be what a Biden aide called "laser-focused" on Trump's pandemic response.

Why it matters: After aides convinced the president that the issue was hurting him badly in the polls, Trump has tried for the past two weeks to show renewed focus on the coronavirus, including the restoration of his briefings.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.