tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 26, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
"nightly news" is next. again, we'll see you at 6:00. we'll have an update on that fire as well as the wind damage around the bay area and when the red flag warning will expire. see you then. tonight, just eight days until the election and the white house feeling the impact of another covid outbreak president trump holding three rallies in pennsylvania and joe biden also paying a surprise visit to that key battleground. mike pence on the trail after five of his aides tested positive the president again claiming the u.s. is rounding the turn on coafter his chief of staff said we're not going to control the pandemic and what jared kushner said today about black americans. plus, the tight race here in nevada as we kick off our series "across america. the final showdown over amy coney barrett. the confirmation vote in a bitterly divided senate the explosive covid surge, even the smallest communities
now feeling the impact hospitals at the brink and the new warning the danger covid poses to your heart. the massive new wildfires, 60,000 people ordered to evacuate santa ana winds super charging the flames and grounding the air attack. hurricane zeta gaining strength as it takes aim at the u.s a.m. rocker with the new track. the first murder hornets nest found in the u.s. inside the mission to destroy it and nasa's discovery on the moon and what it could mean for the future of space travel this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from nevada. >> good evening from nevada where we're starting our "across america" journey tonight hearing from voter in key states before this last full week before the election. and here in las vegas, more than anything, it's about lost jobs we'll have those conversations in a few minutes, but first, the final stretch to november 3rd with all roads tonight winding
their way back to the pandemic two candidates, two glaringly opposite visions of the reality this country faces and its ability to affect the outcome. hallie jackson begins our coverage. >> reporter: the politics of the pandemic tonight central to the closing arguments for both candidates. >> it's ending anyway. we're rounding the turn. it's ending anyway >> mr. president, you have to have a little bit of shame, just a little bit of shame, because people are dying. >> reporter: president trump tripling down on pennsylvania with three rallies there. few masks and no social distancing. joe biden in the state. taking aim at these comments from the president's chief of staff slamming them as surrender to the coronavirus. >> we are not going to control the pandemic we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics. >> i have been saying for months as you well know that he waved the white flag all the way back then. the white house is coming right out now
and admitting what i said months ago was absolutely true. >> reporter: the president today arguing it's biden surrendering. >> he's waved a white flag on life he doesn't leave his basement >> -- controlling the coronavirus? >> absolutely the opposite. >> reporter: while president trump insists the pandemic outlook is looking up, what's up is the number o coronavirus cases across the country and around the white house. five people tied to vice president pence now tested positive including his chief of staff. pence who tested negative today is on the campaign trail despite the exposure to the virus his office citing cdc guidelines for essential workers. team trump boosting spending on ads to win over black voters, efforts perhaps complicated by the senior adviser and son-in-law about many black communities. >> one thing we have seen in a lot of the black community which is mostly democrat is president trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out o
the problems they're complaining about but he can't want them to be successful more than he wants to be successful. >> reporter: top civil rights lawyer be crump slamming what he called the blatant disrespect and lack of understanding. the white house says critics are taking kushner out of context. the rhetoric intensifies with just over a week until election and already record turnout for early voting in person and by mail white house celebration happening right now to honor the expected supreme court confirmation of amy coney barrett and an event of which 14 people tested positive for covid. lester >> all right hallie, thank you. just in, the senate holding that vote on con firming amy coney barrett as the next justice of the supreme court. our kasie hunt joins us now from the capitol. how did it play out? >> reporter: the senate voting largely along party lines to confirm judge amy coney barrett to fill the late justice ruth bader ginsburg's seat on the supreme court
one month after president trump announced he planned to nominate. one republican, susan come lens of maine, voted against putting barrett on the court every democrat opposed her over concerns of abortion and particularly health care with the court expected to hear a case that could decide the future of the affordable care act days after the election but there's nothing democrats could do to stop the confirmation and it was the most partisan confirmation in supreme court history. lester >> all right kasie hunt on capitol hill for us, thanks. there's a new fire emergency in southern california tens of of thousands of people forced to evacuate miguel almaguer is on the front lines.wildfires expl out of control today but the epic winds >> reporter: it's not just the size and power of these wildfires exploding out of control today but the epic winds fanning them creating the perfect recipe for disaster
fighting flames and southern california's notorious santa ana winds, today the critical air attack was grounded after gusts reached 96 miles an hour outside los angeles. the power of a category 2 hurricane >> attention attention! >> reporter: this was the race to escape as at least 60,000 were forced to evacuate irvine even firefighter struggling to stand their ground, two in critical condition bracing for an unprecedented wind event across the state, more than a million have had their power cut to prevent the very kind of disaster that could unfold tonight on the hills of what's been a historic and deadly wildfire season, the winds fanning these flames are expected to last another 24 hours. lester >> a dramatic but scary backdrop there, miguel you and your team stay safe. from fires to from fires to
aim at the gulf coast yet again and a record breaking season. al roker joining us. al, what are you seeing >> lester, tropical storm watches, hurricane watches up from louisiana all the way to the panhandle of florida 80 miles per hour moving northwest at 10 miles per hour after hitting the yucatan tonight it gets out into the gulf bringing heavy rain making landfall late wednesday night with flooding rain, storm surge and then races up into the northeast with heavy rain and wind, as well. storm surges anywhere from 2 to 6 feet all the way from louisiana to the panhandle of florida. rainfall amounts locally up to 6 inches through the mississippi river valley but all the way up into the northeast. heavy rain, as well. lester >> boy, what a season it's been. all right. thank you, al. while the president says we're rounding the corn we are the coronavirus, it is exploding in many parts of the country tonight. hospitalizations up 40% in the last month. rural areas being hit especially hard. gabe gutierrez is in
south dakota >> reporter: tonight, the covid crisis is ravaging many smaller communities for the first time. >> we have a certain percentage of the nursing staff, our physician staff, all of our staff that are out either quarantining or sick with covid >> reporter: the dakotas lead the u.s. in coronavirus cases per capita cases in at least 42 states are up 10 or more in the last 2 weeks. >> so now we are at the highest baseline we have ever been which is really quite precarious no matter how you look at it, it's not good news >> reporter: across the country, about 41,000 people are now hospitalized a 40% jump in th last month >> we have cared for them for so long, and we truly do love them, and we miss them. >> reporter: in el paso, texas, hospitals are full shea acosta is battling the virus and struggling to breathe. >> i do worry because there are no beds
right now. >> reporter: but in rural carter county, montana, there is only one hospital which doubles as nursing home there are no icus an the closest ventilator is 120 miles away. how worried are you about flu season >> i'm scared to death. scared to death. >> reporter: the facility is overwhelmed and burning through ppe. >> because we're so small, it seems like we are on the back of the priority list. >> reporter: across the midwest growing concern about the toll on young people. at the university of dayton, freshman michael lang died of covid complications. >> he'll be lookin down on us so -- but he's 18. he's way too young way too young. >> reporter: here in south dakota covid hospitalizations hit a record for the second straight day lester >> all right gabe gutierrez, thank you. our "across america" journey starts in a city that
stood the most vulnerable where the covid shutdowns began. the life blood of las vegas, abruptly up ended by the virus tonight we hear from business owner who is hope the path of recovery starts in the voting boothcrowds have return to the iconic ve crowds have returned to the iconic vegas strip but in other parts of sin city, it's a different story. perhaps no battleground state is still reeling from the covid shutdown like nevada with a 12.6% unemployment rate, the second worst in the country. and so it's where my journey begins talking to people here about jobs, about the economy, who they think is best positioned to lead us in a path to recovery. my first stop, failing business we meet myrna donato at the used bookstore she's owned for nearly 40 years so you're calling it quits? >> i'm calling it quits. our wonderful governor shut us down for two months and a small
business canno survive with being shut down for two months. >> reporter: your customers must be disappointed >> they've devastated as i am because some of my customers go back 39 years. >> reporter: myrna told us she is voting for president trump. >> i really believe that he has america's best interest at heart. and he wants to keep the small businesses going. he knows what it is like to make payroll. >> reporter: across town we meet this couple javon was furloughed from his job at a hotel restaurant. >> i'm trying to jus put jobs like 30, 40 times a day to find something. >> reporter: they have an 8-year-old daughter with special needs and javon's unemployment benefits recently ran out. are you making really hard choices on a daily and weekly basis? >> we have lost our vehicle. we had to choose between paying the car note and keeping a roof over our head. >> reporter: the andersons are both democrats leaning they say towards joe biden.
>> i like his professionalism. i like that he's had experience in the white house as vice president. >> if you were sitting here talking to joe biden and president trump, what would you want to tell them right now? >> consider our family think about it on a personal level as if it was happening to you or your son, daughter, sister or brother and how would it make you feel if they were struggling day-to-day. >> reporter: a major flashpoint for both candidates, those continuing covid restrictions. >> i will end this i will make sure we have a plan. >> all he talks about is shutdowns no, we are not going to shutdown. >> reporter: citing improving covid numbers last month bars were allowed to reopen in nevada at 50% capacity how long were you actually closed? >> we actually were closed twice >> reporter: we spoke to bar owner darrick. >> i was living my american dream and it was just literally just taken away.
>> reporter: who says he's slowly bouncing back. >> we took a loan and that's something that i never expected to do but we're going to be able to crawl back from that, as well i'm optimistic about the future. >> reporter: darrick is voting for biden and now regrets his vote for president trump in 2016. >> i know now that that was a mistake i mean, you meet somebody with a clear plan and leadership. >> reporter: then there's stewart sobak who runs an annual car show it was supposed to be this weekend but like so many big events here he was forced to cancel it. >> it was a huge letdown for everybody involved, everybody. >> reporter: he believes president trump will help bring his business and its jobs back. >> before covid, the economy was great. i want to see the economy come back. i want to see las vegas come back and i think he's the man to do that. >> join us tomorrow night on the journey "across america" talking to voters in wisconsin. amid the record early voting turnout
we are seeing there's a danger that thousands of mail-in ballots won't be counted. cynthia mcfadden on why they get rejected and what states are doing about it in tonight's "vote watch. >> reporter: tonight, the 1% that may matter that's a conservative estimate of how many mail-in ballots will be rejected in the swing states like north carolina where polls point to a neck and neck battle. >> traditionally north carolina only has a 3% to 5% participation in absentee by mail and we're projecting to be somewhere between 20 to 30% of voters who will use that voting method. >> reporter: that could mean thousands of ballots rejected. this really matters, doesn't it >> it absolutely matters. we definitely want to reduce our rejection rate. >> reporter: and they've taken many steps to do so voters whose mail-in ballot has been rejected will be notified and given the chance to fix or cure it voters can track their ballot online and this
year north carolina has two extra weeks to process mail-in votes before election day. other battleground states are not so lucky. in pennsylvania and wisconsin, they're expecting a huge increase in the number of mail-in ballots from 2016. there are tracking systems but no requirement in either state to notify voters if their ballot is rejected when mail-in ballots are rejected, most of the time it's because they arrive late many swing states are trying to help by extending deadlines. in north carolina by an extra nine days but voter error is harder to fix in north carolina, voters must have a witness sign their ballot but many don't. >> this comes down to a question of experience. >> reporter: professor daniel smith tracks absentee ballots in realtime >> you're voting by mail is like hopping on a harley and think you can zoom off into the sunset but there are a whole set of rules and regulations you need to know. >> reporter: this year he says there is evidence rejection
rates may double or even triple. >> thus far we had 97% success rate with the absentee by mail ballots being completed properly the envelope materials and so forth which is, you know, we consider to be very good. >> reporter: professor smith points out a troubling reality. black voters in north carolina are having their mail-in ballot rejected 200% more frequently than white voters 3% of african-american ballots cast by mail flagged as a problem >> yeah. .8% for white voters. so far those numbers are going to continue to go up as voters wait and make mistakes. >> reporter: explain that to me. >> we're not sure but why there's a discrepancy bu there's nothing about the process that, you know, favors one race over another. >> reporter: does it concern you? >> it concerns me any time we are not able to count a voter's ballot. >> reporter: she points out every one of the voters will be
contacts and given a redo to fix their ballots. don't be surprised if many states end up in court arguing about what ballots can be counted. lester >> cynthia mcfadden, thank you. in just 60 seconds, on the trail of the so-called murder hornets nets.>> shingles? dios mio. so much pain. maria had to do everything for me. she had these awful blisters on her back. i don't want shingles when i'm your age. actually, if you're 50 or older, you're at increased risk that's life, nothing you can do... uh, shingles can be prevented. shingles can be whaaaat?
prevented. you can get vaccinated. where? at your pharmacy, your doctor's - hold on! don't want to go through that! 50 years or older? get vaccinated for shingles. now. back now with the first nest of so-called murder hornets found in the u.s. gadi schwartz goes inside the mission to destroy it. >> reporter: in washington state the search for an invasive species by what looks like invaders from space, an army of biologists honing in on murder hornets, donning futuristic protective suits and armed with plastic kitchen wrap, a 2 x 4 and a high-tech vacuum >> there's a lot of hornets in there. >> reporter: the armor and face masks extra protection against the giant asian hornet packing a massive stinger and the ability to spit venom. a dangerous species known for decapitating
bees by the hundreds and taking over their hive found in the tree the first nest to be discovered in the united states. how they zeroed in on the colony borders on sci-fi. >> by using the radio signals that these things send out we can track where they are in space. >> reporter: for weeks researchers were frustrated >> careful, careful. >> reporter: trying to tie tin trackers on with dental floss losing some in the process and then success >> all right. >> reporter: for now, scientists are hoping that th population is isolated to a small area in the pacific northwest but it might not be the only one >> we found one but who knows what else is out there? >> reporter: gadi schwartz, nbc news. up next, the alarming new covid heart warning. it's still warm. ♪ thanks, alice says hi.
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back now with a new warning about a surprising complication from covid-19 heart damage anne thompson now with the critical signs >> reporter: getting covid this summer changed 66-year-old mary brooks' life. >> i only expected it to attack my lungs, not my heart. >> reporter: hospitalized for three days brooks developed a heart flutter, went home and a week later suffered heart failure. >> it was like a domino effect for me. >> reporter: today new york's mt. sinai hospital reported 63% of hospitalized covid patients studied had heart damage leading to heart attacks, pulmonary embolism and
heart inflammation we know that covid is a disease of the lungs but how does it impact the heart? >> first indirectly by spreading from the lungs into the heart and the second is indirectly by causing a whole body inflammatory response that can damage the heart. >> reporter: in washington, dr. cyrus hadidi sees this in patients both with a history of heart trouble and those without. >> most concerning for us is that we see many patients who are young, healthy and have never had preexisting heart conditions >> reporter: the warning signs, heart palpitations and extreme shortness of breath medication is helping brooks. >> i feel fine. >> reporter: as researchers try to figure out if covi damage to the heart is permanent. anne thompson, nbc news. up next, a discovery that has a lot of people over the moon tonight moon tonight. shingles? dios mio. so much pain. maria had to do everything for me. she had these awful blisters on her back. i don't want shingles when i'm your age. actually, if you're 50 or older, you're at increased risk that's life, nothing you can do...
uh, shingles can be prevented. shingles can be whaaaat? prevented. you can get vaccinated. where? at your pharmacy, your doctor's - hold on! don't want to go through that! 50 years or older? get vaccinated for shingles. now. find a stock basedtech. on your interests 50 years or older? or what's trending. get real-time insights in your customized view of the market. it's smarter trading technology for smarter trading decisions. fidelity. it's just a cold. if you have high blood pressure, a cold is not just a cold. most cold medicines may raise blood pressure. choose coricidin hbp. the brand with a heart. for powerful cold relief without raising your blood pressure. his work does not capture the full measure of joe biden. folks don't just feel like they know joe the politician, they feel like they know the person.
when joe sticks up for the little guy, we hear the young boy who used to stand in front of the mirror, determined to vanquish a debilitating stutter. when joe talks to autoworkers, whose livelihoods he helped save, we hear the son of a man who once lost his job. when joe talks about hope and opportunity for our children, we hear the father who rode the rails home every night so he could be there to tuck his kids into bed. when joe talks to gold star families, who have lost a hero, we hear another father of an american veteran, somebody whose faith has been tested, and who knows who to lean on to find the light. a resilient, and loyal, and humble servant. and through his life, he has never once forgotten the values and the moral fiber that made him who he is. the best part is he's nowhere close to finished. i'm joe biden and i approve this message. and i'm still going for my best. even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin,
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a big announcement today from nasa and tom costello tells us how it could change the future of space travel. >> reporter: today's announcement is a stunner, water molecules in the lunar soil right there in a sunlit crater. we have known for years that water exists in ice form on the moon's dark polar caps but to find traces of water in sunlit areas could mean a potential water source for future astronauts. >> we now know that water is not just constrained to these cold, dark places and that it's actually possibly more widespread than we originally thought. >> reporter: the water molecules are thought
to come from micro meteorites that bombard the lunar surface. the question now, is there enough water for humans and how accessible is it after a 50-year absence, the next astronauts are set to return to the moon in 2024 tom costello, nbc news, washington. that's "nightly news" for this monday from las vegas thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each right now at 6:00. record voter turn out. >> as of yesterday we have had over 388,000 ballots come in from our voters. which is the highest amount we have had. >> the extra security measures taken to make sure your vote is safe. >> plus winds have started to subside. firefighters say the threat isn't over just yet. >> i'll have more on the fire
danger and wind over parts of the bay area. >> thousands without power across the bay area. the question tonight is when will the lights be back on. >> good evening. thanks for joining us. >> happy monday. >> we have been doing this for seven months now. we reached our peak in coronavirus infections. we'll be joined by a covid specialist. what concerns him about the next few weeks and what specifically president trump is saying that's causing the virus to spread. we'll see you in a few minutes. >> tens of thousands are still without power at this hour. pg&e started cutting electricity last night in areas with high fire danger. >> the utility is fly helicopters to inspect the power lines. which is the final step before it turns them back on.
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