Drew Brees aims to give the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans some much-needed encouragement in a dark time. The New Orleans Saints quarterback and his wife, Brittany, revealed Thursday that they are contributing $5 million to a host of charities that will prepare and provide 10,000 meals a day in Louisiana to support people in need throughout the coronavirus pandemic.”I’d say hang in there and keep hope, “Brees said to Hoda Kotb on TODAY Friday.” We’ve been through a lot of difficult times together, but we’re still hopeful.
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“We’ve got to stick together right now because certainly, it might get a little worse before it gets better, but at the end of the day we’re going to get better because of it.” Brees, 41, became an icon in New Orleans after 14 record-setting seasons with the Saints that include the franchise’s only Super Bowl title. He has contributed time and money to help the city rebound from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and sees coronavirus as the new opportunity to support those in need. The number of cases of coronavirus in Louisiana jumped dramatically to 2,305 on Thursday, with 510 new cases and 83 confirmed deaths, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. New Orleans was especially hard hit with 997 cases and 46 deaths, and last month health authorities pointed to the city’s popular Mardi Gras celebrations as a key factor in the spread of the disease.
The condition of the city also hit home for Hoda, who served there as an anchor and reporter from 1992-98. Since talking to Brees, she was overcome with emotion.”So many people have been hit by this around the world, but particularly in New Orleans, and when Brittany and I think about people’s greatest needs, it’s to make sure that they and their families are safe and will continue to sustain, “Drew Brees said. “That’s where we wanted to start, and clearly there’s a lot of work that needs to be accomplished.”The aim is to help citizens immediately while Congress seeks to approve a $2 trillion stimulus package to help the country.
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“Even with the stimulus bill that we hope will pass (on Friday), it’ll still be a while before people start seeing the results of it, but how do they live, how will they survive?” Brees said. “That’s why we all have to come together to make sure we get through this together.” Brees also gave an update on long-time head Coach Sean Payton, 56, who was diagnosed with coronavirus earlier this month to confirmed by doctors on Thursday.”He maintains good spirits,” Drew Brees said. “He has an extremely positive attitude. I hope he knows the danger of this, too. I hope that he has encouraged us to follow the orders and instructions that have been placed in place-don’t placed yourself and your families at any risk, and let’s get on from this thing. “Brees and his wife are both at home from their children, like millions of other parents around the country through the crisis, while trying to help his fifth grader with his math home.”Suddenly you’re all the time together and reconnecting, and I hope that this is something we can say bringing families together when we come out of this,” he said.