tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS October 27, 2020 3:12am-3:43am PDT
i.c.u. beds. from judge to justice, the senate takes its final vote to confirm judge amy coney barrett to the supreme court, plus more from our "60 minutes" interview with senator kamala harris about the nation's highest court, georgia, the unlikely toss up, could the state vote to send a democrat to the white house for the first time in three decades? emergency evacuations in southern california. multiple firefighters injured as at least 70,000 are told to get out. as hurricane force winds whip up the wildfires. and great news for the head coach of the washington football team. why you don't need to be a fan to cheer for ron rivera. riv this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting tonight from cbs news election headquarters, in times square. e square. >> o'donnell: good evening, and thank you for joining us at our new election headquarters. we are going to begin with the
final sprint to the white house which tonight runs straight through pennsylvania, which is with just eight days until the election and with the coronavirus pandemic worsening nationwide, president trump and joe biden arrive in the keystone state today trying to win over voters in a state both candidates believe holds the key to the oval office. but with new cases of coronavirus now at their highest since the crisis began and with hospitals across the country again overflowing with patients, tonight the pandemic is once again center stage on the campaign trail. in a surprise visit to a voter center, joe biden pointed to the surge of infections saying president trump is the worst person to manage the nation's response to the virus. for his part, president trump downplayed the crisis, holding three large rallies and saying no one would be talking about covid after the election, even as his own white house is dealing with a second outbreak of it. tonight five of the vice president's aides have been infected. that's not stopping the vice president from campaigning in minnesota after testing negative.
and the white house says it won't stop a large swearing in ceremony that is going to be held tonight on the south lawn for supreme court nominee amy coney barrett. who is expected to be confirmed by the senate in the coming hours. so you can see there is a lot of new reporting to get to. we have our team of correspondent standing by to cover it all. cbs's paula reid will lead off our coverage tonight from the white house. good evening, paula. >> reporter: good evening, norah. president trump today barn stormed across must-win pennsylvania making multiple stops while former vice president joe biden held just one event. asked to defend his light travel schedule so close to the election, biden says he is working at least 12 hours a day to win the white house. president trump told pennsylvania voters today his future was in their hands. >> by the way, if we win pennsylvania, we win the whole thing. you have to get out there. >> reporter: down by seven points in the latest cbs news battleground tracker poll, president trump blanketed the
keystone state with three separate stops. his goal, turn out long time republicans and overcome joe biden's gains in philadelphia and pittsburgh. >> we're all kind of fight to get back to where we should be. >> reporter: not to be outdone, biden too showed up in pennsylvania, calling attention to chief of staff mark meadows admission this weekend that the administration would not get control of the virus. >> we're not going to control the pandemic. we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics. >> he said we're not going to control it. not going to control it. the bottom line is donald trump is the worst possible president, the worst possible person to try to lead us through this pandemic. >> reporter: with another covid outbreak inside the white house, the vice president's top aide marc short tested positive along with four others in pence's circle. president trump still told supporters in allentown the pandemic was nearing its end. >> and we're rounding the turn, all they want to talk about is
covid. >> reporter: but the u.s. saw a record number of infections nationwide in recent days. >> you know, mr. president, you have to have a little bit of shame, just a little bit of shame, because people are dying. >> reporter: vice president pence campaigned in minnesota today, despite his recent exposure. >> it is great to be back in the north star state. >> reporter: but health experts disputed the official justification from the white house that mr. pence's campaign work was essential and in accordance with c.d.c. guidelines. >> i don't think any of us think campaigning as important as it is critical infrastructure for our country. he should really be in quarantine. >> reporter: health officials have already connected at least 23 covid cases in minnesota to events put on by the trump campaign. they have also connected at least one case to events put on by the biden campaign, norah. >> o'donnell: paula reid, thank you. turnout is already smashing records with eight days to go before polls close.
and today we saw long lines greeting voters in maryland as it became the 41st state now open for in-person voting. we get more now from cbs's ed o'keefe. >> reporter: it is a scene unprecedented in modern history. >> good morning, thank you for voting. >> reporter: millions of americans and long lines almost everywhere having their say as a bitterly contested election nears its end. >> i think election day will be crazy, look at it already. >> reporter: the more than 62 million early votes tallied top all early votes in 2016. democrats have the advantage so far. >> these are troubling times. >> reporter: but republicans are starting to show up, including deborah rhodes of ohio who waited an hour to cast her vote for the president. >> when i look at the opposition, i don't see much change there from the past years change there from the past yea of obama. >> reporter: a record number of young people are also casting ballots this year. and so far, one out of every four voters is a new or infrequent voter. meaning overall turnout could be
historic. with so many votes already cast, president trump this week is targeting the remaining voters in must-win swing states. he is tied or trailing biden in al of them. the former vice president is holding fewer events but his campaign is playing offense. he will stump in georgia, iowa and wisconsin, where democrats hope to pull off an upset and running mate kamala harris will campaign in texas, a state democrats haven't won in 44 years. the two candidates continue to appeal to and bicker over the suburban female vote. >> suburban women, will you please like me. >> reporter: the president told lesley stahl on "60 minutes" he was joking when he said that. >> i said kiddingly, suburban women, you should love me, i got rid of a regulation that would bring low-income housing into suburbia, that is destroying, that would destroy suburbia. >> reporter: biden told norah o'donnell the president has an outdated view of the suburbs. >> he wouldn't know a suburb if
he took a wrong turn, go to the suburbs now, it not 1950s. there are black and white families living next door to one another an driving each other's kids to soccer practice. >> reporter: as his numbers continue to slip with suburban women and older voters expect him to keep focus on the economy, the top concern of republican voters and he will visit the most republican parts of those key battleground states in order to shore up support. >> o'donnell: all right, ed o'keefe, thank you. the surge in covid cases in the u.s. and overseas sent stocks tumbling today. new cases averaged 68,000, each day for the past week, the most since the start of the pandemic. the dow fell 650 points on the news. a loss of more than two and a quarter percent. in parts of the south, where hospitals are now overwhelmed, officials are taking drastic measures. cbs' mireya villarreal reports tonight from the texas border. >> reporter: tonight, el paso,
texas is overwhelmed by the surge and hospitals are in crisis after hitting capacity with 853 covid patients. a new record for the city that has seen a more than 400% spike since the start of the month. these are the newly assembled overflow tents at university medical center where the i.c.u. is completely full, along with every other i.c.u. in el paso county. the situation is so dire that a new stay at home order has been issued along with a night time curfew for all nonessential workers. >> it is the first time i have seen her since a week. >> reporter: el paso resident and author ron stallworth is recovering at home. when is the last time you saw ron? >> eight days ago. >> reporter: while his wife patsy is battling the virus at a battling the virus at a hospital. >> wednesday, was a bad day. >> reporter: how bad was it. >> enough to start saying your good-byes. if it weren't for oxygen i don't think i would be here. >> reporter: nationwide, coronavirus cases are on the rise in 44 states. with more than 41,000 covid
patients hospitalized. a 40% increase in the past month. no states are seeing declines. in utah, administrators are already warning of the possibility of rationing access to critical care, using standards that would favor younger patients. back on the border in south texas, with death rates at nearly five percent, dr. ivan melendez says that vaccine can't come soon enough. >> people that are uninsured, we have all the perfect parameters for a tsunami, for a perfect storm. >> reporter: could it get worse? >> oh, absolutely. >> reporter: tonight, texas has the second highest number of cases in the country, just behind california. and as the virus cases continue to spiral out of control, along the border, one el paso official is saying they have reached a crisis stage. norah? >> o'donnell: all right, mireya villarreal, thank you. turning now to weather out west, hurricane force winds have
prompted urgent red flag fire warnings tonight in southern california, where a new wildfire has forced tens of thousands from their homes. cbs's jonathan vigliotti reports from the fire lines in irvine, california. >> reporter: the winds came with a vengeance. flames and thick smoke darkening the sky. this southern california wildfire exploded in a matter of minutes. residents ordered to get out. >> please evacuate the resident, this is the orange county fire authority. >> reporter: the flames being pushed by powerful santa ana winds, the strongest all year, gusts topping 70 miles per hour. the fire that started up in the hills will be pushing into neighborhoods like this. this because the wind is so strong, there are no air drops so fire crews are on foot trying to stop these flames from spreading. it has already jumped two major highways, erratic winds already taking a poll, tonight at least two first responders injured fighting this blaze. and this is what fre crews are
up against tonight, a wall of flame and smoke being whipped around by these hurricane force winds. there is a neighborhood, believe it or not, on the other side of all of this, that fire crews right now simply can't get to. this fire event is expected to last through the night with more hurricane force winds until tomorrow afternoon. norah. >> o'donnell: jonathan vigliotti, thank you. tonight, if all goes as republicans plan, judge amy coney barrett will become justice barrett and could be at work in her court chambers as soon as tomorrow morning. here's nancy cordes. >> jamming through this nomination in this fashion is unprecedented. >> reporter: democrats call it a rush job, but republicans call it victory. >> she is exceptionally intelligent, academically, astute. and impeccably credentialed. >> reporter: tonight's confirmation of judge amy coney barrett comes just 38 days ar after the death of the famed liberal justice ruth bader ginsburg. >> so help you god.
>> reporter: at 48, barrett becomes the youngest justice on the court by five years. she could help secure a conservative majority for decades to come. >> the nomination of amy coney barrett is truly historic. this is the most openly pro-life judicial nominee to the supreme court in my lifetime. >> reporter: and she'll be seated in time to hear some pivotal cases next month. including one that pits religious freedom against gay rights, and another involving the fate of obamacare. plus urgent ballot counting cases from north carolina pennsylvania and wisconsin. >> we must listen to americans right now who are saying openly i'm going to the polls because of my fears on health care. >> reporter: the g.o.p. power play worked because the party controls the senate and the white house.
cbs news has confirmed barrett will be sworn in at the white house tonight. justice clarence thomas administering the oath, they are prepping for an audience of several hundred people, we're told the seats will be spaced a little further apart than they were a few weeks ago when a similar ceremony for judge barrett became a superspreader event. >> o'donnell: another big event tonight. >> reporter: that's right. >> o'donnell: nancy cordes, thank you. so with the fight over barrett's nomination all but over, where does that leave democrats? we put the question to vice presidential nominee kamala harris in our "60 minutes" interview. amy coney barrett is going to be the 9th justice of the supreme court. and that will cement a conservative majority for generations to come. 6-3, what can you do about it? >> well, right now i'm asking everybody to vote. and vote early. where's the camera, which camera should i be looking at. vote early. because the american people can make a decision about what the future is going to look like. >> o'donnell: but if they vote for you, what can you do about it.
>> well, the future of the court is always going to be a function of who is in office in the white house. and i believe that the american people can trust that if joe biden had the requirement to fill a seat on the court, he would do it in a way that would respect precedent like roe v. wade. and that's what is at stake in this election, as much as everything else. >> o'donnell: speaking of what is at stake in our election tonight, our new cbs news battleground tracker poll shows a tight race in reliable red state of georgia, joe biden is tied with president trump but a democrat hasn't won the peach state since bill clinton all the way back in 1992. cbs' mark strassmann now with the how the state could turn blue in 2020. >> reporter: voting early in georgia can take stamina, wait times of up to 10 hours. but already, nearly 3 million georgians have persevered and cast ballots.
>> in is definitely important. this is how we get heard and especially in this election. >> reporter: this state is growing younger, more diverse, less reliably red, since president trump won by five points in 2016, another 1 million people have registered to vote. >> i love georgia. i love being with you. >> reporter: the president has campaigned here twice since last month. >> we won macon, georgia, we will win it again. >> reporter: our cbs battleground poll shows for trump voters the economy and immigration matter most. for biden voters it is about covid and character. most georgians have already voted support biden. most who have yet to vote favor trump. any georgia voter can roll to the polls with volunteer drivers and a nonprofit called naca they have taken 15,000 voters already. >> republican, democrat, independent, you know, snow white, i don't care. >> reporter: with so few undecided left, it's all about turnout.
a group called black voters matter plans to hang election information on a quarter million doorknobs. >> we know that there is power in numbers. and when we work together we win. >> reporter: the party message is you have got to be in it to win it. >> you have be to be in the game to win it, you have to be in it to win it. >> reporter: former advice president biden will campaign here in georgia tomorrow. and potentially at stake in georgia on election night, control of the u.s. senate. here's why, georgia is the only state with both of its u.s. senate seats on the ballot. both held by republicans who could rise or fall with the president at the top of the ticket. norah? >> o'donnell: which could lead to one of the big cliffhangers on election night. mark strassmann, thank you. and there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." a new hurricane threat along the storm-ravaged gulf coast. we'll tell you where and when hurricane zeta could hit. and a big time buzz kill, scientists capture a nest of murder hornets in a high-tech take down that involved, get
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>> o'donnell: tonight, hurricane zeta, the 27th named storm of the atlantic season, is on track to strike the u.s. gulf coast as soon as wednesday. zeta is lashing the yucatan peninsula tonight with 80 mile an hour winds. all right, in a major sting operation, scientists destroyed the first nest of murder hornets found in the u.s. nearly 200 of the hornets were captured in washington state. officials tied tracking devices to them with dental floss that lead them to the hornets nest. all right, still ahead, the coach gets a standing ovation after the victory of his life. e. (a mix of announcer voices) we are heading towards the 2020 presidential election, ....how to ensure your vote counts......because of covid-19 ......polling locations ......confusion is high..
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>> o'donnell: tonight we thought we would give you a quick tour of our new home for the next two weeks. our cbs news election night headquarters will have an all- star team at the desk, latest exit polls, and i wanted to show you this-- this is where the magic happens-- it is our decision desk. for the first time, we will have more data at our fingertips than ever before with our director anthony salvanto. all of that when the polls close. something you will find only here at cbs news. and just a reminder, if you can't watch us live, don't forget to set your dvr to watch us later. that is tonight's edition of "the cbs evening news." i'm norah o'donnell at our cbs news election night headquarters in new york. pretty awesome, right? see you back here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
i'm catherine herridge in washington. thanks for staying with us. a cbs news investigation reveals new evidence in the service members there were cancers and other illnesses stemmed from time served after 9/11. they say they were exposed to toxic materials known as k 2. a defense department employee involved in testing at the base is going on the record to help hundreds of suffering veterans. >> about 3/4 of the trip i don't have a sidewalk so i ride on the side of the road. so, i constantly have to check
to make sure there's no cars coming. i had no idea at 40 that this would be my life. >> reporter: former air force mechanic doug wilson says he can no longer work or drive after a rare cancer caused brain damage. wilson, his wife crystal and their two children rely on disability payments and crystal's teacher salary. >> i think the biggest thing that breaks my heart is just the confidence he's lost in himself. >> reporter: wilson is one of nearly 2,000 current members. they believe it is linked to their military service at k-2, a remote base in uzbekistan. after 9/11, the va says about 10,000 troops passed through k-2 over a four-year period supporting missions hunting al quaeda. but while stationed there, some say they were surrounded by dangerous toxic waste at the
running track and at this site nicknamed skittles pond. among the first to arrive at k-2 defense department employee, mike. >> i served as part of a small team that provided support to our special operators going further down range into afghanistan. >> reporter: but just says into his mission, he says local workers hired to build a barrier were getting sick. >> they were fainting, and getting nauseous. >> reporter: he was asked to identify testing sites across the base. >> the first test site we dug a liquid substance up, gold in color and smelled like jet fuel, which made sense because they had tanks of fuel there that had probably been leaking since the soviet day. >> reporter: he was also asked to gather intelligence on the base's history. >> we learned that the soviets had had a chemicalns