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The “Today” host interviewed Brees live on air following the NFL star and his wife Brittany’s $5 million donation to the state of Louisiana.
Speaking to Kotb from San Diego, Brees expressed why the state he represents on the field is in need during this unsettling time.
“Just like you said, there’s so many people in need right now. Obviously, the state of Louisiana thrives on small businesses. We’re a hospitality state. So many people have been affected by this around the country but especially in New Orleans,” Brees told the host.
“When Brittany and I think of New Orleans and people’s basic needs, that is to make sure that they and their family are fed and that they can continue to sustain. That was where we wanted to start and obviously there’s a lot more work that needs to be done and we’ll evaluate that as we go along,” the athlete continued.
Kotb informed viewers that one in every six households in the southern state struggles to put food on the table. That statistic is even worse for senior citizens, with one out of every four going hungry.
Kotb also recalled the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which killed nearly 2,000 and displaced more than 250,000 others from Louisiana to Florida.
“Obviously, we’ve been through a lot together — whether it’s hurricanes, oil spills, floods — and this is one of those bits of adversity that we’re going to come out better on the other side,” Brees said.
The interview ended with Kotb applauding Brees and his wife for their contribution to the state once again before becoming choked up.
“I think a lot of things are contagious, including generosity. Our hope is because you let us know you made this big, generous donation, I think other people will look and say, ‘Look, maybe we can help out, too.’ Drew, we love ya!” Kotb told the NFL star as she began crying.
“I’m so sorry,” Kotb said between sobs.
Co-host Savannah Guthrie then jumped in for moral support.
“I’m so sorry, hun,” Guthrie told Kotb. “Take a moment. I know where your heart is dear. How about I read the tease?”
“Yes, please!” Kotb said.
As of Friday, over 520,000 around the world have been infected with COVID-19.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.