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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 6, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PST

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tonight, no charges for the police officer who shot jacob blake in the back. the d.a. announcing the white officer who shot blake, a black man, seven times at close range and paralyzed him will face no criminal counts a state of emergency declared in kenosha ahead of potential unrest after violence over the summer. the high-stakes election in georgia to decide who controls the u.s. senate. the democrats must win both races to swing the balance of power the republicans hoping to hold the line when will we know the winners? president trump turning up pressure on vice president mike pence to overturn joe biden's victory. just hours before republicans mount an unprecedented challenge to the
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electoral college vote the national guard called in as d.c. braces for protests. a fifth state confirming that new, more contagious covid strain from the uk as the u.s. struggles with the vaccine rollout. fewer than 300,000 americans getting their shots in the last 24 hours. it comes as hospitals are overwhelmed. one major city running out of oxygen for patients that massive hack. u.s. intelligence in a rebuke to president trump now officially accusing russia. and do you have your ticket? two jackpots, over 400 million up for grabs >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening there's breaking news tonight from wisconsin, where a prosecutor has announced there will be no charges filed against a white kenosha police officer who shot a black man in the back as he leaned into a car last august jacob blake was left paralyzed after the shooting that was
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captured on video and led to angry protests and even deadly violence on the streets. tonight kenosha under a state of emergency gabe gutierrez is there. >> reporter: tonight mounting outrage in kenosha, wisconsin after no officers were charged following the police shooting of jacob blake. >> this is a slap in the face by wisconsin government and the d.a. >> reporter: in august blake was shot seven times in the back by kenosha police officer ruston sheskey the kenosha district attorney says blake was armed with a knife and the officer could have successfully argued self-defense. >> remember, these are police officers who are uniformed officers they're called to the scene on a designated domestic abuse call. when they get there, they know there is an arrest warrant for jacob blake and they take actions at that time >> reporter: as protesters marched in kenosha last night, anticipating the announcement, the city council authorized an emergency declaration
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and the governor mobilized 500 national guard troops blake survived the shooting, but is paralyzed from the waist down his family says he'd been trying to break up an argument between two women and was walking back to his car with his three young sons >> there's only social justice if you don't look like me or my sons >> reporter: the blake shooting sparked another wave of unrest in an already tense year also today 17-year-old kyle rittenhouse pleaded not guilty after police say he fatally shot two people and wounded a third during the protests in kenosha. in a "dateline" nbc exclusive this week the families of jacob blake, george floyd and eric garner spoke with craig melvin about social justice and police violence. >> when does not listening to the police when they tell you to stop walking justify seven shots to the back anything they do to african-americans or brown people in this country is justified
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with freaking hatred >> reporter: here in downtown kenosha many streets have been shut down and businesses have boarded up. blake's family is now calling for peaceful protest. lester >> all right, gabe, thank you. well, it is election day again and while the presidential contest has been decided, voters in georgia are having the final say over the critical and still unanswered question of who will control the u.s. senate two runoff races under way there. blayne alexander is in georgia. >> good morning. come on in >> reporter: it's officially decision day in georgia >> i just feel it's time for change. >> reporter: after a seemingly endless flood of campaign dollars, tv ads and a rotating door of political big names, today hundreds of thousands of georgians are heading to the polls knowing the ballots cast here will determine everything here on the line, control of the u.s. senate republicans are fighting to protect incumbent senators david perdue and kelly loeffler while democrats hang their hopes on challengers jon ossoff and raphael
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warnock. if both win, the senate is tied, with vice president-elect kamala harris casting the deciding vote. >> we just have a few more hours of work to do >> georgia voters have never had more power than you have today. >> reporter: both challengers casting themselves as key factors for a successful biden presidency while senators perdue and loeffler say they are the last line of defense. >> you know the american dream is on the ballot >> the future of the country is on the line here >> reporter: today few glitches but in some counties added security as georgia investigators look into threats against a handful of polling locations. not enough to concern voters here in solidly blue fulton county >> how long did it take you to vote today? >> approximately five minutes. >> reporter: the wait slightly longer in the republican stronghold of canton where some voters say they are not dissuaded by the president's repeated election attacks >> if i don't vote for who i think needs to be in office, then i'm just letting the other side win
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>> reporter: and election officials here in georgia have a long night ahead of them here at this fulton county convention center workers inside have thousands of absentee ballots left to be processed. the secretary of state says do not expect to know the outcome of this election tonight. lester >> all right, blayne alexander tonight, thanks now to that high drama tomorrow in congress, which meets to certify the electoral college vote for president-elect biden. dozens of republicans are planning to object, and president trump is now pressuring vice president pence to act even though he has no power to change the outcome. kristen welker has more >> reporter: tonight president trump is turning up the pressure on vice president pence, who will preside over a joint session of congress wednesday expected to ratify joe biden's electoral college win. administration officials say the two had lunch today after president trump said this overnight >> and i hope mike pence comes through for us i have to tell you of course if he doesn't come through,
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i won't like him quite as much. >> reporter: the president falsely tweeting today "the vice president has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors." but under the constitution pence cannot change the election results his role tomorrow will be largely ceremonial. a person close to him telling nbc news, don't expect any surprises. "the vice president thinks it is his job to follow the constitution and the law. pence publicly staying loyal to the president. >> come this wednesday we'll have our day in congress we'll hear the objections we'll hear the evidence >> reporter: so far 13 republican senators and dozens of house members say they will object to biden's win unless a commission is appointed to audit the election objections that could delay but not change the outcome. one key republican leader of the effort was pressed on fox news why he won't acknowledge biden's win. >> don't you have a responsibility to tell them that it's not going to be president trump as of january
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21st as well >> well, bret, i'm trying to do something more than just that. i mean, this is about the integrity of our elections. and this is about taking a stand where you can take a stand >> reporter: but democrats blasting the fruitless effort >> you have the president and these republican senators essentially taking a flamethrower to our democracy when it comes to public confidence but it's not going to change the election. >> reporter: and president trump announced tonight he plans to speak at a large rally of his supporters here tomorrow, many already gathering. d.c.'s mayor has activated the national guard as a precaution. lester >> kristen welker at the white house. thanks now to our reporting on vaccinating america and growing frustration over the slow pace. just 273,000 vaccinated yesterday while some other countries are on a relative fast track. tom costello has the latest >> reporter: despite a week of glaring headlines about delays in getting vaccine
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doses from freezers and into arms, the lines grew even longer today, winding through parking lots and side streets. in daytona, florida some senior citizens spent the night in their cars >> about every hour we'd start the car up, heat it up, and then, you know, shut it back off. it was cold. it was cold. >> reporter: but like many seniors marvin and janice deering were unable to get through jammed phone lines and crashed websites >> if the average joe like us that needs them can't get them, who is getting them? >> reporter: a california hospital had to vaccinate local jail staff and nursing home residents within hours after the hospital freezer failed, putting all of its vaccine doses in jeopardy nationwide, 12,000 vaccination sites are up and running, an increase from 1,000 three weeks ago. now the surgeon general is calling on the nation's governors to lean forward and coordinate with cvs and walgreen's in setting up mass vaccination programs >> we can send those vaccines to those pharmacies if the governors in the states tell us to.
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we don't need to recreate the wheel we just need to get it rolling. >> reporter: but to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people experts say states have got to think big. mega sites like arenas, stadiums and massive parking lots new york's javits convention center being turned into a drive-thru vaccination site while san antonio health officers hope to deliver 1,000 shots a day in a local mall. >> what i've asked people to do is give us a week and we'll have this whole thing sorted out we'll have multiple mass vaccination sites. >> reporter: if the pace does pick up, dr. anthony fauci predicts the general public could get vaccinated within three months. >> we hope that by the time we get to the end of march, the beginning of april, that we'll be at that point where the priority groups have already been vaccinated and it's what i would call open season >> reporter: but first the vaccination pace needs to pick up dramatically tom costello, nbc news, washington >> reporter: i'm richard engel. israel is rolling out the covid vaccine far
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more quickly and efficiently than any other nation by far. israel has immunized 1.3 million people, about 12% of the population, with the pfizer vaccine and of the top priority group including those over 60 or in fragile health they've given the first shot to 55%. >> when do you hope to finish vaccinating this priority group? >> if it goes well, i think within days, three, four, five. it's pretty quick. because we trained a lot of people to give the shots. >> reporter: it works like this. israel's national health care providers contact patients, set appointments, and administer shots so quickly israel is running low on vaccine supplies what lessons could the american rollout learn from what israel's doing? >> i don't know what the americans can actually learn ours is a public health system.
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everybody's enrolled and it has a long history of actually communicating with their clients. >> reporter: but just across the wall the number of palestinians in the west bank and gaza to get vaccines so far, zero israel is working to outrun the new fast-spreading variants from the uk and south africa dr. lev said for him the key is killing the virus with vaccines and speed. lester >> richard engel tonight, thank you that highly contagious variant from the uk has now been found in georgia. that's the fifth state to confirm a case. it comes as hospitals brace for a post-holiday surge as miguel almaguer reports, california's now taking drastic steps. >> reporter: with california's health care system in critical condition, tonight at least one l.a. hospital has activated its crisis care standards, allowing the medical center to ration care. as covid cases cripple and overwhelm e.r.s, residents in southern california are being
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urged to only call 911 in an extreme emergency. and now in a stunning directive, ems teams in los angeles county are being asked to conserve oxygen as paramedics have been told not to transport patients who can't be resuscitated did you ever think your first responders would be faced with a situation like this? >> no. this is unprecedented for anyone who's been in this business >> reporter: california is reopening shuttered hospitals as the state lost nearly 4,000 residents in just 14 days and now doctors expect the newly detected and highly contagious variant of the virus will trigger new cases and fatalities >> we're beyond full you give us a surge on top of that, we're done >> reporter: california is not the only state out of room for the sick >> it's very tough for someone to tell you that you cannot
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get a hospital room for something that you desperately need >> reporter: the fight for health care, a life-and-death struggle, even for those who doubted the virus. >> i didn't wear a mask i believed that it was all going to go away you don't want to end up like me >> reporter: tonight the very place where so many turned for help now in need of its own. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. the top u.s. national secity agencies issued a joint statement today saying the massive hacking of several federal agencies last year was likely russian inrigin. that assessment is a rebuke of president trump's suggestion that china might have been behind it want to turn now to our series "america under pressure," and a life full of promise cut short. the son of maryland congressman jamie raskin died by suicide last week. his parents now sharing their heartbreak nbc's joe fryer reports.
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>> reporter: "a radiant light in this broken world." that's how tommy raskin is described in a tribute published by his father, congressman jamie raskin, and mother sarah bloom raskin they say their late son had a perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor a second-year law student at harvard, tommy actually gave away half of his salary as a teaching assistant to battle malaria. on top of making donations in honor of his students but there were challenges his parents candidly write their son began to be tortured later in his 20s "by a blindingly painful and merciless disease called depression. despite help from doctors, friends and family, "the pain became overwhelming and unyielding and unbearable at last for our dear boy." tommy died on december 31st, what his parents call "the last hellish brutal day of that god-awful miserable year of 2020." a cdc study on the mental health impacts
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of the pandemic found just over 10% of those surveyed had seriously considered suicide in the 30 days prior. that number was 25% among those age 18 to 24 in their touching statement the raskins say 25-year-old tommy left a farewell note on new year's eve day. "please forgive me my illness won today please look after each other, the animals and the global poor for me all my love, tommy." in his honor tommy's family has now created a memorial fund to help the charities he supported to keep his radiant light shining. joe fryer, nbc news. >> we thank the raskins for sharing their story. if you or someone you know needs help, call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 in just 60 seconds, life after the vaccine. how to approach everything from travel to hugs.
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we're back now with what life could be like after you finally get the covid vaccine. jo ling kent now on what experts are saying >> reporter: as shots go into arms, millions are hoping more than ever to hug family and friends without worry, make travel plans and stop wearing masks but just because you get vaccinated doesn't mean covid protocols end. >> it is not a carte blanche to resume normalcy you need to continue to mask. you need to continue to socially distance you need to continue to avoid non-emergent travel >> reporter: and although you'll be able to prove you've been vaccinated, it doesn't mean local quarantine and testing restrictions won't apply. >> we don't know if the vaccines protect against transmission of covid-19. we do know that they're really good at keeping people out of the icu. but it doesn't mean that it could prevent against asymptomatic infection. >> reporter: bottom line, doctors say life will not feel or look normal till we achieve
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herd immunity of 75% to 80% >> when do you think we're going to get herd immunity? >> likely until, say, august, september time frame. the quickest way to normalcy is to get vaccinated >> reporter: meaning that getting back to the life we missed depends on everyone doing their part jo ling kent, nbc news, los angeles. up next for us tonight, a giant double jackpot up for grabs. james brown and bill cowher welcoming you back
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to the midnight snack run. this is one tricky obstacle course. he's reaching... but he pushes it away! he's approaching a plate of iced cookies... he blows right by 'em oh the fridge looks like he's headed for the soda. wait! he jukes left! grabs the water bottle now he's just gotta get out of there. look what dropped from the sky! don't do it dennis. that's the way you execute a midnight snack run. stand up to cancer and rally want you to reduce your risk for cancer, go to two jackpots, each
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over $400 million, are up for grabs mega millions tonight, powerball tomorrow here's kerry sanders with that. >> reporter: it's the distraction america needs. a chance to daydream again. both mega millions and powerball with jackpots so large winning would not only change your life but it could also change society. after the year we've had americans we spoke to say they would take a portion of the jackpot and share it with strangers >> i'm going to give back to my community >> reporter: as we're hoping to win big, we're also thinking of those in need. tulio guerrero working a side hustle delivering groceries because he lost his job when the pandemic hit. >> if i had $400 million, you know, i could help people. >> reporter: our nation of dreamers touched by generosity. if the winner donated just half of their take, what could you do with that money >> wow, kerry, $200 million, i could
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definitely hire about 4,000 nurses >> reporter: it is a long shot, but if you win, how might you change the world kerry sanders, nbc news, miami. up next, how the kindness of a stranger changed lives.
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finally, the family that lost everything just before christmas and what a stranger gave up to help here's kevin tibbles >> nice to meet you, man. >> thank you >> yes, sir. >> reporter: hugs of gratitude for the guardian angel round the block. just two days before christmas myra jackson's son let out a cry. >> he said "papi, papi, there's a fire." >> reporter: a fire that destroyed the young family's evanston, illinois home >> what did you lose >> everything. >> reporter: all appeared hopeless. >> i've had my days of living paycheck to paycheck, but -- >> reporter: jeron dorsey, a father himself, works at the nearby community center he couldn't fathom others going without >> when i met them and i walked into their house, i felt like i'd known them forever >> reporter: he opened his heart and his wallet, donating an entire paycheck and gift cards $3,000 >> because of covid people are losing their jobs so i just was in awe when he wanted to offer his paycheck
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>> reporter: an investment in caring >> if we all start giving and loving on each other, i think, man, we'll all be so much better off. >> reporter: it all starts just with a helping hand >> yes, sir. >> reporter: yes, sir indeed kevin tibbles, nbc news, evanston, illinois >> that's the kind of story we like to tell. that's "nightly news" for this tuesday thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each
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>> kelly: this is for you, jason. ♪ ♪ something in the way you love me ♪ ♪ won't let me be ♪ i don't want to be your prisoner so baby won't you set me free ♪ ♪ stop playing with my heart ♪ finish what you start ♪ when you make my love come down ♪ ♪ just try to understand ♪ i've given all i can ♪ 'cause you got the best of me ♪ ♪ borderline ♪ feels like i'm going to lose my mind ♪ ♪ you just keep on pushing my love ♪ ♪ over the borderline ♪ borderline


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