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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.

Go deeper

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.

1 hour ago - Science

COVID time warp

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic seems like a lifetime ago to some, and just yesterday to others. Scientists are beginning to unpack the way people processed the passage of time amidst the stress, uncertainty and isolation of the 1 year, 8 months and 21 days since WHO declared a pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic's global effects on how people experience time could provide new insights into the brain's ability to perceive and predict time — a fundamental feature of life.

Mitt Romney calls Ray Dalio's China investments a "sad moral lapse"

Sen. Mitt Romney walks to a Senate Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol on Oct. 7. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Thursday criticized billionaire Ray Dalio's investments in China, writing in a tweet that "his feigned ignorance of China's horrific abuses and rationalization of complicit investments there is a sad moral lapse."

Driving the news: Romney's comments come after Dalio's firm, Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, raised $1.3 billion in November for a new private fund in China, Bloomberg reports.