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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 15, 2020 2:06am-2:36am PDT

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breaking news tonight, word the president's 14-year-old son tested positive for coronavirus. the first lady revealing for the first time barron trump was positive but has since tested negative for covid-19 and sharing her own battle with covid. the cough and ache she experienced and the late today the president asked about his son as he leaves for a rally just 20 days until the election it's comes as the fall covid surge grows, a staggering third of all u.s. states seeing their highest levels since the pandemic began in wisconsin where cases are soaring a field hospital activated on state fairgrounds. is this the second
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wave the final day of questions for amy coney barrett, the heated moment and what she said when she was asked could the president pardon himself. the massive inferno at a apartment complex, visible for miles, the flames so intense they cracked neighbors' windows. newly revealed the second 911 call from that central park confrontation, the new charges she now faces. just hours left for prime day deals. will the online sales boom during the pandemic spell the end of black friday?cess inside ths historic launch. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. as president trump claiming immunity from coronavirus hits the road for another rally this evening, back home at the white house first lady melania trump is breaking her silence about her own diagnosis with the virus and revealing for the first time the couple's son barron had tested positive for covid, too
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the virus shadowing the race for president with under three weeks to go, tonight in what was supposed to be the eve of the second presidential debate the candidates are preparing for separate but opposing televised town halls geoff bennett has late details. >> reporter: first lady melania trump tonight detailing what she calls her personal experience with covid-19 revealing in a statement that 14-year-old barron trump tested positive for coronavirus. naturally my mind went immediately to our son, the first lad writes, after learning she and the president contracted covid-19. she says barron initially tested negative but the teenager was tested again. the result positive. she says her son had no symptoms and has now tested negative. as for her own symptoms, the firs lady says they were minimal, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after, she said she had a cough, body aches, headaches and was extremely tired. unlike her husband
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whose symptoms were more severe, she did not go to the hospital and did not receive the same course of treatment. choosing instead what she calls a more natural route, relying on vitamins and healthy food the president late today speaking to reporters. >> barron's fine we are heading out to iowa and we have a big rally. >> reporter: president tr and joe biden both make a play for more senior support polls showing the president's standing among older voters slipping in part due to his handling of the pandemic >> he throws superspreader parties at the white house. how many of you have been unable to hug your grand kids in the last seven months? >> reporter: with nbc news announcing today president trump will take part in a town hall event thursday with florida voters in miami moderated by savannah guthrie, the same time that joe biden will be participating in a televised town hall of his own. the two were supposed to hold their second debate thursday but the president dropped out after organizers announced it would
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take place virtually following his covid diagnosis. and nbc news said today it received a statement from the nih including dr. fauc concluding with a high degree of confidence that the president is not shedding infectious virus lester >> geoff, thank you. troubling new warning signs tonight about the pandemic and the number of cases rising in dozens of states some areas running low on icu beds as a drug company ceo discusses the timing of a vaccine our miguel almaguer has more. >> reporter: tonight as the troubling number of new covid infections soars across the nation, one third of our country is now reporting some of its highest case counts since the start of the pandemic. in oklahoma city, there are no open icu beds states like utah with a dangerously high positivity rate on the brink of crisis. >> utah's facing the most dire episode yet in this epidemic. >> reporter: with the number of americans hospitalized in
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midwest states like iowa hitting new records, the nation is set to soon break 8 million confirmed infections, the bill and melinda gates foundation has pledged $125 million to fight covid >> the rest of this year will not be normal and the sooner we deliver that somewhat bad news to people so they can get ready for what will be a tough fall the better >> reporter: according to a new national survey, most americans are worried about social unrest tied to a covid resurgence and elections, 52% already have or plan to stockpile food and other essentials this fall >> we have a full bag of rice just in case lots of sardines, a few things like that. >> reporter: while there are some signs of progress, this week brought setbacks for both a vaccine and an experimental covid treatment, eli lilly pausing the clinical trial after a safety concern.
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>> some americans are worried that vaccines and treatments are being rushed to market what do you say to them >> we are moving as quickly as we possibly can. maybe what -- to reframe the question they might be worried about is are we skipping steps to rush them to market and the answer is no. >> reporter: in another sign of how resurgent the virus is, california is asking families to stay home on halloween. cities like beverly hills are outright banning trick or taninyone outside their household for thanksgiving, tonigh measures are being taken to avoid another deadly wave of infections. for sabilia khan who lost her father six months ago today, the holiday breaks heartbreak. >> the idea that he died alone is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. >> reporter: tonight a reminder of what's at stake and what so many families have already lost miguel almaguer, nbc news.
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this is stephanie gosk on may 27th, reported covid deaths in wisconsin peaked at 22 after that the number dropped. maybe the worst is over some thought. then the fall hit. >> we thought we dodged a bullet but lo and behold here we are on the 1st of october and this virus has come back with a vengeance. and we are in deep trouble. >> reporter: on tuesday, a new state record, 34 reported deaths the nurses at asipus hospital in wausau bear witness. >> people are dying every night. there's nothing we can do about it. this virus is just beating them and we are trying, we are doing everything that we can. >> we have had several people come in here and be very sick that all they did is want to see the grandparents i'm a grandparent. i would like to see my grandchildren. this is larger than them >> reporter: eight months into the pandemic a nurse in green bay worries public support for them is slipping. >> seeing multiple
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deaths multiple days in a row, it's really hard to try to stay positive when the community itself isn't really got your back they don't believe it exists they don't see what we see. >> reporter: health workers repeating the same advice hope it may finally sink in. >> i ask you as the public to wear your mask, wash your hands, social distance. >> please just wear a mask socially distance. do whatever you can not to catch this. >> reporter: today a 500-bed field hospital opened to take the strain off the system. it is the same one wisconsin decided it did not need to open back in may. stephanie gosk, nbc news let's bring in senior medical correspondent dr. john torres john, there's a heated debate right now about how to end the pandemic the big question whether or not people should be exposed to the virus to develop immunity what can you tell us about that >> well, lester, there are two ways of achieving herd immunity you either vaccinate
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people or let people get sick and if they recover they develop immunity on their own. some within the medical community are now suggesting it's time to let the virus spread freely and for the disease to run its course but history has shown us that this approach could be devastating and deadly and many healt organizations are strongly opposed with the world health organization even calling it unethical. lester >> dr. john torres, thank you. on day three of the supreme court confirmation hearings, judge amy coney barrett faced intense questions from democrats about obamacare and presidential power nbc's peter alexander is on capitol hill for us. >> reporter: in judge amy coney barrett's final day of questioning republicans casting her expected confirmation as a groundbreaking moment for conservative women. >> this is the first time in american history that we've nominated a woman who's unashamedly pro-life and embraces her faith without apology, and she is
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going to the court. >> reporter: barrett was pressed on presidential powers. >> i agree no one is above the law. >> reporter: but saying she could not weigh in when democrats asked whether a president can pardon himself as president trump has insisted >> so far as i know, that question has never been litigated it is not one on which i can offer a view. >> reporter: she was challenged on the 2017 article she wrote criticizing the court's decision to uphold the affordable care act. with another case coming up next month >> president trump is open to acknowledge he wants a nominee on the court to strike down the aca. you have said you have not made agreements or statements to the contrary but i will tell you, it is cloud over your nomination. >> reporter: barrett strongly pushing back. >> if you suggest i have animus or cut a deal with the president and i was very clear yesterday that that isn't what happened. >> reporter: republicans arguing democrats who cannot stop the confirmation are instead focusing on the presidential campaign >> we have seen our democratic colleagues have very few
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questions actually to raise about judge barrett's qualifications instead much of this hearing has focused on political attacks, directed at president trump. >> reporter: the committee is expected to vote on the nomination next week with the full senate expected to confirm her along party lines before election day. lester >> peter alexander, thank you. here in new york, a criminal charge against the woman who called 911 about an african-american man bird watching in the park last may and the revelation that she called the police a second time falsely claiming he assaulted her. with more, here's ron allen. >> an african-african man threatening my life. >> tell them whatever you like. >> reporter: the confrontation between amy cooper and christian cooper in central park mr. cooper recording with his iphone afte asking the woman to put her dog on a leash in a bird watching sanctuary >> some point she decided that, you know, oh, i'm going to play the race card, i guess. >> reporter: today prosecutors revealed ms. cooper made a second 911 call
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claiming he tried to assault her and formally charged her in an arrangement held virtually with a criminal misdemeanor for falsely reporting an incident to police. in court, prosecutors say ms. cooper at no time did the man later identified as christian cooper try to assault her prosecutors adding that using the police to make false claims was both racially offensive and designed to intimidate. >> i'm threatened by a man. please send the cops here >> reporter: back in may, she apologized. >> it was unacceptable. >> reporter: today cooper did not enter a plea prosecutors say they're devising a program to have her take responsibility actions bu also educate her today christian cooper called the case a distraction saying his focus continues to be on fixing policing and addressing systemic racism. meanwhile, amy cooper's cas continues in court next month. ron allen, nbc news, new york now to texas where an investigation is under way after a massive fire tore through an apartment
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complex today. nbc's gabe gutierrez has that story. >> a massive fire just north of i-10 at 99. >> reporter: the three alarm inferno lit up the sky near houston just before dawn >> this [ bleep ] is crazy though. >> reporter: a $30 million apartmen complex under construction up in flames >> never seen a fire like this before >> reporter: residents in a neighboring complex owned by the same company say they could feel the scorching heat >> feel the heat. >> reporter: firefighters had trouble finding water pressure. >> some of the debris that was coming off of the roof in the smoke was coming down an starting little pockets of grass fires. >> reporter: one firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion no one else was injured. >> if you're standing in front of my window in the house i feel the heat the heat from the building is cracking some of the windows. >> reporter: tonight the fire is out as investigators search for what sparked it.
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gabe gutierrez, nbc news. in just 60 seconds, a launch of a holiday shopping season like no other how black friday may look a lot different this year. when to get the best deals coming up.
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just hours left to score amazon prime day deals and this year it's giving us a preview of how the pandemic is reshaping the holiday shopping season vicki nguyen on what it means for black friday. >> reporter: the pandemic pushed amazon proctober launching the holiday shopping season now coronavirus is poised to change one of the biggest shopping days of the year, black friday with covid surging and social distancing in stores, retailers are bracing for more online shopping, shipping and earlier sales. >> we have so many sales popping up so consumers have to be really organized. >> reporter: walmart announced it's holding three black friday sales starting in early november target and best buy also promising multiple black friday
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deals throughout the month. with covid-related economic struggles some research shows deals are more important than ever. 39% of americans say they plan to cut back on gift spending and many more want to shop from home 59% of consumers say they'll do more of their holiday shopping online this year compared to last. >> my recommendation to consumers will be to shop on the early side because i'm anticipating some shipping delays, some supply chain issues so my advice get it done by black friday, cyber monday, enjoy those big sales and then b done for december. >> reporter: this is not the year for procrastinating? >> absolutely not. >> vicki, it's not just shipping delays what other tips do you have for shoppers to ease some of the strain >> reporter: lester, growing option this year is buy online, pick up in store said stores that offer that will see a 90% boost in the online sales and it's great for consumers whether you're picking up curbside or driving through. you'll have that gift
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in hand. no surprises on the holiday. lester >> all right vicki, thank you. up next, a critical thing to know when you vote by mail.
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just in tonight, nick saban, the head football coach for alabama, the number 2 ranked team in the nation, has tested positive for covid-1 along with the university's athletic director both say they're in isolation. in tonight's "vote watch," one of the top issues when you're voting by mail like so many are in this election is the
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importance of verifying your signature. cynthia mcfadden now on how it's done and what you need to know before you send in your ballot >> reporter: tonight, something most states do but few voters understand the process of verifying signatures on mail-in ballots. >> 100% of the signatures are verified on the mail ballots that are coming through this office. >> reporter: in maricopa county, arizona, these election officials are learning how to do it. >> do not talk yourself into accepting it if you're not comfortable. >> reporter: at least 31 states and the district of columbia require election officials to compare the signature on the security envelope voters place their ballot in with other signatures on file like past voting records or a driver's license to validate the voter's identity 18 states require officials by law to notify voters if there's a problem with their signatures so they can fix it.
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but the president has warned unsupported by evidence that the system is subject to fraud. >> there's no verification it is a disgrace that this can happen. >> reporter: while some democrats believe also without evidence that massive numbers of legitimate ballots are thrown out over signature issues election expert professor nate percily says both concerns are overwrought if history is a guide. >> there are not going to be millions of ballots that are discarded because of signature mismatches >> reporter: in fact a nbc news review of official 2016 voting data found that around .3% of all 33 million mail-in ballots cast that year, only about 87,000, were not counted due to reported signature mismatch in battleground pennsylvania the rules are changing. >> if their signatures don't precisely match you can't throw away the ballot you can't disenfranchise legal,
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eligible voters. some counties didn't want to follow that. >> reporter: philadelphia's only republican elections official says he's still waiting for a guidance from the state's supreme court. what i hear you say is that at this point just decide what the rules are. >> exactly the sooner we know exactly what we can do and not do the better off voters are. >> reporter: meanwhile, a nbc news poll revealed over 50% of voters nationally are not confident their mail-in ballots will be counted accurately. >> my overall biggest concern is that confidence in our electoral system seems to be under siege at the moment. >> reporter: experts tell us if you're voting by mail make sure that the signature on your ballot is the same as the signature on your driver's license lester >> all right cynthia mcfadden, thank you. up next tonight, a break from the drama on earth to tell you about a history-making day in space
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a historic moment today we want to tell space flight our richard engel with exclusive access inside the mission. >> reporter: in a remote part of kazakhstan today, a russian soyuz rocket carrying an american astronaut blast off and made history. >> liftoff. >> reporter: it is the last scheduled time the united states will pay russia for a ride into space the mission carries astronaut kate rubins
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and two russian cosmonauts for a six-month rotation on the international space station. after a three-hour journey, the capsule docked effortlessly. this is rubins' second visit to the space station. also a virologist, she will continue research in bioengineering in space. today is also her birthday. >> happy birthday. >> reporter: since the u.s. suspended the shuttle program in 2011, nasa relied on russian liftoffs paying top dollar. rubins' seat cost $90 million. >> it is a significant milestone to be able to launch our astronauts from u.s. soil. >> reporter: going forward, nasa is expected to rely on u.s. companies, boeing and spacex, after spacex's successful launch and splash down in august. the end of an era, the old reliable soyuz and the start of a new one of manned american space flights from home richard engel, nbc news.
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that is "nightly news" for this wednesday. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night ♪ am i dreaming or stupid ♪ i think i've been hit by cupid ♪ ♪ but no one needs to know right
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now ♪ ♪ i met a tall dark and handsome man ♪ ♪ and i've been busy making big plans ♪ ♪ but no one needs to know right now ♪ ♪ i got my heart set my feet wet ♪ ♪ but he don't even know yet ♪ and no one needs to know right now ♪ ♪ i'll tell him someday some way somehow ♪ ♪ but i'm gonna keep it a secret for now ♪ ♪ i want bells to ring a choir to sing ♪ ♪ the white dress the guests the cake ♪ ♪ the car the whole darn thing ♪ but no one needs to know right now ♪


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