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Broadway Star Nick Cordero Dies at 41 from Coronavirus Complications

Over the course of 13 weeks, the Tony Award-nominated star woke up from a medically-induced coma and underwent a leg amputation due to COVID-19 complications

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Broadway star Nick Cordero has died after a months-long battle with the coronavirus. He was 41.

Cordero, whose Broadway credits include Waitress and Rock of Ages, died on Sunday morning at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he had been hospitalized for over 90 days.

He is survived by his wife Amanda Kloots, whom he wed in September 2017, and their 1-year-old son Elvis Eduardo.

“God has another angel in heaven now. My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth. ⠀ I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband. Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, everyday,” she wrote on Instagram Sunday.

“To Nicks extraordinary doctor, Dr. David Ng, you were my positive doctor! There are not many doctors like you. Kind, smart, compassionate, assertive and always eager to listen to my crazy ideas or call yet another doctor for me for a second opinion. You’re a diamond in the rough,” Kloots continued.

“I cannot begin to thank everyone enough for the outpour of love , support and help we’ve received these last 95 days. You have no idea how much you lifted my spirits at 3pm everyday as the world sang Nicks song, Live Your Life. We sang it to him today, holding his hands. As I sang the last line to him, ‘they’ll give you hell but don’t you light them kill your light not without a fight. Live your life,’ I smiled because he definitely put up a fight. I will love you forever and always my sweet man,” she concluded.

Kloots revealed on March 31 that her husband was in intensive care and “having a hard time breathing” after being diagnosed with pneumonia. Days later, the fitness trainer revealed that her husband was in “stable” condition, but that doctors were still confirming the cause of his health crisis. “Two negative COVID tests. Doctors are convinced though that it is COVID so they did a third test,” she wrote, adding that her husband was responding “well to the medication for COVID.”

Nick Cordero (L) and his wife Amanda Kloots

His third test came back positive for coronavirus.

Although Cordero fell ill in early March, his symptoms were initially intermittent and didn’t seem to align with those frequently associated with COVID-19. “He could not get out of bed, so tired, no energy, that was really his only symptom,” she told BuzzFeed News at the time.

However, in late March, his symptoms worsened and Cordero began experiencing trouble breathing. After going into the emergency room, Cordero told his wife he would be moved to the ICU, and one day later, he called to say doctors had decided to put him on a ventilator.

“He said, ‘I love you, they have decided to put me on a ventilator with a breathing tube and I’m gonna go unconscious and I don’t know when I’ll wake up, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to talk to you again,’ ” Kloots told BuzzFeed News.

While Cordero’s health initially stabilized in the hospital, in the second week of April, Cordero’s health took a turn.

On April 10, Kloots shared that her husband was “fighting for his life,” and the following day, she spoke about his worsening health. “We had really great progress and then yesterday I got a phone call saying he had an infection in his lung, a new infection, that caused his fever to spike way above normal, which caused his blood pressure to drop, which caused his heart to go into [an] irregular pattern,” the fitness instructor said. “He lost consciousness, he lost his pulse and they had to resuscitate him. It was very scary. They had a very hard time getting him back.”

Hours later, she learned that her husband had to go undergo emergency surgery, as a machine he had been placed on to help “support his heart and lungs” was “stopping blood flow to his right leg.”

After making it out of surgery alive, Cordero remained in “very critical condition.”

“He is struggling. Just every minute counts right now,” she said, as she implored their fans and loved ones to keep her husband in their prayers.

The following week, Kloots shared that her husband’s leg would need to be amputated, due to coronavirus complications. In the days following the amputation, Kloots told fans that they were “in a bit of waiting game,” sharing that doctors believed that the actor “should have woken up by now” after performing an MRI scan. She also said that doctors hoped to be able to take Cordero off of a ventilator in the coming days.

By April 24, Kloots had some good news to share with her husband’s fans: he had tested negative for COVID-19. However, hours later, she shared that doctors decided to put in a temporary pacemaker after Cordero began experiencing irregular heartbeats.

Days later, the father of one “ended up getting an infection in his lungs” that spread to his blood, causing him to go into “a little bit of a septic shock” after developing a fever, according to Kloots. Cordero’s doctors later told Kloots that her husbands lungs had become “severely damaged to look almost like he’s been a smoker for 50 years.”

“They’re that damaged,” Kloots shared in an update on April 30. “There are holes in his lungs where obviously you don’t want holes to be.”

Cordero woke up from his medically induced coma on May 12 almost two weeks after undergoing a tracheostomy procedure. At the time, his wife said that he was “extremely weak, so weak that he can’t close his mouth” but “following commands, which means his mental status is coming back.”

However, Cordero continued to deal with lingering issues in his lungs. Though doctors had been cleaning out Cordero’s lungs daily, Kloots said that it was “not getting better.”

During Cordero’s hospitalization for coronavirus complications, the actor also suffered “two mini strokes” and “needed resuscitation,” according to Kloots. “He had no pre-existing health conditions. We do not know how he got COVID-19 but he did,” she wrote in an Instagram post on May 8. “This disease does not only effect old people. This is real. A perfectly healthy 41 year old man!”

In June, after 79 days of not being able to visit Cordero in the hospital due to coronavirus safety guidelines and visitor restrictions, Kloots was finally able to visit her husband at the L.A. hospital and shared a photo of them holdings hands at his bedside. That same month, Kloots told fans that although Cordero was unable to move or talk. “He can’t talk because of the ventilator and he can’t move because he’s so weak,” she said. “But he’s awake and he’s in there. He can answer questions with yes or no with his eyes.”

Cordero’s muscles had begun to atrophy due to his lack of movement, resulting in a significant 65 lbs. weight loss, according to his wife.

On July 2, Cordero underwent a procedure to have his temporary pacemaker removed, according to Kloots. Then, the next day, Kloots got candid about the realities of her husband’s condition while addressing some “negativity” she’s been seeing on her social media, explaining that she has continued to focus on her business amid Cordero’s hospitalization because she’s unsure “if he’ll be ever able to work again.”

“My husband has been in the ICU for 91 days. We don’t know if he’ll make it. I hope and pray every single day of my life that he does. But, if he does make it, I don’t know when he’ll be able to work again,” she said at the time. “I have a family. I have bills. I have no idea what Nick’s hospital bills are going to be. I haven’t even tried to wrap my head around that yet. I have a mortgage. I have a car payment. I have a son that is one years old that I want to send to college one day, or at least give him whatever I can.”

The mother of one recently spoke about how her husband’s fighting spirit. “They told me four times that he won’t survive. Sometimes even he won’t survive through the night, but he has,” Kloots told CBS This Morning. “He’s fighting. I see it every day. Nick’s doctor sees it. And as long as he’s in there and fighting, I’ll continue to fight with him.”

In support of Cordero’s family, a GoFundMe page was created to raise funds for his medical bills.

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Joe Biden named Sen. Kamala D. Harris as his running mate

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Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate, elevating a former presidential candidate whose most electric campaign performance came when she criticized his record on school integration during a debate.

Harris will be the first Black woman and first Asian American to run for vice president, representing a historic choice at a moment when the country is grappling with its racial past and future. The announcement was made in a text and a tweet from Biden.

“Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau,” Biden tweeted, referring to his late son, then the attorney general of Delaware. “I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

Harris, 55, is the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants. The first-term senator previously served as San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general.

Her prosecutorial record has drawn attacks from party liberals, who have criticized her past stances as too harsh and contend that her record does not meet a moment when police misconduct has rocketed into the national conversation.

But Harris also has built a reputation in Washington as a sharp questioner in Senate hearings, particularly of Trump administration nominees. She has been a forceful advocate for Black families during the novel coronavirus pandemic, and she helped draft a bill ending qualified immunity for police.

Harris kicked off her presidential campaign little more than two years after joining the Senate, with an electrifying Oakland, Calif., rally that drew more than 22,000 supporters. But she struggled to define herself to voters, shifting from one message to the next. She failed to take off in the polls and dropped out in early December, citing financial problems.

Harris and Biden have known each other for several years, and Harris worked closely with Biden’s late son, Beau, when both served as attorneys general.

That made it all the more shocking to Biden and his team when, at the first Democratic primary debate, Harris went after Biden for his nostalgic talk about working with two segregationist senators.

“It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country,” Harris said during the debate. She also took Biden to task for his opposition to mandatory busing.

On the debate stage, she described a little girl who had benefited from her city’s busing program. “And that little girl was me,” she said. Within hours, her campaign was selling shirts emblazoned with the words and a childhood picture of Harris.

Biden’s wife, Jill, has described that moment as being “like a punch to the gut.” But since then, the two have publicly made up, with Harris acting as a surrogate for Biden and appearing with him and his wife in campaign events.

In a June appearance on the “Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Harris jokingly defended her performance, saying: “It was a debate! The whole reason — literally, it was a debate. It was called a debate.”

“I’d be honored, if asked, and I’m honored to be a part of the conversation,” Harris told Colbert. “Honestly, let me just tell you something: I will do everything in my power, wherever I am, to help Joe Biden win.”

In late July, Biden was photographed with notes he had written to himself about Harris on his personal stationery. Included were: “talented,” “great help to campaign” and “do not hold grudges.”

Biden said on July 28 that he would name his running mate by the end of the first week of August, after extending his initial pledge to name the pick around Aug. 1. Aides then said it had slipped further. For weeks, advisers have been vetting the candidates in interviews and via extended searches into their backgrounds, records and personal experiences.

He had promised months ago to pick a woman, reflecting the dominance of female voters in the party and his effort to make a historic choice. Were he to win, the nominee would become the first female vice president.

The nominee also will come under heightened security because of Biden’s age; he will be 78 at the time of the next inauguration. Either he or his November opponent, President Trump, will be the oldest American president.

The selection process has been a mix of transparency and secrecy. While Biden has held his thoughts closely, with many allies saying he has been deliberately vague about his preferences, the parade of prospective candidates has played out publicly.

Several have broken with past practice and acknowledged an interest in the job; others, such as Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), have taken themselves out of the mix in a similarly public way.

Biden has sought the same kind of “simpatico” relationship with his pick that he shared with former president Barack Obama, in which he served as the last adviser on big administration decisions. He also has put a high premium on loyalty, according to those familiar with the search.

But his choice was also affected by events coursing across the nation.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) once looked like a front-runner, but the killing of George Floyd and other unarmed Black people put a spotlight on her record as a prosecutor, which has drawn criticism from Black activists. Klobuchar eventually removed herself from the running, saying that Biden should pick a woman of color for the ticket.

Biden also faced pressure to delay the pick until closer to the Democratic convention, which begins Aug. 17, to build a sense of momentum for an event that will largely be virtual, lacking the balloon-and-bunting atmosphere of the traditional convention celebrations.

In normal times, the two running mates would barnstorm around the country after the announcement, trying to lift the enthusiasm level of their own partisans and potentially attract new supporters. But Biden has held no large events since March, and has none planned.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee will formally be named at the national party convention, which will be largely virtual. The newly named nominee will debate Vice President Pence on Oct. 7 in Utah. The presidential debates — three are currently scheduled — will begin in September, barring any adjustments to the schedule. Two of them have already changed locations after the original host colleges determined it was unsafe to sponsor the event.

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U.S. Marines ID all 9 people killed in sea-tank sinking

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The U.S. Marine Corps has identified all nine people killed when a Marine landing craft sank in hundreds of feet of water off the Southern California coast.

Only one of their bodies was found, despite an intense days-long search involving helicopters and boats ranging from inflatables to a Navy destroyer.

Found at the scene was Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels Texas. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit announced on Sunday that the others, from California, Texas, Wisconsin and Oregon, are “presumed dead.”

They include: Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, California; Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California; Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin; U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California; Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Oregon; Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas; Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Oregon; and Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, California.

“Literally every asset we have available” was mobilized in the search for seven Marines and a Navy corpsman, Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said Friday.

They were aboard an amphibious assault vehicle that was heading back to a Navy ship Thursday evening after a routine training exercise when it began taking on water about a half-mile (0.8 kilometers) from Navy-owned San Clemente Island, off San Diego.

Other assault vehicles quickly responded but couldn’t stop the 26-ton, tank-like vehicle from quickly sinking, Osterman said.

“The assumption is that it went completely to the bottom” several hundred feet below, Osterman said. That was too deep for divers, and Navy and Coast Guard were discussing ways to reach the sunken vehicle to get a view inside it, Osterman said.

Seven other Marines were rescued from the water; two were in stable condition at a hospital, authorities said.

All the Marines were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at nearby Camp Pendleton. They ranged in age from 19 to early 30s and all were wearing combat gear, including body armor, and flotation vests, Osterman said.

The vehicle, known as an AAV but nicknamed an “amtrac,” for “amphibious tractor” is used to take Marines and their gear from Navy ships to land.

The sunken craft, one of 13 involved in the exercise, was designed to be naturally buoyant and had three water-tight hatches and two large troop hatches, Osterman said.

The vehicles have been used since 1972, and continually refurbished. Marine Corps officials said Friday they did not know the age or other details of the one that sank.

The Marine Corps commandant, Gen. David Berger, suspended waterborne operations of more than 800 amphibious assault vehicles across the branch until the cause of the accident is determined.

This is the third time in recent years that Camp Pendleton Marines have been injured or died in amphibious assault vehicles during training exercises.

In 2017, 14 Marines and one Navy sailor were hospitalized after their vehicle hit a natural gas line, igniting a fire that engulfed the landing craft at Camp Pendleton.

In 2011, a Marine died when an amphibious assault vehicle in a training exercise sank offshore of the camp.

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Magic’s Jonathan Isaac stands for national anthem as teammates, opponents kneel

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Orlando Magic power forward Jonathan Isaac became the first NBA player to stand during the national anthem following the season restart … deciding against both kneeling and wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt.

The league’s coaches, refs and players — from LeBron James to Zion Williamson — have been using the anthem demonstrations to raise awareness as games pick back up in Orlando … a gesture that is being supported by NBA commish Adam Silver.

Isaac became the first player to choose to stand as the anthem was played before the Magic’s match-up with the Brooklyn Nets on Friday … while the rest of the team’s players and staffers took a knee.

It’s worth noting — Silver says everyone will have the option to kneel during the anthem without consequence … despite a league rule requiring players to stand.

The same goes for anyone who wishes to stand — no one is saying the players HAVE to kneel, either.

So far, Jonathan hasn’t commented on his decision to stand publicly — because the game is currently being played. But, when he does, we’ll update here.

Charles Barkley spoke about the demonstrations on Thursday during TNT’s “Inside The NBA,” saying, “The national anthem means different things to different people.”

“I’m glad these guys are unified. If people don’t kneel, they’re not a bad person. I want to make that perfectly clear. I’m glad they had unity, but if we have a guy who doesn’t want to kneel because the anthem means something to him, he should not be vilified.”

The Magic released a statement in support of the demonstration, saying, “The DeVos Family and the Orlando Magic organization fully supports Magic players who have chosen to leverage their professional platform to send a peaceful and powerful message condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police, especially against people of color.”

“We are proud of the positive impact our players have made and join with them in the belief that sports can bring people together — bridging divides and promoting inclusion, equality, diversity and unity.”

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