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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 2, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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>> the top of the matterhorn. this is so impressive. >> that's incredible. >> they must be engineers. >> that's going to do it for us at 5:00. up next is "nightly news." we'll see you back here at 6:00. >> bye, folks. see you soon. tonight the cdc's dire new winter warning, the cdc director saying the next fly months will be the most difficult in u.s. health history. and warning that by february 450,000 americans could be dead and the major change tonight, how long the cdc now says you should quarantine if you've been exposed. also the uk leaping ahead of the u.s. in approving tonight the cdc's dire new winter warning, the cdc director saying the next fly months will be the most difficult in u.s. health history. and warning that by february 450,000 americans could be dead and the major change tonight, how long the cdc now says you should quarantine if you've been exposed. also the uk leaping ahead of the u.s. in approving pfizer's vaccine when it will begin rolling out abroad and who will get it first and the question many
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are asking tonight, why is it taker longer here at home. inside the first flight after two deadly crashes, the reaction from the victims' families. president trump unleashing a prerecorded 46-minute video filled with false claims about widespread voter fraud after his own attorney general said there's no evidence. our kristen welker in the briefing room, asking does the president still have confidence in bill barr crackdown on emotional support animals on planes. which ones are still allowed to fly light it up. al roker and i take you to the top of the top of the iconic rockefeller christmas tree before tonight's big event. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. it was just two weeks ago tonight we opened this broadcast with news the number of covid deaths in this country had surpassed 250,000. sadly 23,000 more have died since then. tonight as we come on the air the situation is only become more critical covid cases are growing, hospital space is not the white house coronavirus task force issuing an exceptionally blunt
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warning to states today and telling some americans to restrict their movements outside their homes. miguel almaguer has late details. >> reporter: citing the current crisis unfolding at hospitals, testing sites and morgues the white house coronavirus task force is now warning state leaders our nation is in a very dangerous place. >> most difficult time in the public health history of this nation before we see february, we could be close to 450,000 americans have died from this virus. >> reporter: unveiling this new hotspot map draping the u.s. in deep red in a bold move authorities warn if you are over 65 or have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked, have groceries and medications delivered. >> attention please. >> reporter: it comes as hospitals nationwide are overwhelmed and increasingly understaffed with both covid and noncovid
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patients >> what was the initial rhythm >> reporter: nbc news given rare access inside depaul hospital in missouri where nearly icu bed is taken. >> unfortunately once they get to us we are not seeing a lot that make it out of here. >> reporter: with more than 100 americans diagnosed with covid every minute, doctors say thanksgiving travelers should assume they're infected today at l.a.x. nbc news given exclusive access inside the airport's new rapid testing laboratory before it opens next week with l.a. county shattering covid records passengers simply walk up to the test site. after they're swabbed, the samples are immediately processed in this lab. results come back prior to takeoff and perhaps before exposing other passengers but ahead of christmas doctors are pleading with americans to avoid travel warning today's crisis may be just a glimpse of what is to come.
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miguel almaguer, nbc news. let me bring in dr. john torres now. dr. john, the cdc made a pretty important change shortening their guidance on how long people have to quarantine what do we know? >> lester, this virus is still just as serious and just as deadly but we learned more about how it spread, especially with someone not showing any symptoms if you have been exposed the cdc saying you can quarantine for ten days if you neve develop symptoms but shorten that time period with one key element, testing if you get a negative covid test you only need to quarantine for seven days but according to the new guidelines that test does need to be negative and done on day five of quarantine or later lester >> all right dr. john, thank you. by next week people in the united kingdom will become the first in the western world to roll up the sleeves for mass inoculations against covid-19 richard engel reports from london. >> reporter: the potential turning point millions have been waiting for, with approval this morning people in the uk can start getting the
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pfizer vaccine early next week. the first western country to move from the trial phase to vaccinating the public. >> we have been waiting and hoping for the day when the searchlights of science would pick out our invisible enemy and give us the power to stop that enemy. >> reporter: distribution is a challenge. the pfizer vaccine requires a two-dose course, 21 days between shots and it has to be stored at ultra cold temperatures so the rollout will begin in hospitals with cold storage. prioritizing the over 80s. next, the elderly in care homes and after it will go out in batches descending by age groups the military will assist football stadiums, conference centers and town halls are expected to be vaccination centers. by january even local pharmacies here will be able to give the shots. this is the biggest and by far the most complex vaccination
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program in british history. the pfizer vaccine was developed with the european company biontech i spoke to its inventor >> this is an extremely important milestone, and we are happy, relieved and grateful that we achieved this milestone. >> reporter: how do you think history will remember what we are embarking on now >> it's indeed the beginning of the end of the pandemic. >> reporter: words we have longed to hear now finally backed by action to make them so richard engel, nbc news, london. this is stephanie gosk with pfizer's vaccine approved across the atlantic many are wondering why the fda is taking longer savannah guthrie spoke with bill gates to talk about the vaccine in an interview airing tomorrow on "today." >> when you saw that 90%-plus effective rate in these first clinical trials, did your jaw drop? >> no. that was phenomenal. that was absolutely at
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the high end of expectations and the reduction of severe disease and the reduction of transmission although we don't know the numbers exactly it looks like those that are also extremely good. >> reporter: the fda will hold public hearings with the advisory vaccine advisory board on december 10th. >> i think fda judged it's tonight to provide that transparency around the review to shore up public confidence around the process and the ultimate product. >> reporter: former fda commissioner scott gottlieb now a pfizer board member points out that the fda also wanted to see two full months of safety data from clinical trials. >> that can take longer ultimately and why the fda process is moving more slowly. >> reporter: authorization could be given by the end of the month and doses will be shipped within hours but in some places there remains concerns about distribution and storage, especially with pfizer's vaccine which requires the sub arctic temperatures. >> there's only about ten different hospitals in the entire state that has that capability.
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>> reporter: todd willard's health care company in rural kansas operates two hospitals, seven clinics and two nursing homes. none of his facilities can store the vaccine. he worries about staffing during the vaccinations. >> i better make sure i have enough that are taking care of all the patients we have but at the same time i have to make sure they're getting the vaccine. >> reporter: with hospitalizations growing it is a concern nationwide the vaccine requires two doses, that means taking critical health care workers off the front lines twice and could be out of work longer with possible side effects yet another challenge for hospitals that are already stretched too thin, lester. >> all right, stephanie gosk tonight. thank you. a big step today for boeing's troubled 737 max. american airlines took journalists on a demonstration flight to show that the updated plane is safe but can the public be convinced? nbc's tom costello was on today's flight. >> reporter: at the
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american airlines maintenance base in tulsa, around the clock push to get the 737 max ready for flight the plane's unprecedented 20-month global grounding followed 2 fatal crashes that killed 346 people in indonesia and ethiopia now a critical software upgrade to the m-cast. system at the center of both crashes. >> it takes six hours to get the software upgrade process complete. >> reporter: today we were on the first american max flight to carry nonemployee passengers an uneventful flight from dallas to tulsa adds every carrier works to rebuild american confidence in the plane. american has 24 maxes, 76 more on market. with profits squeezed maxfliig by the preponderance of the evidence -- squeezed by the pandemic, the airline is anxious to get the maxfliing again.
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eric olin runs the tulsa maintenance base a year ago you said you would put your own family on this plane. >> we're proud of this airplane i flew on it last night. my daughter will fly on it next week. >> reporter: the pay passengers begin this month. flight 718 between miami and new york starting december 29 american, united and southwest will all gradually phase the max into the daily schedules next year. but today, the families of the ethiopian crash victims called this demonstration flight a media stunt writing passengers should avoid this aircraft because others are safer. reeling from the pandemic and the collapse in volume, the airlines are hoping the max's return will give them firmer financial ground the big question -- will the max's troubled history cause airline passengers to choose another plane passengers will be told in advance if they're booked on a max and if they're not comfortable they can change the flight without penalty. lester >> tom costello tonight, thanks. more than four weeks after the election still no concession from president trump, instead more defiance even as his attorney
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general disagrees with the president's unproven claims of widespread fraud we get more from kristen welker >> reporter: in a 46-minute video shot with the white house and without press in the room, the president doubling down on the unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. >> it is the latest part of their four-year effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election and it's been like living in hell. >> reporter: it comes just a day after his own attorney general broke with the president. white house press secretary pressed by nbc news. >> does he still have confidence in bill barr >> the president if he has any personnel announcements yo will be the first to know it. >> reporter: the white house is down playing reports the president is increasingly focused on pardons multiple sources familiar with the matter say the president discussed possible pre-emptive pardons which are legal for some of the adult children and other close associates like rudy giuliani who has denied having such discussions. >> i've heard no
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mention of any pardons, any conversations i have had in the white house. >> reporter: looming large, court documents showing federal investigators are looking into whether someone offered a substantia political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon. and while it is not clear who is involved since those documents are heavily redacted the justice department saying the probe has never involved any government officials the president has called the whole thing fake news and overnight at a white house christmas party looked to the future. >> this is an amazing four years we are trying to do another four years otherwise i'll see you in four years. >> reporter: sources say the president could announce the bid for re-election on the same day as joe biden's inauguration kristen welker, nbc news, the white house. this is peter alexander in wilmington, delaware tens of millions of americans still in dire straits relying on the generosity of others to survive. the images are no
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longer new be the pain is growing president-elect biden today emphasizing the urgency for action hearing from those impacted the pandemic and the economy. >> my hope is that we'll be able to help in a short order but that depends a lot on our friends in congress on the other side >> reporter: nearly 7 million households facing the possibility of eviction, 20 million americans receiving unemployment benefits and more than 50 million could go hungry here in wilmington, tim pavlacek, th owner of cavanaugh's restaurant for 30 years laid off more than half of his staff, with business down 60%. >> without some more help, it may not be very long for a lot of us. >> reporter: how long can you hold out >> i can go another six months but i don't know after that. >> reporter: he just picked up a second job loading boxes for fedex. like so many others, desperate for relief peter alexander, nbc news, wilmington. in california, high winds are prompting new warnings of late season fire danger
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steve patterson reports many are reports many are still waiting for federal money to rebuild after years of wildfire destruction. >> reporter: it is the worst wildfire season in california history. and the alarm is still sounding tonight the national weather service issuing new red flag warnings for millions of southern california residents predicting gusts up to 70 miles an hour. the warning comes as many wildfire victims from years past ar still waiting on relief california received more than $1.3 billion in federal aid after thousands of homes were leveled during the devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018 but with funding tangled in a bureaucratic red tape most homeowners are still waiting to see a single cent to help them rebuild according to state records the 2017 tubbs fire leveled a santa rosa home three years later she's still in temporary housing isolated in a small space. >> i don't know what
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to do. i'm angry but i'm also extremely frustrated and then i'm really depressed because i'm sitting here by myself i don't have anybody to talk to. >> reporter: a generation of wildfire refugees left out in the cold waiting to find a way back home steve patterson, nbc news. there's a major change coming to the airlines sam brock with the crackdown on pets.transp >> reporter: tonight the department of transportation showing not just bark but also bite limiting service animals on planes to just a dog that is individually trained for a person with disability emotional support animals no longer qualify except trained dogs helping passengers with conditions of anxiety or ptsd. >> there's a lot of people who have s intellectual o developmental disabilities that these animals can allowing jus
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anyone in health care to grant emotional really benefit >> reporter: eric's group open doors advocates for people and found rampant fraud in a system allowing just about anyone in health care to grant emotional support status. >> there were some writing thousands of letters a month to multiple airlines and there's just very difficult to treat that many people in a month. >> reporter: the flight attendants' union watched it all unfold. >> flight attendants were hurt, other passengers were hurt bit by animals or creating chaos in the cabin. >> reporter: now after 15,000 public comments and a year of fine tuning a crackdown on pets in planes sam brock, nbc news. in 60 seconds, with a holiday crush, new restrictions on shipping and what they mean for your gifts.
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in this record online shopping season u.p.s. is telling drivers this week to could slow your gifts now. here's jo ling kent. >> reporter: with 23 days until christmas, this historic online shopping season is bogging down deliveries to manage the crush, u.p.s. is imposing new
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shipping limit on orders sent out by some major retailers according to "wall street journal," u.p.s. told its drivers to stop picking up packages at these big name stores on cyber monday because u.p.s. hit max capacity u.p.s. tells nbc news it imposed specific capacity allocations throughout the holiday season so it can be reliable for all customers. this comes as delivery companies brace for 800 million more packages between thanksgiving and christmas compared to last year. the manage the surge, u.p.s. says it's shifting shipping dates. and offering more options on the weekends this shipping slowdown more reason to finish ordering ahead of the december 15th deadline for u.p.s. ground and fedex ground and december 18th for first class mail with the post office. >> i don't think anybody was prepared for this, to be honest there's not been enough investment in the infrastructure to support the peaks we're seeing this year. >> reporter: even more essential to plan ahead and wrap it up in the nick of time.
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jo ling kent, nbc news, los angeles. up next, how a baby girl has already made history
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♪ ♪ ♪ heart monitors that let your doctor watch over you, just like you watch over your best friend. another life-changing technology from abbott, so you don't wait for life. you live it. she's barely a month old but already she's made history here's catie beck. >> reporter: for tina and ben gibson, their newborn molly is a miracle. >> i guess if you would have asked me five years ago if i would have two beautiful girls that i actually gave birth to i would have told you you were crazy. >> reporter: in october molly set the record for the longest frozen embryo to come
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to birth, frozen 27 years. more amazing, the record was set previously by her big sister emma born in 2017 from a 24-year-old embryo from the same donor. >> even freezing techniques that weren't as good as they were today can be very, very successful. >> reporter: after fertility struggles, the gibsons sought help from the embryo donation centerer that stores embryos parents have opted not to use. >> you suspect this number will keep going up and up? >> yes, i do record will be broken. >> reporter: as 1 in 8 couples struggle to get pregnant the gibsons have a message. >> there's options out there and that this too shall pass. >> reporter: the gibsons say thei family was a long time in the making but well worth the wait catie beck, nbc news. and we're back in a moment
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tonight a tradition endures. the lighting of the rockefeller center christmas tree for more than eight decades the rockefeller center christmas tree has stood tall, serving as a symbol of tradition and hope >> hey, lester >> our al roker hosted the lighting festivities over a decade and volunteered to be my guide as we climbed up 75 feet for a closer look. here we are. >> fantastic. >> we have been thinking these last several months of all the things given up and it is nice to have some touchstone to the
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past. >> started in '31 and the tradition starte with a bunch of construction guys setting up a tree. in a pit and now, it's the most amazing spectacle and starts the christmas season. >> reporter: this year's tree, though, was met with some tough critics. >> people were kind of making fun of the tree before it got decorated. i said might not be the tree we want but it's the tree we need right now. >> visiting the tree will look and feel different. there will be a ticketed entry and socially distant circles. masks are mandatory and spectators will not be allowed to attend tonight's lighting ceremony. >> we just got through a thanksgiving holiday where we were separate, away from our grandchildren, our parent, our siblings but we can all come together and watch this. >> reporter: 50,000 led lights adorn the giant spruce with 3 million crystals making up the star. >> for a moment, for a brief moment in time
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we'll all come together for this tree. >> reporter: reminding us all of the true meaning of christmas. >> merry christmas to all! >> thank you best view in the house. that's "nightly news." thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night right now at 6:00 preparing for a vaccine. >> multiple freezers have been installed. >> santa clara county submits its plan to the state while clearing up confusion again about its travel quarantine. also, exposed in the classroom. >> the sad part for me is my class and myself, we were all guinea pigs. >> the covid outbreak ant east bay school, students and staff members infected.
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and two local mayors breaking their own rules. a covid doctor tells us his thoughts on the mayors' get-togethers. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good wednesday. thanks so much for joining us. i'm janelle wang. >> and i'm raj mathai. this is the worst of the pandemic, it is here, staggering numbers statewide. we could face even more restrictions in the coming weeks. here's what has doctors so concerned. more than 20,000 new cases were confirmed across the state in one day. that's the highest number one seen thus far. another high day in santa clara county, you see that? 499 new cases. this comes as hospitalizations approach dangerous territory. and san francisco only a third of the icu beds are still available. santa clara county, you can see it there, only 17% are available. >> yeah, santa clara county covid-19 numbers surge to record highs, the public health department said today it has submitted its vaccine plan to the


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