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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  October 13, 2020 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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lawrence. every emotion that barack obama experienced as president i was in the room for, the good times, the bad times. and in many ways i think there's a bond between us that will never be broken because of that. i experienced it as an observer, but i watched him deal with the emotions. >> pete souza gets tonight's "last word." thank you very much for joining us tonight, pete. and pete souza will get the last word on friday night. the documentary is "the way i see it." right here friday night, 10:00 p.m., commercial-free. premier of the way i see it. that is tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. and good evening once again. day 1,363 of the trump administration. 21 days to go until election day
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2020. that means 3 weeks from tonight we'll be on the air covering election returns. donald trump declaring himself cured and immune is continuing his campaign to convince our country the virus and pandemic are disappearing, all evidence to the contrary. if it's tuesday it must be pennsylvania, and indeed tonight we saw the second crowded rally in as many nights time. and because life is all about timing he landed in pennsylvania at a time when infections are up 27% in just the past week. "the washington post" now says over 20 states have set records for new infections in just recent days. america continues to lead the world in terms of the death toll. the virus has now killed 1 of every 1,600 of us. continuing what's become a rally custom, the advance staff tonight tried to make sure people behind the president in his head on camera angle wore
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masks. the rest, not so much. here was the president's message on the pandemic. >> we're rounding the turn on the pandemic. we understand here i had it. i have to get out and i have to meet people, and i have to see people. and i know it's risky to do that. but you have to do what you have to do. i'm the president. i can't sit in the basement. i'm immune, they tell me. i'm immune. i could come down and start kissing everybody. i'll kiss everyone, man and woman. you're the people i want to say hello to because you're right now immune. >> joe biden had this to say about the president while campaigning in florida. >> i prayed for his recovery when he got covid. i hoped at least he'd come out of it somewhat chastened, but what has he done? he's just doubled down on the misinformation he did before and making it worse. he throws super spreader parties
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at the white house, republicans hugging each other without concern of the consequences. how many of you have been unable to hug your grandkids in the last 7 months? >> as all that unfolded on the campaign trail today trump's supreme court nominee, his third, amy coney barrett was questioned on the second day of her hearings. barrett's grilling lasted about 11 hours. democrats on the committee tried to get some sense how she would change the court if nominated. >> does the constitution give the president of the united states the authority to unilaterally delay a general election? >> i would need to hear arguments from the litigants. if i give off-the-cuff answers, then i would be basically a legal pundit. >> you're unmaistakably criticizing the decision to uphold the affordable care act in a case that will be before you as a newly seated member of the supreme court. >> i'm not here on a mission to
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destroy the affordable care act. i'm just here to apply the law and adhere to the rule of law. >> were you aware of president trump's statements committing to nominate judges who will strike down the affordable care act? >> i don't recall seeing or hearing those statements, but i don't really know what context they were in. when i had my calls with senators i honestly can't remember whether senators framed the questions in context of president trump's comments. perhaps so. >> do you agree with justice scalia's view that roe was wrongly decided? >> i can't precommit or say yes i'm going in with some agenda? >> is roe a super precedent? >> i'm answering a lot of questions about roe which indicates roe doesn't fall into that category. >> tonight at his rally trump made a point of praising judge barrett. >> great future supreme court
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justice. and i will tell you amy's made a great impression. >> while the nominee was on the hill, the court did dependably side with the trump administration in halting our census count. and in the midst of all this republican senator mitt romney, the only republican senator remember to vote to convict trump on one of the two articles of impeachment earlier this year he weighed in on state of our politics. he sent out this statement on social media. quote, i've stayed quiet with the approach of the election but i'm troubled by our politics. the president calls the democratic vice presidential candidate a monster. he repeatedly labels the peeker of the house crazy. he calls for the justice department to put the prior president in jail. many americans are frightened for our country, so divided, so angry, so mean, so violent. there's also late news tonight on two fronts. first, the bill barr sponsored
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federal inquiry about the so-called unmasking of individuals the trump circle during the 2016 election has been quietly ended. the federal prosecutor in charge saying it's been wrapped up without, quote, finding any substantive wrongdoing. trish scalia, wife of the labor secretary eugene scalia who's indeed son of the former justice scalia contracted the coronavirus. the scalias both attended that super spreader event for judge barrett on the white house lawn. she has mild symptoms reportedly. her husband is working from home in the interim. it's a lot but let's bring in our lead off discussion group on a tuesday night. ashley parker, pulitzer prizewinning white house reporter for "the washington post,". susan page, veteran journalist, best selling author, usa today bureau chief. and neil caughtial, vttayal.
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ashley, i want to read your work back to you as i often do. you and your colleagues have written this about the president's rallies. his schedule so far reflects the frenetic energy of a man trying to outrun both a deadly illness and an electoral defeat. ashley, ideally frenetic different city every day travel with three weeks to go is designed to affect the end result on election day. is this that, or is this kind of a salve for the soul? >> it's both. the president believes that in a number of ways he believes he can win this election by rerunning a playbook of 2016. of course we're now seeing all the ways that is falling short in part because joe biden is not hillary clinton. there is not a deadly pandemic
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in 2016. trump had not been president for almost 4 years then. but one of the things he and his aides do think could be a successful parallel is the idea he's said himself to aides that he could outwork joe biden. the plan is for him to ramp up in the short future to 2 to 3 events a day, and they hope by the homestretch to have him doing 6 or 7. and it's also being out on the campaign trail is the president's bomb. and it's where he gets energy. and there were a ton of concerns not just for the safety of the rally goers, not just for the people in the president's orbit. a number of them have coronavirus. it's unclear who is and is not contagious. but just these events as you said where people are not wearing masks and not practicing social distancing. there were concern for the health of people coming together in these nonmask gatherings and the president recovering from what is deadly illness when he's
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in his 70s, has some of the comorbidities. but aides say this is being driven by him. when he's out on the campaign trail he's happier, he feeds off the crowd. and this is just the reality between now and election day. >> neil cattyal a question about judge barrett. if you're the justice that the president publicly says he wants seated on the court in case his re-election gets adjudicated by the court, isn't that -- i don't have a law degree, you do -- a textbook definition of a reason to take ones self out of that case? >> it's really problematic and does raise appearance of propriety issues and i think here and so many times today the nominee judge barrett was caught by the president's own statements. so on the affordable care act as senator harris said, trump promised to nominate justices to
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destroy it. and trump for years has tried to destroy it. and trump picked a nominee who in articles said she thought it was unconstitutional. and now trump's in a rush to try to get her confirmed before the supreme court. and his lawyers would say this nominee is going to vote to get rid of the affordable care act and its protection for pre-existing conditions, and she's boxed in by trump's own statements. and her dancing today i think can't get around it. and the same is true about abortion. trump said just as you were saying about the election, he said with roe vs. wade, he promised to nominate justices who would overrule roe, and the nominee herself is on the record she's calling for a, quote, end to the barbaric legacy of roe vs. wade. here it's not just a president trump presumption but she's
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going to overrule roe. for years they've been saying they want to get rid of the aca. it seems to me, look, she is a brilliant person. she's a lovely person, but a supreme court nomination is about more than that. it's about the future of the country and there's two very different futures here, and i say let the people decide, which is of course what lindsey graham said in 2016. >> and susan page, as be boom rang back into electoral politics as lbj used to say when inviting friends over let's filoficize. given the amount of early vote already in, what kinds of events in these next 21 days could still affect the outcome of this election? >> maybe a way back machine so you could have an event that happened, you know, 6 months ago. but 3 weeks out from the election date at a time when more than 10 million americans have already voted, and the
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views of president trump are pretty much set in contreat 4 years ago or the last time around. it's hard to imagine any event being to adjust the trajectory we see now that looks good for democrats. maybe a disastrous debate next week for joe biden would shake some of his support. but really this is an election set on a course that would be very hard to shake. >> ashley, maybe you remember eighth grade. the whole thing gives me ptsd. but people were mentioning eighth grade tonight when they saw the tweet the president put out about joe biden. and in a way it shades seniors, biden for resident of assisted living or nursing home. so that's why that was in the news tonight. what are the concerns? in light of this sort of thing which routinely steps on
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campaign messaging they would rather put out there, what are the concerns from the west wing if anyone's left there working to the campaign with just 3 weeks exactly to go? >> the concerns are fundamentally trump himself, that they have an uncontrollable candidate. that's part of his appeal, and that's part of his down side. and so you could have top campaign officials who were talking to rorlteeporters as th were talking about the campaign's plan to win back senior voters, and then the president put out that tweet which is perhaps not the best way to win that crucial voting demographic. and so, again, it's the president himself a good example there, any number of them -- it's the tweets, the comments at rallies. but even something that doesn't have to do with him. susan moderated that great vice presidential debate. pence had a very good debate that night. so did kamala. but the trump people, that whole
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orbit was thrilled with how the vice president had done. but the president that next morning called in to a conservative television show and just stepped all over the vice president's good evening. so the vice president and by virtue the president couldn't even bask in those potentially good 12 hours of full good news cycle because trump had to insert himself in a controversial and self-sabotaging way. >> and neal katyal, indeed back to you. it's a lot to ask americans to drill down and pay attention. it has struck a lot of people being an originalist like the justice judge barrett reveres, justice scalia, is tough because the originals didn't have womens rights in mind.
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they didn't have people of color in mind. abortion didn't exist nor did the iphone. so when you argue against a living breathing constitution that gets tough. what kinds of arguments should people watch for starting tomorrow? >> well, i do think we heard a lot of talk about originalism, but i'm a originalest, but a true originalest looks at what the framers like hamilton and madison originally thought which that the constitution is capacious, it evolves. the framers use words like due process or cruel and unusual punishment because they recognize they didn't have all the answers and they couldn't see around all the corners. so i think the question for tomorrow, and it was started to be asked today what kind of judge is judge barrett? is she more of a justice scalia which i think that kind of cramped originalism you were talking about, brian, or does she have a more capacious view?
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so far we haven't seen anything to suggest it's more capacious, but that's what tomorrow will be all about. >> susan, we've learned a new term tonight -- cramped originalism. i'm writing it down, and so should you. i did want to share this clip with you earlier. this was during an interview between wolf blitzer and speaker pelosi. >> let me just quote ro khana, and he said this. he said people in need can't wait until february. $1.8 trillion is significant and more than twice the obama stimulus. make a deal, put the ball in mcconnell court. so what do you say to ro khana? >> what i say to you is i don't know why you're always an apologist and many of your colleagues apologist for the republican position. ro khana, that's nice. that isn't what we're going to do, and we're not waiting until february. i want this very much now because people need help now. >> susan, you are more familiar
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with the speaker than most folks walking around washington who dine out on being familiar with the speaker. what is her game plan here? >> well, i don't believe the speaker liked the questions from wolf blitzer and interesting she called him an apologist for republicans, when she was pointing out there were democrats that really wanted to get even a small individual stand alone kind of bill. funny that's not the course she's chosen to take. she wants a big bill with everything -- looks like that is not going to happen, so she was really pushing back in a big way against very legitimate questions by aerocolleague wolf blitzer. >> big thanks to our big three tonight, ashley parker to susan paige. and to uncramped indeed lim br originalest neil katyal. coming up for us, despite the best efforts of some governors to suppress the vote,
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people are indeed coming out by the thousands. they're waiting hours in line. we have a live report lined up for you from texas next. and later as the most famous coronavirus patient in the world is claiming to be cured and immune, tens of thousands of americans every day are just starting their journey with the virus. we'll hear from a doctor on the front lines tonight as indeed "the 11th hour" is just getting underway on this tuesday evening. underway on this tuesday evening. my husband and i have never eaten healthier. shingles doesn't care. i logged 10,000 steps today. shingles doesn't care. i get as much fresh air as possible. good for you, but shingles doesn't care. because 1 in 3 people will get shingles, you need protection. but no matter how healthy you feel, your immune system declines as you age, increasing your risk for getting shingles. so what can protect you? shingrix protects. for the first time ever, you can protect yourself from shingles with a vaccine proven to be over 90% effective.
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it's so important to me because this is the most important vote of my life. i've been voting for over 45 years, and this is the most -- i just feel like our voices are trying to be suppressed, and this is the best way to --
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>> this is the most important election we're going to have so i got up at 5:00 this morning to make sure i was here by 6:00. >> with exactly 3 weeks until election day, early voting underway across much of our country at a record pace. lines stretched early in texas where polling places opened up early today. and in the houston area the harris county clerk reported earlier today, quote, over 100,100 votes have been cast today. similar reports coming in from across the state. we are happy to be joined tonight by nbc news correspondent priscilla thompson. she's been at an early voting location all day, the county's only mail ballot drop off location thanks to texas governor abbott. priscilla, what did you see all day? what kind of stories did you hear? >> reporter: well, brian, if the numbers are any indication of the mood here on the ground there's certainly a lot of
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enthusiasm here in harris county. the latest numbers we have after polls closed, more than 128,000 people in the county turned out to vote here on the first day of early voting. a new record, but also that's on par with the first day of early voting in georgia for the entire state, and that happened in one county here in texas. and, you know, we were here at 5:00 a.m. when voters began lining up hours before the polls opened. and i asked folks, you know, why are you here so early, and they told me they wanted to make sure without question that their votes were counted. and when i asked them about the issues that were going to be on their mind going into that voting booth i heard things like health care, jobs and the economy, coronavirus, and also social justice, racial justice, wanting a candidate who will unify or a president who will unify the country. and i've got to tell you the name that most voters gave me was joe biden and kamala harris.
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now, you know, harris county is largely a democratic strong hold. but if the turn out here is any indication of what we're seeing across the state, it's certainly going to be an interesting race to watch here in texas. brian? >> priscilla, thank you for that live report. you're in a fascinating place at a fascinating time. and indeed here to discuss this more two returning veterans for us. jason johnson, campaign veteran, contributor to the greo, professor of politics at morgan state university, and morgan steele, former lieutenant governor of maryland. these days the host of the michael steele podcast, and notably senior advisor to the lincoln project. notable to our conversation michael is also chair of the u.s. vote foundation, a private non-profit, nonpartisan public charity aimed at helping get more people to the polls. so michael, i'll begin with you. you have to hand it to governor abbott of texas. he's only one man.
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he has done everything he can in the area of voter suppression. but look at what perseverance does. look at the people we just heard from especially folks who know a little bit about voter suppression. >> yeah, you know the interesting thing about what we're seeing right now in the face of these efforts by some governors and legislators to limit access is that in the past, brian, it would have been, oh, okay well i just won't bother with it. i just won't bother. and now people are like, hell no, i'm going to the polls. i'm going to get up early. i'm going to do like the former first lady said, i'm going to pack a breakfast, lunch, bring some dinner and i may bring another breakfast. so the idea is that people are more committed in this cycle than we've seen before. for whatever their reasons and their rationale, whether it's a policy issue like health care or
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a personality issue like the president or whatever, folks have made a conscious decision that they are going to vote. and so for the work that we do at the u.s. vote foundation, it is critical that, you know, not only our foundation but other organizations that have access to these gateways to voting in the various states around the country are made available and are a ready resource for people every single day. because they're committed as the report just showed you. >> jason, when folks like you and me on broadcasts like this one have complained for years about the lack of political involvement, and then we read that travis county has 97% voter registration, are we about to get proven wrong on subjects like political involvement, on subjects like crappy turnout among the youngs? >> yeah, brian. and i'm happy.
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i'm happy to be proven wrong. i think that the dual issues of social justice and coronavirus have brought out young people and old people. the numbers are incredible across the country. but here's the other thing. over 10 million americans have already voted. 10 million, and we're 21 days out. and what's critical about these numbers, yes, you know, travis county, that's austin, that's a democratic stronghold. harris, that's a democratic stronghold. but what we're seeing is rather than in the past and michael probably knows a lot about this as well, sometimes early voting just cannibalizes same day votes. what we're seeing in georgia, seeing in florida, seeing in texas is 13, 12 sometimes upwards of 17% of early votes are people who skipped out on 2016, they tend to lean democratic. so we are looking at if these votes are actually counted they're not thrown out by some sort of chucanary by the republican party, we're seeing turn out of young people and black and brown people at levels we probably haven't seen in this
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country for probably 50 or 60 years. >> the pictures are extraordinary, the interviews are probably the only thing more extraordinary. here we were covering last night 11 hour lines in georgia, which we said last night has done nothing to change its hard earned history in the area of voter suppression. both of these gentlemen have agreed to stick with us during the break. coming up where the presidential campaign stands tonight let's not forget with exactly 3 weeks to go. h exactly 3 weeks to go. 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 formula recommended by the nei to help reduce the risk
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transitions signature gen 8, available now in 4 new style colors. transitions. proposition 16 takes on discrimination. some women make as little as 42% of what a man makes. voting yes on prop 16 helps us fix that. it's supported by leaders like kamala harris and opposed by those who have always opposed equality. we either fall from grace or we rise. together. proposition 16
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provides equal opportunities, levelling the playing field for all of us. vote yes on prop 16. he's doing enough for our campaign. he'll be out on the trail and he's doing well. thank you. >> nbc news confirms barack obama will indeed be on the campaign trail soon, though we don't know exactly what that will look like or where. joe biden in florida today, battleground state that trump visited just yesterday. a new morning console poll shows biden leading in five key states -- florida, colorado, michigan, pennsylvania, wisconsin. right now trump is ahead in south carolina with arizona, georgia, minnesota, north carolina, ohio and texas all
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notably considered within the margin of error, though some will disagree. back with us, jason johnson, michael steele. michael, i've read just about every campaign book in print. i've covered my share of rallies and presidents lord knows over the years. when i heard this at trump's rally tonight it was a first i think you'll agree. let me run it past you. >> so can -- i ask you to do me a favor? suburban women, will you please like me? please, please. i saved your damn neighborhood, okay? the other thing i don't have that much time to be nice. i can do it but i've got to go quickly. >> michael, what do you make of that? is that going to work? >> that's a very unique closing argument to women. you know, i saved your neighborhood. i just want to know who'd you save it from. that's what i want to know, and i think that's the question they
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would ask. you know, look, at the core of this and that point, that video is donald trump's strength and his weakness. he just wants to be liked. and he wants it so badly he's desperate to say and do whatever he thinks will get to there. and at times that's endearing to some people. and clearly it's endearing to a lot of his supporters. but for a lot of folks it's at this point just rubbed them raw. because in that desire to be liked and for people to -- he loses sight of the needs of those very same people, the things they want that he wants him to like them. can you show some empathy and concern and interest in me? so it's like, you know, that relationship where one side wants all the love coming to
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them, but there's nothing reciprocated. so you can't say to voters, well, you know, i've saved your damn neighborhood or black unemployment is the lowest it's ever been, or i gave your hbcu some money so why don't you like me? well, because you're still an ass, that's why. and that's the part he doesn't get. you've got to complete the rest of the relationship with the voters. that's why you're behind in georgia, in, you know, places like texas. we're dead even in texas three weeks out? come on, man. >> or as a british screen writer might put it just a boy standing in front of suburban women asking them to love him. jason, help us get us out of this. what's the obama factor going to be like? and let's spread some tough love around.
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do democrats have reason to say, look, with all this early vote already done and dusted in and potentially perhaps counted should obama have been on the road earlier than this? >> no, brian. i think obama is going outright at the proper time. you wanted to make sure he's your closer. most of this time was spent with senator harris and joe biden. also you can sort of deploy barack obama in the places you might be weakest. we've got this sort of strange outlier poll about the senate race in michigan. you'll send barack obama there. you'll send him to flynn. you'll send him to detroit. you can send obama to places in texas. send him to places in georgia. now is about the right time to bring him out. what's been interesting by comparison is the republican party doesn't seem to have that level of bench. they don't have a closer they can bring out. cindy mccain is doing commercials for joe biden. rick snyder from michigan is saying i'm vote frg joe biden.
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so trump was pretty much left being his own best and worst adver tizzer. and if his final say is i'm begging for white womens votes, that works in the suburbs, but it doesn't work as your final campaign pitch. so trump is really in a tight position both polling wise and as far as getting surrogates out there that can compete with barack obama. >> good point about former office holders. 43 might as well in the republican witness protection program. to our friends jason johnson, michael steele, thank you for always bringing it, gentlemen. what a pleasure. coming up for us, as this virus surges in several states one indiana er doc worries what covid plus seasonal flu will look like this coming season. we'll talk to him when we come back. we come back couple was on a camping trip... ...when their windshield got a chip. they drove to safelite for a same-day repair.
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i want to thank the doctors at walter reed and john hopkins. one great thing about being president, if you're not feeling 100% you have more doctors than you thought existed in the world. i was surrounded with like 14 of them. >> unfortunately a couple of points here. the medical care the president enjoys, not available to the rest of of america suffering with this virus. for starters helicopter rides to and from the hospital remain incredibly rare, and most of us have fewer than 14 doctors. as the president falsely claims, we are rounding the corner on this, new cases trending upward. in most of the states in our country now, over 30 of them, hospitalizations have also hit their highest level in nearly 6 weeks. look at the bar graph. state of wisconsin which recorded its worst day yet has opened a new 530-bed field
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hospital as a massive uptick overwhelms hospitals across that state. analysis from "the washington post" finds midwestern states like wisconsin, illinois, indiana and ohio are driving the surge, which made us think of our next returning guest, an er doc at memorial hospital and health care center in jasper, indiana. doctor, indeed going back to what we consider to have been the height of this, we have been able to talk to you at regular intervals during which i ask you what your experience is locally, how your town, how your hospital is doing. what's it like today and tonight? >> hi, brian. indiana just went to our stage 5 reopening, so i guess we're wind of back to normal in indiana. we went there about 2 weeks ago and right on time over the last week or so.
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we were seeing a significant uptick in our county. we're a pretty smallish county of 40,000 people. over the last seven days or so we have seen about 10% of the total cases that we've had throughout this entire event. >> the president says he's immune. rudy giuliani the noted epidemiologist says people don't know of this anymore. has the president's experience had any positive impact on the patients you've come in contact with? >> it absolutely has not helped anything ever nor has rudy giuliani. i wish he could come and take a walk through our icu and meet three citizens of my county that died over the last few days. it's good he got over it. i'm glad that he got over it, but this isn't over for the vast majority of americans.
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we're not even close to being where we need to be, and he's out at rallies dancing around like he's superman and dancing to gay anthems unironically and threatening to kiss people in the audience. and he's just setting the worst example possible. i was hoping that he would learn from his illness, but clearly he's learned nothing. i don't think he's capable. >> it is interesting i know along with you the village people have supplanted the rolling stones and his walk off music at his rallies between ymca and macho man in just these past two nights so there's probably more in store. in washington the secretary of health and human services along with dr. atlas, this california radiologist who now has the president's ear and has supplanted tony fauci, had a meeting with some scientists and apparently the subject was allowing herd immunity to take hold in american society.
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tell us why that wouldn't be a great idea. >> yes, so you're talking about the great barringten statement or report or whatever. so it is a perfect example of social darwinism at its finest, right? and sounds great on paper. let's lock up the people at risk and the rest of us go back about our business. however, what they fail to mention in this one page paper that a bunch of fake people signed is that up to 40% of us have a pre-existing condition. in america look around. obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, i call that the american trifecta. and if you don't have it, i guarantee somebody that you love does. and i'm not sure how they're supposed to separate out up to 40% of the population and keep things going. i'm at risk. i carried an extra 25 pounds, i don't know what my lungs look like on the inside. i've got to go to work every day. >> thank you for joining us
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tonight as you periodically do. thank you for the work you do by day. greatly appreciate it. good to see you, doctor. stephen sample joining us from jasper, louisiana, tonight. coming up it's a move even two of the president's former national security advisers call unacceptable and a big mistake. the report when we come back. ige the report when we ce omback ahoyy!
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tonight bloomberg reporting the president is demanding a plan on his desk to withdraw u.s. troops from somalia making good on his campaign promise to bring troops home in some cases regardless of the circumstances. in the case of somalia despite the challenge that al-qaeda poses to that country the very reason our men and women in uniform are there in the first place. another of the president's withdrawal plans is proving
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hugely controversial because it's something vladimir putin wants very badly. trump plans to withdraw thousands of u.s. troops in southern germany at a facility critical for rehearsing warfare in the event of a conflict with a nation like russia. our report on this tonight from nbc news correspondent vil an marks. >> reporter: captain matthew from ohio is an infantry officer not an actor but he regularly plays the part of a russian mercenary. >> everything is replicated as closely as possible to what could be expected throughout europe. >> reporter: he and his men are part of a vast exercise involving 4,100 soldiers from more than half a dozen countries. >> so our whole purpose is give them the most realistic battle we can before they go into a real engagement. >> reporter: commanders say these war games prepare troops
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for peer to peer combat like a future conflict with russia. and are best rehearsed alongside america's military partners here in germany. it's taken years of post-war diplomacy and funding to develop such extensive military facilities, but now they're on the firing line themselves thanks to president trump who announced this summer he wants to cut u.s. troop levels in germany by a third. >> we're reducing because they're not paying their bills. it's very simple. >> reporter: germany has no actual bills to play but does spend less than the 2% they and other nato members have promised. nevertheless lawmakers say the u.s. presence should be about more than money. >> the reason american troops are still in germany so long after world war ii is american national security interests not just for europe and the threat from russia but the importance of germany to u.s. forces as a
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transit point going to africa or the middle east. and also the exercises that take place in germany every year. >> reporter: the pentagon plans to bring 6,500 troops home. defense secretary esper argues this will reassure allies about russia and improve strategic flexibility. but it plan faced widespread bipartisan criticism with three national security advisor calling the decision a blow to nato and a big mistake. >> we're going to give up a place already worth hundreds of millions dollar and leave it when there's nothing wrong with this one. >> doesn't make sense. >> makes zero sense to me. >> reporter: he recently testified to congress about the president's plan. >> this is in effect a gift to the kremlin. we plan to reduce by over 30% all of our capability in germany. to me that sends a terrible
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signal. >> reporter: president trump's plan to withdraw troops from german towns like this and vice-biden's promise to reverse that decision means the future of these communities and these soldiers and not just dependent on international geopolitics but a u.s. presidential race as well. nbc news, germany. coming up after our final break there's a new anti-biden campaign ad airing in three states. but something in it looked positively un-american to a sharp-eyed viewer. turns out they were right. we'll show you the story when we come back. story when we come back. priceline works with top hotels, to save you up to 60%. these are all great. and when you get a big deal... ♪ feel like a big deal. ♪ priceline. every trip is a big deal. still a father. but now a friend.
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i have it within me to lower my a1c. ask your doctor about trulicity. last thing before we go tonight. it looks for all the world like just another campaign ad. this one happens to be an anti-biden ad paid for by a pro-trump political action committee and designed to air in three battleground states. but these days very little gets by those with sharp eyes, a laptop and a data plan. and about this ad, we'll let daniel litman of politico tell the story and we quote, a new pro-trump super-pack ad uses stock footage from russia and belarus. it's the fourth time in three months that an ad promoting
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president donald trump's re-election has used footage from russia. america first action last thursday launched an ad called pandemic tax in florida, pennsylvania, wisconsin as part of a $10 million ad campaign slamming joe biden for supporting bad trade deals and arguing that he would raise taxes on, quote, all of us. but some of the people featured in the ad were actors in stock footage from russia and belarus. there's video of a young family in the spot, video of an old woman traced right back to suppliers in belarus and siberia. back to politico we go. quote, america first action is chaired by linda mcmahan, the co-founder of the professional wrestling company wwe with her
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husband vince mcmahan. a digital ad last month released called on people to, quote, support our troops but used a stock photo of russian made fighter jets and russian models dressed as soldiers. while the following goes against the current ethos of somehow normalizing all things russia and russian where this administration is concerned, just a humble suggestion here. there's a lot of great video shot here in america showing americans that you could use in campaign commercials if you like that kind of thing. you could even label it as like made in the usa. think of it as using american video first. and with that unabashed appeal to patriotism, that's our broadcast on a tuesday night. with thanks to you for being here with us. on behalf of all of our colleagues here at the networks of nbc news, good night.
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today the great city of oklahoma city notified the state of oklahoma that it has no more icu beds available. as a crush of covid patients overwhelms the capacity in oklahoma city. in jackson, mississippi, six major mississippi hospitals are also down to zero capacity, zero beds in their intensive care units. again because of a crush of covid patients imi


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