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Trump encourages some to vote twice, Biden heads to Kenosha and baseball great Tom Seaver dies

The CDC told states to prepare for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 1, two days before the election.
Image: Donald Trump, US-POLITICS-TRUMP
President Donald Trump encouraged North Carolina residents to vote twice to test the mail-in system. Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

President Donald Trump heads to Pennsylvania today as he tries to flip the traditional path to victory there. Joe Biden meanwhile, makes his own visit to Kenosha, in another battleground state of Wisconsin.

Here's what we're watching this Thursday morning.

Trump encourages North Carolina residents to vote twice to test mail-in system

President Donald Trump suggested that people in North Carolina should vote twice in the November election, once by mail and once in person, escalating his attempts to cast confusion and doubt on the validity of the results.

"Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system's as good as they say it is, then obviously they won't be able to vote. If it isn't tabulated, they'll be able to vote," Trump said when asked whether he has confidence in the mail-in system in the battleground state.

It is illegal to vote more than once in an election.

Trump has made countless false statements about the security of voting by mail ahead of the election as much of the country braces for an increase of voters who opt for mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.

Today the president is headed to the key swing state of Pennsylvania for a campaign rally — but the event won't be held in the vote-rich Philadelphia suburbs that past Republican nominees like Mitt Romney have taken pains to court. Instead, it will be in Latrobe, a small rural town of roughly 8,000 in the southwest part of the state.

NBC News' senior White House reporter Shannon Pettypiece writes that its part of his campaign's strategy to break the traditional path to victory in the battleground state.

And NBC News's Sahil Kapur writes that while Trump has taken a page from his old playbook in warning of nefarious actors plotting to "do big damage" to the country, that alarmist rhetoric on crime actually fell flat in 2018. Now he’s betting the farm on it. Will it work?

Biden heads to Kenosha just as the city achieves a fragile calm

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, today and will meet with the family of Jacob Blake, his campaign said Wednesday.

Biden’s visit to the city where Blake, a Black man, was shot at least seven times in the back by a white police officer comes two days after Trump toured the city.

It will also mark his first trip in 2020 to Wisconsin — a state that Trump carried by under 23,000 votes in 2016.

He will arrive just as the city begins to achieve a fragile calm.

"Things here are fragile," said local NAACP president Anthony Davis, who welcomes Biden's visit. "And we, in this community, really need to put our energy into healing ourselves, sitting down and speaking in detail only the way that locals can."

CDC urges states to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 1, two days before election

The director of the CDC told governors last week to prepare for "large-scale" distribution of a coronavirus vaccine by Nov. 1, according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Dr. Robert Redfield said the agency had contracted with pharmaceutical company McKesson to potentially distribute hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to health departments and medical facilities across the country in the fall.

It remains highly uncertain however, whether a vaccine will be ready by that date or which manufacturer will make it. The Nov. 1 target date is two days before the presidential election.

Earlier Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on NBC's "TODAY" that he believed a vaccine would be developed by the end of the year.

But Fauci added that he wouldn't be comfortable with a vaccine unless it was shown in clinical trials "to be clearly safe and effective."

He also urged colleges and universities to keep their students on campus as they try to control clusters of COVID-19 infections on their campuses.

Meantime, actor and former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson said Wednesday that he and his family recently tested positive for COVID-19 and that they are now implementing stricter rules on socializing amid the pandemic.

And a Minnesota man in his 60s who attended the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota last month was reported dead Wednesday of COVID-19. His death is the first fatality traced to the 10-day event, which has been linked to some 260 coronavirus cases across 11 states.

Active shooter drills are meant to prepare students. But research finds 'severe' side effects.

Active shooter drills became one of the most common school safety measures implemented nationwide in recent years, despite widespread fears that the procedures heighten anxiety, and evidence that school shooters, like the one in Parkland, Florida, use knowledge of the drills to their advantage.

Teachers unions in February called for schools to not conduct active shooter drills with students. Now, new research adds data to those concerns.

A new report released by the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety examined nearly 28 million social media posts tied to 114 schools and found higher rates of depression and stress following active shooter drills.

"It wasn’t just a short duration that everybody shakes off — it's having a lasting impression," Sarah Burd-Sharps, Everytown’s research director, said.

Tom Seaver, pitcher who led the ‘Miracle Mets’ to glory, dies at 75

Tom Seaver, the Hall of Fame pitcher who transformed the New York Mets from "Lovable Losers" to World Series champs, has died.

The cause was complications of Lewy body dementia and Covid-19, according to a statement from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Nicknamed "Tom Terrific," he was adored by generations of Mets fans and was known not only for his athletic prowess, but his intelligence and professionalism.

By the time he retired in 1986, he had compiled 311 wins for four major league teams and struck out 3,640 batters. He had won three Cy Young awards, made 12 All-Star teams and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992 with 98.8 percent of ballots cast in his favor, the highest voting percentage ever received at the time.

"It is an honor to play this game, to be blessed with talent. It was an art form, a physical and mental art form," Seaver once said.

Basketball also lost a giant this week with the death of legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson. Our Into America podcast gets into his impact on and off the court.

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Quote of the day

"I could tell you that this has been one of the most challenging and difficult things we have ever had to endure as a family."

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on his family's battle with coronavirus.

One fun thing

David Blaine, known for his daring stunts, accomplished his latest by floating nearly 30,000 feet above the Arizona desert, hanging from dozens of helium balloons.

Have to say, wow. Looks fun...!

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Thanks, Petra