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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 25, 2020 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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breaking news tonight. an outbreak in the vice president's inner circle. five close associates test positive for covid. the white house saying the vice president was in close contact with one of them. the controversy tonight as he attends a rally. and the white house chief of staff offer this is stark comment. >> we're not going t control the pandemic. >> nine days to go, the final sprint to election day, the president campaigning in two states while joe biden targets a new state. can he flip georgia blue? across america, early voters are lining up in record numbers and the major shift among senior
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voters. pushed to the brink. the worst three days of new infections yet. more than 40 states see covid cases increase. the states now considering new restrictions and the military hospital being activated in texas. battle over masks. protesters burning masks in defiance, and hundreds of fliers banned from airlines. a storm forming that could be a hurricane this week. gulf coast in the target zone. >> and beyond borders, the wedding that united two families across two countries. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow. >> good evening. with just over a week until election day, and the number of coronavirus cases rising to record levels across the u.s., once again there's no escaping the virus' impact on this presidential race. today we learned at least five associates of vice president mike pence have now tested positive for covid-19, but that did not
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disrupt his plans to visit north carolina, where he is holding a rally right now. we have a lot to get to. let's begin with kelly o'donnell at the white house. >> reporter: the vice president's mask. tonight an outward sign of another covid hot spot at the white house. >> north carolina is true country. >> reporter: at least five pence associates are covid positive, mark short, said to have mild symptoms. >> i think he's doing well. hopefully the prognosis will be really good. >> reporter: marty oaks and others unnamed. despite close contact, pence is not in quarantine. aides say he and the second lady tested negative again today. so he headed to north carolina. top white house officials descend that choice, calling candidate pence an essential worker. under cdc guidance, essential workers should wear masks and keep distance, but are
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not required to stay home 14 days. >> an essential worker, we're talking about people going out to vote. we're talking about people, essential workers going out and campaigning. >> reporter: today the president got up close with many maskless voters at an apple orchard in maine. >> it's great, isn't it? >> reporter: while in new hampshire -- >> do you know who got it? i did. >> reporter: the president said nothing about new infections on pence's team, while ignoring evidence covid is spreading. >> we're rounding the turn. even without the vaccines, we're rounding the turn. it's going to be over. >> reporter: trump chief of staff mark meadows conceded the white house is focus on treatment, not prevention. >> we're not going to control the pandemic. we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations. >> why aren't we going to control the pandemic? >> because it is a contagious virus, just like the flu. >> kelly, is the vice president making any other adjustments, given his exposure
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now? >> reporter: aides say he has canceled local interviews in order to keep distance, and also dropped the usual practice politicians have of what's known as a rope line, a chance to greet supporters after eve events, like the rally he's holding now. that's been dropped as well. he will be traveling this week with stops in the carolinas and virginia. kate? trump visiting states he lost in 2016 and the biden campaign visiting states the democrats haven't won in decades. garrett haake with more. >> reporter: with nine days to go, president trump on offense in maine and new hampshire, states he narrowly lost in 2016. >> thank you. nine days from now we're going to win this thing. can you believe nine days? >> reporter: joe biden attending church this morning and holding a virtual event tonight.
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>> good to be almost home. >> reporter: with a visit to georgia on tuesday, a state no democrat has won since 1992. and dispatching his most high-powered supporter, former president obama for a second full day of campaigning in florida, where a biden win could make trump's path to 270 electoral votes much more difficult. >> it is born out of love of country that we march, that we fight, that we vote. >> reporter: the vice presidential candidates each in battlegrounds, urging supporters to vote early, as did obama in this biden campaign video. >> this call begins in 25 minutes. >> reporter: voters may not need much of a push. more than 58 million americans have already cast their ballots, far exceeding all votes in 2016, with nine days still to go. in texas, 7.1 million early votes cast so far represent 80% of the state's 2016 total. and in several states, including battlegrounds like florida, georgia and north carolina, the early votes already
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add up to 60% or more of the state's total votes in 2016. some waiting up to five hours this weekend, with long lines forming from new york city to outside the staples center in los angeles, to the texas suburbs. >> given the current political environment and the state of the country, if we don't get out and vote it's not going to change. >> if it's with the same president or new president, we just need to get the country together and move forward. >> garrett is with us now. news that the biden campaign may make a push for texas? >> reporter: looks that way, biden campaign sending kamala harris to the lone star state friday. this, as a new poll shows bideen and president trump in a statistical tie in a state no democrat has won since jimmy carter in 1976. >> garrett haake, thank you. supreme court nominee amy coney barrett is one step
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closer to confirmation. advancing her nomination to a final vote which is expected now tomorrow. let's turn to the other major story. this weekend caps three days with the highest count of covid cases nationwide yet. while more testing explains some of the increase, the heartache families and front line workers are feeling tonight is very real. sam brock has our report. >> reporter: tonight, as covid cases climb, communities are reeling. illinois recording record numbers, reckoning with 195 deaths. >> these are mothers, fathers, grandparents, our co-workers. it's overwhelming. >> reporter: the illinois state health director describing what led to this moment. >> these are people who started with us in 2020 and won't be with us at the thanksgiving table. >> reporter: when her attempt to address surging infections ended in tears. >> excuse me, please.
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>> reporter: what was it, when you were listing those updated figures that, for you, really struck a chord? >> it has to be just a combination of all the anxiety and the despair, and the sadness from the hundreds and hundreds of emails i've gotten in the last 24 hours. it sounds like everybody needed to have that release together. >> reporter: she says much of the state is struggling and chicago is flirting with higher restrekss strikss closing down bars. this woman lost her husband to covid. >> our family is devastated. it's not the grief. it's not losing a person. people die every single day. it's losing a person to covid. >> reporter: across the nation, the virus trends triggering alarm bells. 43 states and d.c. are now up at least 10% the last two weeks, with michigan also breaking case records. >> no one wants us to see take steps
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backwards but if covid is growing uncontrolled across our state, that will be necessary. >> reporter: the battle against covid canvassing the northeast, too, new york, new jersey, massachusetts, just recorded numbers not seen since may even when some are skeptical. >> people tell me it's going up, it's spiking, i don't buy it. >> reporter: urgent state measures all too real. texas governor just requesting the feds turn an active duty military medical center into a hospital for noncovid patients. nearby health care centers are overwhelmed. >> sam joins us from miami now. what are some other restrictions these states are now considering? >> reporter: kate, in wisconsin, the governor trying to limit indoor gathering. in michigan, the governor has hinted at closing or restricting businesses, but they both face roadblocks in the courts right now as here in florida the governor has said he is not closing anything for the foreseeable future. kate? >> all right. sam, thank you.
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with all those considerations about restrictions, there were increasing tensions this weekend over whether americans should be forced to wear face masks, with protesters even burning masks in protest, and the nation's top infectious disease expert saying it may be time for a feldman date. kathy park has that. >> we're not going to take it. >> reporter: tonight, the mask debate firing up americans. in south florida, demonstrators burned masks, after palm beach county officials extended their mask mandate. as new infections soar across the country, masks continue to be the center of a civil rights and public health battle, from the white house and beyond. >> why don't your supporters wear masks at rallies? >> we don't mandate masks. we offer masks. we live in a free society, jake. >> reporter: the dakotas lead the nation in covid cases per capita. in south dakota, leaders are divided on the message over masks. >> wear a dang mask
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when you're indoors. we're not asking you to sign up for the draft here. >> reporter: the governor says it should be a choice, if folks want to wear a mask, they should be free to do so. similarly, those who don't want to wear masks shouldn't be shamed into wearing one, but dr. fauci says now might be the time to take national action. >> well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it. >> reporter: questions about the effe effectiveness of masks are also complicating the covid crisis. the cdc recommends mask wearing especially when social distancing is impossible, citing laboratory studies that show masks reduce the spray of depositletdeposi drop lets. a new study shows if 95% of americans wore masks over 100,000 lives could be saved through february, but not everyone believes in the science. >> it's not a law. it's not a law. it's a hoax. >> reporter: in
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california this confrontation got heated when a mask wcustomer was asked to keep her mask on. >> kathy is with me now. kathy, we heard some airlines are banning passengers who refuse to wear masks. >> reporter: kate, they are. delta, for example, placed 464 passengers on its no-fly list for breaking the mask rule. those u.s.-based carriers started requiring masks for those boarding flights. bracing for another possible hurricane. and the battle for senior votes. eth age-related macular degeneration may lead to severe vision loss. so the national eye institute did 20 years of clinical studies on a formula only found in preservision. if it were my vision, i'd ask my doctor about preservision. it's the most studied eye vitamin brand. if it were my vision, i'd look into preservision. only preservision areds2 contains the exact nutrient
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belly pain, decreased appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting which can lead to dehydration and may worsen kidney problems. i have it within me to lower my a1c. ask your doctor about trulicity. we're back with what you might call the swing voters, senior citizens. they've been considered reliable republicans in the past but this year that may be changing. even one of the biggest, most conservative retirement communities in america. kerry sanders has more. >> reporter: the villages in central florida, more than 32 square miles, the largest retirement community in the nation. like golf carts to cars, republicans here outnumber democrats 2-1. those conservative voters have repeatedly paraded in their carts, showing their support for president trump. the president among
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enthusiastic supporters here on friday. for the last four years, residents here in the villages say they felt that if they spoke out against donald trump, they would face consequences. mostly social isolation. but now there are vocal critics speaking out. and the big surprise is who they are. >> i'm a lifetime republican, most of my life. >> reporter: show of hands, who voted for trump in the last election? who is voting for trump in this upcoming election? nobody. why? >> i put it simply. i want our democracy back. >> i cannot vote for a man that i look at as a great divider rather than a unifier. >> his whole platform is divide and conquer. i gave him a chance, and i feel that we need somebody else. >> reporter: recently, in what was considered a bold move, hundreds of voters here paraded for joe biden. they're not alone. a recent nbc wall street journal poll shows joe biden up
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double digits among america's most reliable voters, seniors. has trump lost the loyal base that he has here in the villages? >> absolutely not. >> reporter: john colandro is with the republican party in sumner county. he believes most retirees will vote their fixed incomes. >> a lot of people want to say the stock market only benefit the rich, but there are a lot of people here who are collecting dividends, and that's giving them an edge to enjoy the lifestyle we have. >> i would love to see every registered voter vote so after this is all done we can look back and say it is clear, we have a president that the people have chosen. >> reporter: on election night, both campaigns will be watching the early results here for a trend, have a significant number of trump's voters defected. kerry sanders, the ...and they found themselves in a magical land.
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the u.s. gulf coast is on alert for another major storm, tropical storm zeta could hit the gulf coast by tuesday. the gulf still reeling from multiple storms. getting a little relief in colorado. snow is starting to fall there. snow and frigid temperatures should help them contain the fires. a vatican first to tell you about. today pope francis announced he is elevating washington, d.c., gregory to cardinal. the first african-american to hold that position in
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the u.s. and more history tonight. the number of approximate black senate candidates this year is the most we've seen in modern history. tonight, blayne alec around reports on what's driving the change. >> reporter: bradshaw is making history. long-time organizer, first-time candidate. after an upset victory in the democrat primary, tennessee's first black woman to serve as a major party nominee for the u.s. senate. what made you jump into this race? >> i just didn't see the representation that was needed for working people. >> reporter: bradshaw is a part of record-breaking wave for black candidates around the country. >> i'm adrian perkins. >> from louisiana to mississippi. >> i am tired of it. that's why i'm running for u.s. senate. >> in all, seven candidates, mostly democrats and mostly in the south, the lone republican in michigan. >> this is the only country where you can go from slave to senator in four
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generations. >> reporter: how historic is this? >> i think it's the largest number we've ever had run for the u.s. senate at once. >> reporter: bigger still when you consider the history of the nearly 2,000 members to ever serve in the u.s. senate, only ten have been black. >> black candidates typically don't receive the same financial support to compete. typically, they have not been thought of as being a u.s. senator, or being a governor. >> reporter: it appears that shift is happening. jamie harrison has attracted national attention in his bid to unseat long-time senator lindsey graham. >> this is about the future of our country and our state. >> reporter: recent polls show georgia's raphael warnoc, pastor of the church once led by martin luther king jr. with a double-digit lead over the republican incumbent. so, why now?
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experts point to a voting base galvanized by recent protests over racial injustice. >> say her name! >> reporter: and inspiration. namely in 2018 a surge of house candidates and stacey abrams historic gubernatorial run in georgia. >> we talk to these candidates, they're inspired by what they've seen and if they can do it, why not now? >> what i would like to see in the future, where it's normalized where you don't have to say this say black woman candidate and she's the first. >> reporter: hoping to bring the nation's diversity to washington. blayne alexander, nbc news, chattanooga, tennessee. when we come back, the epic way one woo! you are busy... working, parenting, problem solving. at new chapter vitamins we've been busy too... innovating, sourcing organic ingredients, testing them and fermenting. fermenting? yeah like kombucha or yogurt.
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there is good news tonight about love finding a way, a way to unite one couple across two countries in the middle of a pandemic. >> i, alex. >> i, alex. >> take you lindsay. >> take you, lindsay. >> to be my wife. >> to be my wife. >> when these two fell in love, they planned a wedding near their home in canada with family from maine invited, but when covid hit and borders closed, those guests couldn't come. so instead of waiting, the couple knew they would have to compromise. >> so i called my parents and said i have this idea. what do you think? >> lindsay's big idea? a celebration spanning two countries. >> is with a park ranger when i was a teenager, so i had this knowledge of how the rules work in the river, that you could put a boat in the river on one side and
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drive up to the other side as long as you didn't step foot on land. >> reporter: the river, the st. croix, separating new brunswick, canada, from maine, the border in the waterway not far from the wedding on the beautiful st. stephen wharf. the loved ones from america watched. look closely, on board, lindsay's grandparents. >> it was awesome. they had horns and everything. they were cheering the officiant jokingly told them to settle down because they were so excited on the boat. >> okay, simmer down. >> reporter: back on land a small number of guests socially distanced, a drone filmed the ceremony, the first for ray simpson. >> having everybody on the other side even though they couldn't come and hug everybody, to be part of the celebration, it was really neat. it was cool. i was very glad to be
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part of it. >> the pandemic, a reminder that getting creative counts when it comes to love. >> i announce you husband and wife. alex, kiss your bride. >> and a family not defeated by distance. >> it was unique and wonderful in this time of doom and gloom and politics and everything. it made everyone happy. it was a wonderful day, wonderful day. >> love in the time of covid. lindsay and alex hope to have an in-person celebration with their loved ones all together just as soon as it's safe. that is nbc nightly news on this sunday. join lester holt tomorrow live from las vegas as he begins his special series "across america," talking with voters in key battleground states as the election nears. i'm kate snows. for all of us at nbc ne ws
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