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tv   Early Today  NBC  December 14, 2020 3:30am-4:00am PST

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breaking overnight the first shipments of the fda's approved pfizer coronavirus vaccine have begun arriving at destinations across america. and today the first americans will begin receiving the vaccine. >> front line health care workers are the first in line to receive vaccine injections and for many it's not a moment too soon >> an historic day ahead for democracy as members of the electoral college officially cast their ballots for president. >> the shooting outside america's largest cathedral where a christmas concert was taking place >> this morning we're remembering the best-selling
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british master spy novelist john le carre >> and a local pandemic couldn't stop these elves from delivering to troops overseas a busy monday ahead starts right now. >> good monday morning i'm phillip mena >> glad you're with us i'm frances rivera it's an historic day in the united states as the nation is set to begin rolling out coronavirus vaccines in just a few hours from now the long awaited moment comes as the country is close to crossing another grim milestone 300,000 virus-related deaths a mark we'll almost certainly pass later today the u.s. has already logged more than 16 million positive cases to date. the nation takes an ambitious step in the pandemic on a massive scale. at least a half million doses of pfizer's vaccine was packed and
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shipped. it arrived at thel.a.x. according to the twitter account. morgan chesky joins us from louisville, kentucky >> reporter: good morning, frances. hundreds of flights come in and out every single day it was one in particular on sunday that gave everyone pause, bringing the first dose of the vaccines to stop covid-19. the jet shuttered to silence at 12:54 p.m. making a perfect landing at louisville's airport. lifesaving covid vaccine the plane taxiing to a special hangar with precious cargo >> no disruptions and we're very excited. >> reporter: u.p.s. president watching the historic moment each box packed with 50 pounds of dry ice >> we will unload the aircraft
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here in louisville, put it into the sort facility and it will be taking off this afternoon on destinations throughout the country. >> reporter: one of those helping, high school senior henna elby whose part-time job became personal. >> a lot of teachers were diagnosed with the virus it forced us to keep working and coming in every single day >> reporter: u.p.s. and rival fedex delivering vaccines to 145 sites nationwide back in louisville, we met the man behind the mission marine turned u.p.s. pilot captain houston mills. when you went wheels down and had a smooth landing here in louisville, how did that feel? >> so, i had an air force f-16 guy with me, i was f-18. i need an air force landing, not a carrier landing. we kind of joked about that. >> reporter: mills humble stressing he's one of many doing their part to bring this pandemic to an end >> this flight in particular is just phenomenal. it was an honor to be part of this flight because we know the hope that it's going to bring to so many.
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>> reporter: now, i know that two of those vaccine boxes were off loaded right here in kentucky one going to a nearby hospital, another to a yet to be disclosed location all of those other vaccine dose shipments loaded into other planes and those planes should have arrived at more than 50 locations by early this morning. frances? >> can't come soon enough. morgan, thank you. >> with the virus cases and deaths consistently rising, the delivery of the pfizer vaccine is, of course, very welcome news hospitals across the nation have been waiting and preparing for this historic day for the last nine months. >> now hospitals are going into overdrive as they finalize their day one vaccination plans. but the delivery of the nation's first vaccine doesn't mean the war against covid-19 is over here's nbc's meaggan fitzgerald >> reporter: frances, health care workers are ready to receive the vaccine as early as today. many will tell you it can't come fast enough. excitement across the country as hope bottled up in a vial set to reach millions of
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health care workers in a matter of hours >> knowing that there's an answer in sight really just keeps us all just so enthusiastic >> reporter: a sigh of relief for those on the front lines hospital systems in colorado preparing for shipments as early as monday. in new jersey, governor murphy announcing vaccinations will be administered on tuesday. >> the first batch of 76,000 split the majority toward health care workers, but a good slug toward our long-term care residents and staff. >> reporter: but doling out the vaccine is a massive undertaketh. in los angeles county it's the health department calling the shots using hospitals with specialized freezers to house the vaccine. >> we anticipate there will be some employees coming from other sites, from other hospital systems who may receive the vaccine as well. >> reporter: but in some parts of the country, the rollout could take months. >> our staff, we're looking at getting into february and then
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that's even before we can get to our patients we have a long haul. >> reporter: every day the country is reminded that the pandemic is far from over. roughly one in five hospitals have hit 90% i.c.u. capacity mississippi and parts of california are now completely out of i.c.u. beds, as cases continue to climb. medical experts say this round of the vaccine won't have much of an immediate impact on overwhelmed hospitals since the first wave is only targeted towards front line workers and those in long-term care facilities >> we will not be reaching herd immunity any time soon we really have to think of it more as a marathon, not a sprint >> reporter: for nurses likal ma and her team, so many days spent comforting patients as they say final good-byes through a screen >> it's really a tough situation this time. we have to do what we need to do >> reporter: a commitment to serving those in their darkest hour while waiting for the light that can't come soon enough.
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when the vaccine arrives here at cedar sinai in los angeles, health care workers will be vaccinated within one to two days the county tells us they will give priority to those health care workers with preexisting conditions frances? >> a pivotal moment in this pandemic megan, thank you >> the electoral college will make it official for president elect joe biden today. the 538 electors will start casting votes at 10:00 a.m. eastern. because of president trump's baseless claims of election fraud, the process is under more scrutiny than ever this year and election officials are on high alert michigan is closing its legislative office buildings during the vote today because of, quote, credible threats of violence to electors nbc's tracie potts joins us with the latest tracie, once they pass 270 electors votes, it's over. >> reporter: that's right. they're voting from home in their 50 states and those votes will certify or expect today
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certify [ inaudible ]. 538 electors selecting joe biden as the officially as the president of the united states this is the beginning of the electoral college process. it won't end until early january when those results are read in congress president trump thinking he's got another shot there, because he is still not accepting these results, even though some of his republican colleagues are. >> looks very much like the electors will vote for joe biden. and when they do, i hope that he puts the country first i mean, the president. that he takes pride in his considerable accomplishments, that he congratulates the president elect and helps him get off to a good start. >> it's not over we keep going and we're going to continue to go forward we have numerous local cases some of the states that got rigged and robbed from us. we won every one of them we won pennsylvania. we won michigan. we won georgia by a lot. >> reporter: and while that's
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happening, an update on covid relief negotiations here in washington they're still working on it, again, promising this week an outline of what that $908 billion compromise looks like. from what we hear, it's split into two parts, the things lawmakers agree on protecting people from evictions and extending unemployment, and the issues they don't agree on in a separate bill we could get the details of both of those bills today phillip? >> not getting any easier for those out there in desperate need of help immediately tracie, thank you. >> now to breaking news overnight, officials say russian spies are behind a hacking campaign that targeted u.s. agencies and companies including the cyber security firm fireye a commerce department spokesperson confirmed the breach and the white house national security council is looking into another potential intrusion at the treasury department reuters reports foreign hackers accessed internal government emails the "washington post" reported the attacks were carried out by
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russia's foreign intelligence service. wall street journal said they gandhi access through solar winds which is an information technology system used by thousands of organizations the homeland security department cyber security agency issued an emergency directive overnight for all federal civilian agencies to review solar winds products for signs they were compromised. >> a gunman who was shot and killed by police officers after opening fire at saint john the divine in new york city, the largest cathedral in the world nbc's kathy park has the latest. >> reporter: chaos outside of new york saint john the divine as carollers were singing, gunshots rang out. >> it was such a peaceful experience, and then suddenly a death threat like this, the contrast of sensibility was just
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i understand describable >> reporter: police say the gunman armed with two handguns reached the top steps of the church and began shooting into the air. >> all of a sudden i'm seeing people screaming and saying it's a shooter. somebody with a gun, and he's shooting into the crowd. i thought this was it. i really -- i thought this was the end. >> reporter: according to the n.y.p.d., an officer on paid detail returned fires. >> the defendant at this point is struck at least once in the head and deceased. >> reporter: no one else was injured in the gunfire and police say there are no other suspects at the time and a motive is still under investigation. they have also recovered a bag believed to belong to the gunman it included several items including a full can of gas, tape as well as knives >> thanks to kathy for that report >> let's turn now to the weather and a big week ahead with some major snowstorms brewing
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of course, nbc meteorologist janessa webb is on top of it good morning, janessa. >> good morning, you two good morning, everyone it's going to be a busy week for portions of the east coast because we have two systems that we're watching first this morning it's running through the carolinas, making its way into the northeast could see that rain and snow mixture throughout your morning into early afternoon before this system starts to push offshore now, the story you are really going to be hearing about, a system that hasn't originated just yet, but by tuesday into wednesday afternoon, it will race across the east coast right now our models are not in agreement. the european model forecasting nearly a foot of snow. but american model keeps it kind of offshore, but still could see some snow g like winter.
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for the upper midwest, fargo a high of 15 winter alerts have already been issued for the storm system we'll talk about that coming up. >> all right thank you, janessa a church in southern california has unveiled its powerful nativity scene with a black lives matter theme this year's display at clairmont united methodist church shows the holy family standing with the black lives matter movement. it lists the names of black people who have lost their lives including george floyd and also breonna taylor and features demonstrators holding posters reading, say their names, and "i can't breathe. >> straight ahead, delivering holiday cheer to families hit hard by the pandemic >> and the bills bulldoze the steelers in a gh skehitas showdown keep it right here we're back with the action ♪ just one look at you. ♪ and i know it's gonna be... a lovely day. ♪ ♪ lovely day, lovely day. lovely day. ♪
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pittsburgh fumble recovery would lead too big ben finding james washington in the end zone for the game's first score but buffalo would circle the wagons in the second half. josh allen to stefon diggs short slam for the touchdown bills battle back and win 26-15. and chase young got his first career touchdown for washington after this fumble recovery jus before the half. washington's defense kept the 49ers at bay they win it 23-15. with that win and the new york giants' loss to the cardinals, washington now squeaks into the nfc crowded playoff picture. >> remembering the mteofhe pionage thriller that's next here on "early today. aline nasal mist. for drug free relief that works fast. vicks sinex. instantly clear everday congestion. ♪ just one look at you.
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if you haven't already, be sure to follow "early today" on facebook, twitter, instagram for updates all throughout the morning. >> the pandemic's economic toll has created a chris for family struggling to put food on the table let alone buy toys for kids now they need help >> reporter: this is the magic of christmas her four children's faces when they find what's under the tree, especially the youngest. >> just to see, you know, her eyes light up where she's got that little twinkle in her eye i want to be able to see that this year. >> reporter: but the pandemic's
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economic devastation threatens her christmas. >> i want a sky pajamas. i want new shoes >> reporter: ford lost her full-time job as a car salesperson this summer. she now works part time at an assisted living facility so how are you going to help santa claus this year? >> we have reached out to a toy drive in town. we actually for the last seven years have donated toys and taken our time to go help with passing out toys at the same toy drive that i applied for >> reporter: never have toy drives been so important >> i got a bike. >> the best christmas ever >> yes >> reporter: yet even the biggest has had to adapt marine toys for tots doing drive-thru collections >> thank you so very much. >> reporter: as well as online >> a $10 donation will literally solve a problem and allow us to deliver a package of toys to a child in need.
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>> reporter: this year toys for tots expects to far surpass the $180 million of toys delivered last year. what does that toy mean to a child? >> it's a message of hope. >> reporter: toys are the number three request at the salvation army behind food and housing it served 155 million meals between march and september and provided an additional 1.6 million nights of shelter. have you ever seen need this desperate? >> i have never experienced anything like this in my service as a salvation army officer. the salvation army has seen a tsunami of human need. >> reporter: while amy ford has need, there is deep appreciation >> thankfully, we still have a roof over our heads and, you know, our -- we have our health. it's the small stuff this year that you're going to enjoy >> reporter: small things that are more magical than ever ann thompson, nbc news, new york stmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture,
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this morning we are remembering best-selling british author john lecarre. the long-time novelist wrote tinker taylor soldier spy. he started his career in the british foreign service, becoming an intelligence officer, later writing his novels under a pseudonym the publisher says he died of pneumonia. john lecarre was 89 years old. >> coronavirus gathering restrictions almost put a stop to operation yellow ribl on cook i drive. but more than 30 bakers stepped in to help make thousands of the sweet treats to send to overseas
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troops for christmas sydney long from our philly station wcau has the story >> reporter: retired air force lieutenant sally stenton will never forget december 21st, 2010 >> they call it a hug in a box and it is. >> reporter: while stationed in kabul afghanistan, it's the day she received one of these. an operation yellow ribbon christmas care package she shared it with her fellow troops >> it just lets you know people you will never meet and don't know you love you and they care about you and they haven't forgotten you on the other side of the world >> reporter: but this year -- >> i actually thought covid was going to put us out of business. >> reporter: gathering restrictions sidelined seasonal cookie drive until -- >> we have over 30 bakers jumping on board so it's going to be a huge marathon of bakers >> reporter: yes, sir ca and gerald who stream baking and other shows on facebook and roku
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found out and said, let's hold a virtual celebrity cookie-thon. the goal 10,000 cookies. the big day is monday. >> we don't send to random bases, random units. we send to your son, your daughter >> reporter: covid got in the way of operation yellow ribbon's funding efforts like they do outside grocery stores in each of these holiday care packages costs $30 to ship to the middle east >> it could be jordan, it could be kuwait, could be iraq, could be afghanistan, qatar, saudi arabia >> reporter: another layer of icing, the 4th hour with showed a and jenna have something special. >> they have a surprise. we have no idea what it is >> it's cool to get your name called during roll call with a box full of goodies. >> reporter: in honor of frank bryant junior killed in action >> he and everybody else in that room, you know, they knew that they were loved and cared about by strangers
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>> reporter: stenson is confident all the troops will be grateful for the sweetness and not letting covid crumble their cookies by just thinking outside the box. >> our thanks to sydney long for that report. can't wait to see what jenna and hoda
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a new day in america as tens of thousands of doses of pfizer's coronavirus vaccine begin arriving in cities across america this morning and those first in line will be getting their shots today. today the nation's 538 electors meet in their respective states to cast their ballots for president and vice president. an historic day ahead for american democracy. breaking overnight russian cyber hackers breach the u.s. government reaching multiple agencies. brace yourself for one of the worst snowstorms in ve


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