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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 29, 2020 2:06am-2:36am PDT

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tonight, several breaking stories as we come on the air. hurricane zeta slamming into the u.s. and just six days to go until the election. zeta making landfall a short time ago after strengthening into a powerful category 2. 110-mile-per-hour winds. life threatening storm surge. new orleans in the potential bull's eye many could be without power for days al roker is tracking it. the race for 2020, both campaigns today in arizona joe biden casting his vote joining over 75 million americans in record early turnout. and the message from the white house in these final days. president trump ending the pandemic even as it surges to new records. biden calling that an insult.
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our "across america" series in battleground pennsylvania the obama voters that went for trump in 2016 who will they vote for this time? hospitals at a breaking point in el paso, covid hospitalizations up 300% medical tents set up for the overflow. philadelphia on edge a curfew going into effect after two nights of unrest over the police shooting of walter wallace jr. the hidden crisis in the pandemic for working moms and the backlash of the new world series champs, a star player celebrating on the field after testing positive for covid. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from pennsylvania. >> good evening. from wilkes-barre, in what may be the most important battleground in this election view from pennsylvania in just a few minutes but first to news breaking as we come on the air. hurricane zeta has just made landfall in louisiana.
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new orleans in the hurricane warning zone after zeta rapidly intensified into a category 2 storm just no rest in this record year for th hurricane battered gulf coast we have a late report now from morgan chesky. >> reporter: tonight, hurricane zeta unprecedented and unrelenting. the category 2 storm lashing louisiana, the strongest hurricane to ever hit the state this late in the season with dangerous winds and torrential rain. >> zeta is literally on our doorstep. the weather is degrading quickly as we speak. >> reporter: right before making landfall, zeta's winds just 1 mile per hour shy of being upgraded to a category 3 hurricane. and at this marina, the water already rising new orleans closing additional floodgate as the storm intensified. on the ground, a rush to get ready. >> the only thing between us and the hurricane is god you know that's basically it. >> reporter: harold smith lives outside the levees, his town
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under voluntary evacuation orders but he is staying put. >> we have had five, six, seven named storms and every one of them three days out had my address as the bull's eye. >> reporter: in a historic storm season, new orleans somehow spared until today hurricanes laura and delta both striking to the west while hurricane sall slid east. zeta's path giving the city a direct hit. >> been most challenging years yet. >> reporter: and tonight, despite the rising lake levels, the biggest threat in new orleans remains devastating winds and even potential tornadoes. all this with one month to go in hurricane season lester >> yeah, morgan. these are critical hours right now. let's get right to al roker. where is zeta headed >> lester, zeta is now inland and still a category 2 storm 110-mile-per-hour winds moving north/northeast at 25 miles per hour tropical storm warnings extend all the way into souther virginia a tornado threat from mississippi, alabama and florida tonight.
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power outages will be a big problem as this thing rockets into the northeast tomorrow bringing strong storms and a lot of wind and on the backside of it, cold air brings snow to interior new england and the northeast, as well we also are looking for power outages, widespread through the lower mississippi river valley where we will see 3 to 5 inches of rain and that will extend by friday into the northeast. lester >> i know you will b busy tracking it for us, al thank you. six days out and the trump and biden campaigns are in a fight to the finish with the covid pandemic front and center as it explodes once again here's hallie jackson. >> reporter: a western wild card in play for both campaigns tonight in battleground arizona, a state president trump won in 2016 but this year polls show he is trailing damaged by how he's handled the coronavirus. >> it's enough it's time to change. >> reporter: joe biden before voting early in delaware blasting a white house press
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release listing as one of the president's top science and technology accomplishments, ending the covid-19 pandemic. >> it's an insult to every single person suffering from covid-19 and every family who's lost a loved one. >> reporter: the white house acknowledging the release was poorly worded with th pandemic far from over now more cases in more places than in the spring that's when according to new audio released by cnn the president's adviser and son-in-law jared kushner told author bob woodward in april the country was starting its comeback phase. >> we've now put out rules to get back in work trump's now back in charge it is not the doctors. we have like a negotiated settlement. >> reporter: president trump at his rally pointing out a flair from a fighter jet meant to warn a small plane out of the restricted airspace. he is also defending how he handled the coronavirus. >> we'll vanquish the virus and emerge stronger than before. >> reporter: but politically the pandemic is haunting him.
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>> i can't understand the things he's saying that don't seem to make sense, particularly about the whole covid thing. >> reporter: in nebraska it's a different medical issue that has the trump campaign under scrutiny after a rally in omaha last night. seven people taken to the hospital as they hundreds waited for buses for hours in the freezing cold. with the campaign blaming local road closures and congestion for delays. tonight, a year's long washington guessing game came to a close when miles taylor revealed himself a the anonymous official behind an explosive 2018 op-ed about resistance inside the trump administration taylor was chief of staff to the former homeland security secretary. lester >> hallie jackson at the white house, thank you. as the covid crisis intensifies more hospitals say they're at the breaking point and perhaps nowhere is as badly overwhelmed as el paso, texas our gabe gutierrez is there tonight. >> reporter: tonight critical covid patients are being airlifted from el paso
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to other cities in texas. here at university medical center doctors and nurses are working around the clock in this room medical tents help treat this region's surging cases. >> over the last ten days, we've seen this 300% increase. it's unprecedented we did not expect this. >> reporter: hundreds of traveling nurses have rushed in to help. >> we are at a very critical situation at this point in time. >> reporter: the county judge imposed an overnight curfew and a mask mandate. >> the governor is close to the provisions of stay-at-home order to get. >> reporter: but tonight some positive news the drug company regeneron reported more evidence that its antibody cocktail reduces symptoms in patients not hospitalized still the u.s. averages more than 72,000 new cases a day. president trump has repeatedly blamed more testing for that but the administration's testing czar says cases are going up. >> it's not just the function of testing. yes, we are getting
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more cases identified but the cases are actually going up and we know that, too, because hospitalizations are going up >> reporter: across the country, 38 states have seen a rise in hospitalizations over the last week. here in el paso, andrea cortez recovered from covid last month but 15 members of her extended family got sick, including her grandfather lazaro who passed away. >> i miss everything he was a really happy person i feel helpless knowing i'm not the only one. and that so many people are going through it >> reporter: today this hospital broke another record of daily covid patients here more than 200. lester >> all right gabe, thank you. a curfew in effect tonight in philadelphia as police struggle to contain violence and looting after the deadly police shooting of a black man, walter wallace jr ron allen is there for us. >> reporter: for the second straight night violence and mayhem on the streets of a major american city. at one point, police say as many as 1,000 looters rampaging
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through a business district traffic jams in big box store parking lots caused by people loading up the cars. overnight police warning about on third of the city's residents to stay inside for their own safety. >> let me be perfectly clear. this behavior is not acceptable. >> reporter: more than 170 arrests, at least 50 officers injured. police and fire vehicles even atms set ablaze in the neighborhood where walter wallace armed with a knife was shot and killed by police hundreds of protesters in a standoff with police wallace's family who say he was suffering from mental illness, appealing for calm >> i don't condone no violence tearing up the city. looting the stores and all this chaos. >> reporter: across the city, businesses boarded up as if bracing for a storm. and tonight here officials ordering a curfew hoping to stop another night of violence after 9:00 p.m. only restaurants, pharmacies and grocery stores allowed to stay open and only allowed to make deliveries
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lester >> ron allen in philadelphia tonight, thank you. now our "across america" journey bringing us to what many experts believe is a crucial battleground in the election everyone agreeing on the importance of pennsylvania four years ago donald trump turned history on its head here thanks to many democrats crossing over and now in 2020 voters here are once again showing signs of independence near scranton we came to dave mitchco's home you don't have to guess who he's voting for. those signs just some of the thousands he's been giving out here. >> 2016 there was hardly a sign here or there. this is a true democratic area. you know they were all in support of hillary but times have changed i have given out almost 26,000 signs out of my garage people who wanted the signs, the support for trump in the area is overwhelming. >> reporter: dave is part of the most critical group of voters in battleground pennsylvania
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obama voters who then switched and voted for president trump. in 2016, they helped the president turn this state red for the first time in nearly 30 years will they do it again? >> the left went so far left that we figure we had to switch our party and we are going to support the president even more. >> reporter: one of the things that make pennsylvania so fascinating in 2020 is that it's essentially flipping the script. you have got former democrats voting for the president but you also have lifelong republicans voting for joe biden. who spent part of his childhood here like retired teacher patricia healy. >> i'm basically voting against trump i like joe biden as a person. i just don't know -- i do worry a little bit about his age. but yes. it's mainly against trump. >> reporter: she told
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us she regrets her vote for the president in 2016. >> he actually has ruined so many things. he's made a mockery of the oval office. he's made a mockery of the democratic process. >> reporter: not too far away, we went over to meet mary grace, a registered nurse and a republican back in may she lost her 83-year-old mom grace, a trump supporter, to covid. >> my mom followed the rules. she didn't go to the bank she didn't go to church and her lif revolved around church. >> reporter: mary grace told us she's voting for biden do you think the president failed your mother >> the president failed not only my mother but the 225,000 lives that have been lost he's in way over his head. >> reporter: is covid a dominant issue here? >> it's -- it doesn't seem so much i don't know anybody else in the area that lost someone to covid besides myself personally
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>> reporter: and with tens of thousands of pennsylvania jobs dependent on fossil fuels we asked about those biden comments on the oil industry from the last debate. >> would you close down the oil industry? >> i would transition from the oil industry, yes. >> reporter: do you think that hurts or helps him here >> i think that it depends on who you talk to here he did raise some eyebrows and me personally, donald trump said he would bring coal back to our area. there's no coal left. >> reporter: then there's former democrat merritt doyle who tells us president trump did exactly what he was hoping for when he switched parties to vote for him back in 2016 and he says he'll do it this year, too. >> i saw trump as someone who came in who offered a breath of fresh air something different. >> reporter: merritt is a personal trainer. he says too many covid restrictions hurt small businesses like his, and he believes the economy will be
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the reason the president wins here again. >> i look at it three years before corona hit, covid-19, record numbers as far as 4 million new jobs unemployment you give this guy four more years, he could turn us around. >> we should note that late today the supreme court did not intervene on a republican challenge to pennsylvania's mail-in voting rules. that means those ballots can be counted up the three days after the election. most polls here in pennsylvania favor joe biden by narrow margins but many voters remember how the polling missed the 2016 election outcome. peter alexander on what's different this time >> reporter: foley van leashout a law student in wisconsin is still haunted by 2016 and her decision not to vote. >> when i looked online it said that hillary clinton was polling at 90% likely to win and i thought, okay, it doesn't really matter if i do this or not because i can trust the polls. god, was that a mistake. >> reporter: the
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biggest stunner then, the state polls that showed clinton ahead in michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania but the democrats' blue wall crumbled donald trump narrowly winning all three and with them the white house. that disconnect has fueled doubts about today's polls that show joe biden with a comfortable advantage. >> they're fake polls. they're fake >> i never take anything for granted >> reporter: there are significant differences between then and now biden's lead has been stable clinton's was up and down this year there's half as many undecided voters who could break either way at the last minute still pollsters have made changes so they do not underestimate trump support. including calling enough white voters without college degrees and rura voters >> what's helping this time, also, is that the huge early vote, those are already voters in the bank so dealing with less of a population to begin with which creates a more precise estimate in the end. >> reporter: this time foley is not taking chances. >> i'm very happy to
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tell you i've already voted. >> reporter: because the only poll that matters is the one on election day. peter alexander, nbc news, washington in just 60 seconds, new fallout after a player tests positive during the world series
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the l.a. dodgers are the new world series champs but the victory partly overshadowed when a star tested positive during the game. here's miguel almaguer. >> strike three! dodgers have won it all! >> reporter: it took 32 years for the dodgers to return to glory. but before winning the world series, superstar justin turner was abruptly pulled from the game in the seventh inning. the dodgers and league learning he was positive for covid >> he was immediately isolated to prevent spread. >> reporter: turner tweeting "can't believe i couldn't be out there to celebrate with my guys" but minutes later he took to the field joining his wife, teammates
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and their families >> he's part of the team we can't -- we're not excluding him from anything. >> reporter: the league said turner refused to leave the field when asked by security taking off his mask for the team photo, sitting next to his coach, a cancer survivor >> i think the people who are around him were people that would be in the contact tracing web anyway. >> reporter: tonight mlb saying turner was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk a once in a lifetime celebration, the kind many americans have missed to prevent the spread of the virus. now the league hopes this moment to remember won't become a superspreader event no one will forget miguel almaguer, nbc news. up next, a troubling trend hitting working moms and what it means for the future
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back now with a hidden crisis in the pandemic the disproportionate toll it's taking on working moms. vicky nguyen explains. >> reporter: how many of you had to leave or cut back on the work hours because of concerns related to your children? ask any working woman with children in this pandemic and her story is supported by the data show of hands if you are the primary caregiver for your children of the 1.1 million workers over age 20 who left the workforce in september, 80% were women. >> we were having to
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choose between family and your career like never before. >> my husband just simply makes more money and gets the health insurance. >> reporter: we talked with married and single working moms across the country, some self-employed, all navigating a radical strike to their careers. allison robinson founded the mom project, a network of 300,000 members. the group is giving $500,000 in grants t help keep women employed. >> when women leave the workplace, we are losing their creativity, their compassion, they intellectual capital that drives business performance. >> reporter: some companies are trying to retain women by offering more paid time off, caregiver leave and free child care but only 32% of organizations returning to work have a child care plan mapped out. >> this being home thing is scary our society is just not set up for a parent to be able to do this. >> they just need to be more flexible we are very capable and very productive. >> reporter: working moms in their own
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words about what they need and why the workforce needs them vicky nguyen, nbc news. >> a story resonating in a lot of households we'll take a break. up next, how voter patience and persistence is "inspiring america."
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finally tonight, harry smith talks to people inspired and determined to vote no matter how long the wait. >> reporter: just look at the lines in our divided america, they are either inspiring or a
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little scary what if there are more of them than there are of us, we wonder there'll be a record turnout, they say. it is the most important election of our lifetimes, they say. the line we are in today on manhattan's upper west side goes for several blocks it will be hours before we get inside to vote. >> if you want to have your voice you need to do your duty and vote. >> there's great determination this year. >> reporter: how do you feel about the line >> it's quite long but it is encouraging. i like that people are here to perform the civic duty. >> reporter: it's worth the wait i have this crazy theory if we all participated more we'd have less rancor and divisiveness. >> i don't think it's such a crazy theory. >> reporter: the founders had a crazy idea, revolutionary even that people could govern themselves. when we vote, that's exactly what we do harry smith, nbc news, new york. and that is "nightly news" for
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this wednesday from pennsylvania thank you for watching, everybody. i'm lester holt. please continue to take care of yourself and each other ♪ ♪ somebody broke me once ♪ love was a currency ♪ a shimmering balance act ♪ i think that i laughed at
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that ♪ ♪ and i saw your face and hands ♪ ♪ colored in sun and then ♪ i think i understand ♪ will i understand ♪ will we fight stay up late ♪ in my dreams i'm to blame ♪ different sides of the bed ♪ roll your eyes shave my head ♪ now we're stuck in the storm ♪ we were born to ignore ♪ and all i got is a chance to just say ♪ ♪ baby love me you've got me, runaway ♪ ♪ you steal the air out of my lungs ♪ ♪ you make me feel it ♪ i pray for everything we lost ♪ ♪ buy back the secrets ♪ your hand forever's all i want ♪ ♪ don't take the money ♪ don't take the money ♪ will we fight stay up late ♪ in my dreams i'm to blame ♪ different sides of the bed ♪ roll your eyes shave my head ♪ now we're stuck in the storm ♪ we were born to ignore ♪ and all i got is a chance to just say ♪


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