Good morning, NBC News readers.
The future of the remaining presidential debates is in disarray, Louisiana is bracing for another hurricane hit and there is a new Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Here’s what we’re watching this Friday morning.
Trump campaign keeps chugging along, showing no signs of acknowledging Covid reality
As Covid-19 continues to rage through the White House, after sending President Donald Trump to the hospital last week and infecting nearly 30 people directly connected to him, the Trump re-election campaign shows no signs of acknowledging the reality of the deadly virus.
At a campaign rally in a Phoenix suburb Thursday afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence spoke to a group of a few hundred mostly maskless supporters crowded together in an outdoor lot at TYR Tactical, a company that manufactures body armor equipment for police SWAT teams.
Thanking them for their “outpouring of concern” for Trump’s health, Pence promised the crowd: “He’s going to be back on the road and in the fight before you know it.”
On Thursday, Trump pulled out of the next presidential debate, saying he would not waste his time on it after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced it would take place virtually to protect “the health and safety of all involved.”
In lieu of a debate, Trump said he would hold a campaign rally. He is still being treated for Covid-19, but his doctor said Thursday night that he could be cleared to return to public events by Saturday.
A number of GOP consultants said Trump’s move to skip the debate is foolhardy.
“This debate may be the last best opportunity to score a game-changing moment or otherwise hope to impact the trajectory of this race before it’s too late,” said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist. “Trump would be doing Joe a real favor by letting him off the hook.”
Listen to our latest Into America podcast, host Trymaine Lee digs deeper into the VP debate and how it played out with one Black woman who voted for Trump in 2016 and is a big fan of Vice President Mike Pence, but also a supporter of Sen. Kamala Harris.
‘What are they doing?’ With stimulus talks in limbo, millions grapple with how to get by
Many families across the United States are financially strapped seven months into the pandemic: 25.5 million people remain unemployed and first-time unemployment claims totaled 840,000 last week, a higher-than-expected number.
Support from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March, has run out.
Yet to the millions of Americans who remain unemployed because of the economic crisis, the discussions in Washington — or lack thereof — are only causing further anxiety during an especially difficult year.
“Disney just laid off thousands, and the airlines did, too, so why is it taking so long?” asked Harriet Tuch, 71, of Boca Raton, Florida, who was furloughed from her job as a stenographer in March. “They should have something. The House passed something in May…. It’s October, so what are they doing?”
Hurricane Delta strengthens as it takes aim at storm-weary Louisiana coast
Hurricane Delta is gaining strength and size over the Gulf of Mexico as it takes aim for the Louisiana coast, which is still recovering from a powerful Category 4 storm six weeks ago that ripped houses from their foundations, peeled off roofs and tore trailers in half.
The storm is expected to make landfall along the southwest Louisiana coast Friday afternoon or evening.
On Thursday, Delta regained “major hurricane strength,” becoming a Category 3, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
It will be the 10th hurricane to make landfall on the mainland U.S. this season, setting a new record.
“We just can’t seem to get a break from the weather,” one Louisiana resident told NBC News.
Watch our live tracker of Delta as it approaches the Gulf Coast.
World Food Program wins 2020 Nobel Peace Prize
The United Nations World Food Program was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity around the globe.
“In the face of the pandemic, the World Food Program has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Nobel Committee.
The World Food Program is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, it provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.
Want to receive the Morning Rundown in your inbox? Sign up here.
THINK about it
Seniors aren’t abandoning Trump because of Covid-19 — but it sure hasn’t helped, Republican strategist Evan Siegfried writes in an opinion piece.
In a workout rut? Walk off the weight — and those quarantine blues — with these meditative and calorie-burning walking plans.
Quote of the day
“I haven’t actually been to the White House since August the 6th, because my impression was their approach to how to handle this is different from mine.”
— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday about how his attitude toward Covid-19 differed from the White House.
One fun thing
It’s October, the time of year for baseball glory, not basketball. But tonight is a big night for basketball fans: Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The Lakers are up 3-1 in the series against the Miami Heat, and can win the title when they take the court tonight. It would be the Lakers’ 17th championship and the fourth for superstar LeBron James.
But the Heat are not ready to throw in the towel yet.
“We’ve got a chance. We still believe,” Heat center Bam Adebayo said Thursday. “They’re writing us off. Everybody is doubting us. But as long as the people in the locker room and all our coaching staff have belief in us, that’s all that matters.”
They also have some heavenly fans cheering them on.
Meet the sisters of Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School who have captured hearts online with a fun video they sent the team earlier in the season offering to help out as the back-up bench if needed.
Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.
If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — send me an email at: [email protected]
If you’d like to receive this newsletter in your inbox Monday to Friday, please sign-up here.