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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 30, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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get the answer. >> that will do it for us. "nightly news" is next. see you at 6:00. tonight, remembering the man who changed america, congressman john lewis honored as a non-violent warrior who fought for true peace, three former presidents there paying tribute to the man who crossed bridges and broke down barriers barack obama calling him the founding father of a better america, a man who liberated all of us on the battlefield of justice. plus, lewis's own powerful message published today. also tonight backlash after president trump floated potentially delaying the election. many republicans joining democrats and pushing back on that the president also reacting to the death
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of former presidential canada dad herman cain who died after being hospitalized with coronavirus for weeks. kids compared to adults when it comes to spreading the virus. the economic disaster, almost 1.5 million more americans file for unemployment can congress reach a deal to extend enhanced benefits. misinformation, how it's hurting the fight on the front lines. against all odds, two double lung transplant survivors break their silence about their life-saving surgeries. the nba's rebound as the season finally resumes. >> announcer: this is nbc nightly news with lester holt. good evening, everyone, the civil rights struggles of both history and today were the backdrop for a powerful sendoff for congressman and civil rights giant john lewis, four former presidents paying tribute, three of them in the room as family, friends and colleagues
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gathered in atlanta's historic ebenezer baptist church who praise the man who nearly lost his life in the fight for voting rights. barack obama whose presidency is a product of that legacy today offered a spirited eulogy and a rebuke of those who may threaten those rights inside the atlanta church where martin luther king jr. once preached. >> he loved america until america learned how to love him back, we celebrate john lewis. >> reporter: fighting for freedom. >> thank you, oh god, for this great man who lived among us, who now joins the great cloud of freedom fighters ♪ holy what you do fo christ will last ♪
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>> reporter: john lewis born in tiny segregated troy, alabama, the son of sharecroppers, celebrated today by presidents, including the first black president, who says he was elected standing on lewis's shoulders. >> on inauguration day in 2008 and 2009 he was one of the first people i greeted and hugged on that stand and i told him, this is your day too. >> reporter: former president obama, one of many today, calling to strengthen the voting rights act that lewis championed. >> you want to honor jobs, let's honor them by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for >> reporter: and while not naming him, launching a forceful attack against president trump. >> george wallace may be gone. but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons
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against peaceful demonstrators. >> reporter: john lewis's own words also echoing in that church in the extraordinary essay he submitted to the "new york times" just before his death, published this morning. his message to those marching now, while my time has cometo an end, he wrote, i want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. emmett till was my george floyd, rayshard brooks, sandra bland and breonna taylor, ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of america by getting in what i call good trouble, necessary trouble. though i may not be here with you, i urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart, and stand up for what you truly believe. >> it is so fitting on the day of his service he leaves us our marching orders. >> reporter: the
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tributes today intensely personal. >> when he could have been angry and determined to cancel his adversaries, he tried to get converts instead. he thought the open hand was better than the clinched fists i just love that i always will. and i'm so grateful that he stayed true to form he's gone up yonder, and left us with marching orders. i suggest, since he's close enough to god to keep his eye on the sparrow and us we salute, suit up, and march on >> reporter: emotional. >> the night that john passed, when this flag flew there, it said good-bye it waved good-bye to john, our friend, our mentor, our colleague. >> reporter: and candid. >> john and i had our disagreements, of
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course but in the america john lewis fought for and the america i believe in, differences of opinion are inevitable elements and evidence of democracy in action we live in a better and nobler country today because of john lewis. >> iam the master of my faith. >> reporter: including a tribute of a 12-year-old boy lewis met at the anniversary of a selma march. >> john lewis was my hero and my friend let's honor him by getting into good trouble ♪ he was willing to get into trouble ♪ >> reporter: a celebration of that unbreakable spirit. >> america was built by john lewises. and some day when we do finish that long journey towards freedom, when we do form a more perfect union, whether it's years from now or decades or even if it takes another two centuries, john lewis will be a founding
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father of that fuller, fairer, better america. john lewis is being laid to rest alongside his wife of 44 years, lillian. a strong backlash tonight after president trump suggested that this fall's elections could be delayed by his concerns about mail-in voting nbc's peter alexander has more on that from the white house. >> reporter: facing a surging pandemic and struggling in the polls president trump today for the first time is suggesting the november election, just 96 days away, be postponed, tweeting with universal mail-in voting it will be the most fraudulent voting in history delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote. >> i don't want to delay. i want to have the election but i also don't want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the
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ballots are all missing and the election doesn't mean anything. >> reporter: but the president has no power to delay a general election the constitution says it's up to congress to set the date and with democrats controlling the house that will not happen there's also no evidence of widespread voter fraud due to mail-in balloting. president trump's suggestion immediately dismissed, even by top republicans. >> we'll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on november 3rd, as already scheduled. >> reporter: no presidential election's beforen delayed, even for the civil war or world war ii democrats accusing president trump of trying to distract from the u.s. economy just posing its worst laying the ord worried groundwork not to accept the election's results. >> can you give hem a direct answer, you will accept the election >> i have to see, no, tonight going to just say yes. >> reporter: meanwhile, an ally, republican presidential candidate herman cain today lost his battle with coronavirus. the 74-year-old was hospitalized after attending president
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trump's controversial indoor rally in tulsa but it's unclear where he contracted the virus. president trump today remembering cain as a powerful voice of freedom. also tonight president trump was pressed whether he can assure people that schools will be safe if they reopen, something he's been pushing for for weeks, the president did not convey confidence responding with a question saying can you assure anybody of anything? lester >> peter alexander at the white house, thanks. as the death toll from covid-19 rises quickly in this country there's new concern tonight about children with the disease and their ability to spread it let's get more from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: as the covid death toll now rises to its fastest rate in months, on wednesday roughly one american tied every minute from the virus. in new jersey, a 129% spike in new cases, over the last two weeks. texas, leading the nation with more than 4,300 fatalities this
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month. >> this is really an apocalyptic time for us. >> reporter: in florida where nurse grover street is on the front lines, the state has broken its single-day record for covid deaths for a third straight day. >> i got here last wednesday. the hospital's been full to capacity and, i mean, just last night they had 13 codes. >> reporter: with the nation fast approaching 4.5 million cases, tonight a new study finds children under 5 may be able to spread covid as well as older kids and adults. a troubling finding for the young who are often in close quarters in schools, and day cares. >> i think the study should have people think for a second about what we need to do to make sure that when we reopen schools we're doing it in a safe manner. we can't assume that children don't get coronavirus or spread coronavirus. >> reporter: and just as more school districts navigate a return to the classroom, researchers at the university of minnesota explored how the virus travels indoors. mapping where aerosols congregate, their analysis shows a
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teacher talking directly under an air vent would significantly decrease the potential spread of the virus in arizona some parents are being asked to sign covid liability waivers before their children come back to school. but art teacher marcy warner decided to retire first. >> i love those kids and where i taught and what i did but i'm not quite willing to die for them >> reporter: as concern grows and infections surge johnson & johnson announcing its lead vaccine candidate is stember, s amid setbacks, lester? >> miguel almaguer in los angeles, thank you. tonight the domino effect of the pandemic is evident in the staggering impact on the economy as millions struggle to keep food on the table. we get the latest from nbc's jo ling kent. >> reporter: when merna santiago lost her job this spring she never thought she'd need a food bank.
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>> it's money saving for us in this situation. >> reporter: the pregnant mother of three and her fiance are among the tens of millions struggling to make ends meet. >> it's sort of a natural disaster in an economic disaster all rolled in one. >> reporter: the economy shrinking by nearly 33% last quarter, the fastest drop in u.s. history worse than the great recession, and the great depression americans spent less on clothes, shoes and health care. pulled back on buying new homes, while dealerships added fewer cars and trucks to their lots. last week another 1.4 million new jobless claims were filed. the 19th straight week of claims over a million. the los angeles regional food bank has been swamped. >> very little bit from every little source helps. >> reporter: the unprecedented need for help is expected to only grow. >> amid any given distribution we're seeing 2,000 to 3,000, up to 7,000 families come through in a three or four-hour period. >> reporter: these lines of cars likely to get even longer as
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the extra $600 a week of unemployment money expires. provide an extra $200 a week for the next three months democrats argued that wasn't enough. meanwhile santiago has been applying for new jobs, trying to provide for her family. >> reporter: what are you going to do? >> i don't know, actually, i really don't know that was really helping us with our rent it was a really big help. >> reporter: something so many americans so desperately need jo ling kent, nbc news, siylmar, california. a fierce tropical storm is -- heavy rain is causing flash floods in puerto rico. residents there are worried about possible mud slides the storm is heading northwest and could approach florida's east coast over the weekend. a tropical storm watch issued late today in the southeastern part of the state in 60 seconds, how misinformation about the pandemic is having dire consequences in the battle to save lives. also, two covid
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survivors speak out about the double lung transplant that saved them s that saved them
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as covid spreads throughout the country so does misinformation and conspiracy theories about cures and treatments that simply don't work and may even be harmful. tonight tomorrow costello is looking into who's behind it all. >> i have personally treated over 350 patients with covid. >> reporter: in a nanosecond the video ricochetted across the internet, posted by tea party patriots action posted by a group of doctors insisting masks don't work, but hydroxychloroquine does even though the nih says that's not true a presidential retweet made the video go viral forcing dr. fauci to once again reiterate the hard science. >> hoi droksy chloroquine is not effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease or covid-19.
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>> reporter: while twitter, youtube and facebook -- what took so long. >> it racked up 20 million views. >> congressman, a lot of people shared that. we did take it down because it violates our policies. >> reporter: the right wing documentaries that accuse dr. fauci himself of manufacturing covid. the motive >> he has a very high approval rating, because he gives you clear, reliable, concise, timely and true information that is all of the kind of information that conspiracy theorists don't want it is contrary to the very heart of a conspiracy theory. >> reporter: but frontline e.r. and icu doctors say every false medical claim and conspiracy theory makes their jobs that much tougher >> reporter: it takes time away from the work that we could be doing to actually save patients or create new science. and it sends the
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public into pandemonium. >> reporter: the goal, to undermine and confuse americans during the worst pandemic in a hundred years. lester >> tom costello, thank you. tonight, new hope for the sickest covid patients, the first two people to have a double lung transplant are speaking out with a powerful message here is our senior national correspondent kate snow. >> reporter: mira ramirez still gets exhausted walking. before she got sick the 28-year-old was doing her paralegal job from home to be safe but in april she caught coronavirus when she started fainting she went to the e.r. and was told to call her family in north carolina right away. >> i only had a couple minutes to contact them to let them know what was going on before i was intubated. >> reporter: the virus had destroyed her lungs. on the left a healthy lung, on the right, mira's her only hope, new lungs. after a ten-hour surgery at
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northwestern medical she became the first covid patient to get a double lung transplant. >> the operation will be helpful to patients who are relatively lung, limited preexisting conditions and who remained stuck on the ventilator despite clearing the virus. >> reporter: doctors performed the same operation last month on 62-year-old brian kuhns, a grandfather, he thought it was a hoax and never wore a mask. >> i was perfectly healthy. this thing took me down hard. >> reporter: he and wife nancy want their story to be a lesson. >> stay safe, and listen. >> this disease is not a hoax. >> not a hoek. >> reporter: when mira first woke in june she didn't even know she's had a transplant. >> i looked at myself. i couldn't recognize my body. it wasn't unti ability to, you know, think to myself there's a family out there that's grieving their loved one. i have that person's lungs, and how lucky i
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was to have received it. >> reporter: i just took a lot of things for granted. i'm just going to try and grab everything i can now. >> reporter: two patients, eternally grateful, to be part of a new possibility in covid care. kate snow, nbc news. >> wishing them both a swift recovery. up next, the rebound as the nba gets back into action.
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we're back now with a new sports fans across the country have been waiting for,
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a restart of the nba season in a safety bubble nbc's sam brock is there. >> reporter: tonight the nba back in action after a 20-week shutdown from covid-19, and players are pumped. >> scale of one to ten, probably 15 >> reporter: but even commissioner adam silver acknowledges the league's staying power amid this virus is no slam dunk. >> if we have any significant spread whatsoever we would certainly stop immediately. and then we would investigate and determine whether we could move forward. >> reporter: one hopeful sign, 344 players have tested on a daily basis, and so far zero positive results. former nba player eton thomas applauds the results but has concerns. >> then you have baseball then you have college football then you have all these outbreaks. you know, it's too big of a risk.o nish this year. we need to protect the national tv money for
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playoffs about a billion dollars. and that absolutely is -- >> reporter: that star power and value on full display tonight with lebron and the los angeles lakers taking on the l.a. clippers lester >> all right, sam, thanks up next, power and wisdom in the words of john lewis himself
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>>s farewell to
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congressman john lewis we hear from him in his own words at the bookends of his life john lewis was just 23 years old back then. >> all of you to get in this great revolution that is sweeping this nation. >> reporter: his call for change crystal clear. >> we do not want our freedom gradually but we want to be free now. >> when i spoke at the march on washington in august 1963 i said then one person, one vote, i still believe that today. >> reporter: for decades never wavering. >> we must use this moment to recommit ourselves to do all we can to finish the work, there's still work left to be done. >> reporter: always inspiring in that last essay in today's "new york times" writing walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of ever lasting love be your guide. >> keep the faith.
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>> and never, ever become bitter. never, ever hate, for hate is too heavy a burden to bear john lewis, rest in peace that's "nightly news" for tonight, thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night right now at 6:00, not just one costco. the new details we're learning about coronavirus outbreaks at four separate stores in the south bay. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good thursday, thanks for joining us. i'm janelle wang. >> i'm garvin thomas. jessica aguirre is anchoring from home tonight. >> hi, garvin and janelle. to waiver or not to waiver.
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we're two weeks away from the start of school for most bay area counties. we're going to discuss that coming up in just a little bit. >> thank you very much, jess. we learned today a coronavirus outbreak at south bay costcos goes beyond just the sunnyvale store. this afternoon the santa clara county public health department revealed cases at three other costcos, san jose, mountain view, and gilroy. we have the new numbers and what an employee is saying about them. >> reporter: the number of south bay costco workers testing positive for coronavirus is definitely a moving target. and even though numbers are rising, health officers are trying to reassure the public. the sunnyvale costco store told employees this morning there were ten confirmed worker cases, up from nine yesterday. but it wouldn't stop there.


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