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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 8, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PDT

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fraction of the 1 million-plus jobs economists had expected in april. how president biden is answering critics who say his covid relief package may be to blame. the out-of-control chinese rocket hurtling toward earth this weekend, and the concerns tonight where will the 20 tons of space junk land the amazing rescue the car crash throwing a toddler off a bridge, plunging 25 feet into the water below. the good samaritan who jumped off and saved her life, stepping forward to reveal his identity and on this mother's day weekend the emotional reunions more than a year in the making >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone with all signs pointing to a steadily improving covid situation in this country on the strength of an aggressive vaccination program, pfizer says it is now seeking full fda approval for its vaccine. in use since december under an emergency use authorization, the move signals growing
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confidence in the shots. full government approval could potentially erase hesitations over the maturity of the vaccine that have kept some people from receiving it tonight the effort to rekindle slowing demand for vaccines is getting increasingly creative amid hope less restrictive covid guidelines could be coming soon. miguel almaguer leads us off tonight >> reporter: with pfizer now officially seeking and likely to receive full fda approval for its covid vaccine, the move could put more shots into the hands of local doctors. just as more federally funded mass vaccination sites begin to close official approval could also make it easier for schools and employers to require the vaccine. and while authorities hope it builds more public confidence, tonight 110 million adults are still not vaccinated >> we have a long way to go to get young americans vaccinated >> reporter: today the
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cdc director said more must be done to convince the young according to new data roughly a quarter of those 18 to 29 say they will wait and see how the vaccine works. higher than any other age group. >> is that your first dose >> reporter: authorities are going to great lengths to vaccinate. even getting doses out to sea to fishermen in remote areas of alaska 150 million americans have at least one shot >> once i got vaccinated, it was no holds barred >> reporter: the growing numbers could soon lead to major changes in face mask mandates, says former fda commissioner scott gottlieb >> i think it's going to be self-evident that the prevalence has declined to levels where the risk just isn't what it was. >> reporter: by the end of this month gottlieb believes the cdc could consider lifting mask restrictions indoors in what would be a major about-face >> i think we should start lifting these restrictions as aggressively as we put them in. the only way to earn public credibility is to demonstrate that
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you're willing to relax these provisions when a situation improves >> reporter: amid reminders of how deadly the pandemic can be, 750 bodies are still refrigerated in trucks in brooklyn, tonight there are more signs of hope. this southern california hospital, once overrun, no longer has a single tonight the pandemic may not yet be over, but new signs the end may be near. >> miguel, let's get back to that possibility of reviewing face mask mandates indoors is there any timeline for that >> lester, the cdc has always said it continues to review and update its guidance on mandates including face masks officials have said there will be more changes down the road but they have not yet indicated if a change this big is in the pipeline lester >> miguel, thank you and for a check on where we stand on vaccinations we asked nbc's steve kornacki to look at the numbers for us steve, what do we know >> well, lester, let's start with some good news here. these numbers. this is what you're looking at folks in america who
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have at least one dose the entire population. the adult age population, 18 plus. and senior citizens right there. again, nearly 60% of adults in this country now have at least one dose of the vaccine. and look at this these are the fully vaccinated numbers more than 40% of adults now fully vaccinated in this country. that's the good news here's the worrying news this is the trend. you see here for the last month the number of new doses administered each day. it's been coming down. a lot of unvaccinated folks still out there. if you are one of them, go to planyourvaccine.com. you can figure out where and when to get it lester >> still some challenges steve, thank you he has been convicted of murder in the death of george floyd. but tonight former police officer derek chauvin is now facing new federal charges. plus michelle obama is speaking out about the chauvin verdict. let's start off with gabe gutierrez >> reporter: weeks after being led out of a minneapolis courtroom in handcuffs for the murder of
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george floyd, former police officer derek chauvin is now facing new federal civil rights charges >> this is a message that equal justice is possible in america. >> reporter: the indictment says chauvin deprived floyd of his constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer chauvin and three other officers also face a charge for failing to give floyd medical aid. the federal grand jury also returned a second indictment against chauvin in connection with a 2017 incident in which chauvin allegedly held a 14-year-old student by the throat and struck him multiple times in the head with a flashlight >> why didn't prosecutors bring up that case during the previous trial >> gabe, prosecutors wanted to bring up the case, but the judge ruled that he was going to limit their ability to get into past wrongs involving derek chauvin. he also made it clear that if prosecutors went too far he'd declare the case a mistrial >> reporter: chauvin's attorney declined to comment on the new federal indictment but he's appealed for a
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new trial on the state charges, in part because of the pretrial publicity and he claims that the jury felt race-based pressure during the proceedings. attorneys for the other three officers also declined or could not be reached for comment. they're scheduled to head to trial together on state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter later this summer. gabe gutierrez, nbc news i'm rehema ellis today michelle obama reacting to the chauvin verdict as a former first lady. >> there's still work to be done >> reporter: but mostly as the mother of two black girls >> every time they get in a car by themselves i worry about what assumption is being made by somebody who doesn't know everything about them. >> reporter: on cbs news mrs. obama suggesting neither privilege nor prestige makes them immune from what is often expressed in protests. >> i, like so many parents of black kids, have to -- that the innocent act of getting a license puts fear in our hearts
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>> reporter: three weeks ago after the chauvin verdict the obamas issued a rare statement. mrs. obama says they felt compelled to speak out. it's not the first time when trayvon martin was killed, then president obama also had a personal reaction as a black man. >> i said that this could have been my son. >> reporter: now this. >> all those black lives matter kids, they'd rather not have to worry about this. they're taking to the streets because they have to. they're trying to have people understand that we're real folks >> reporter: spoken like a mother, hoping to be heard. rehema ellis, nbc news in just 60 seconds, the flying object that will crash somewhere this weekend on earth
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a big disappointment today on the jobs front. the economy adding far fewer jobs last month than expected. unemployment now at 6.1% stephanie ruhle now on the challenges of getting people back to work >> reporter: curtis
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bashaw is gearing up for a busy summer. he usually hires 500 seasonal workers for his hotels on the jersey shore >> it's never been this hard to hire. >> reporter: with just weeks to go he's only halfway there. >> what would it mean to your business if you don't get to full staff? >> well, we're going to get there but the option is to cut your services. >> reporter: economists expected more than a million jobs to be added in april. but today's report came in with far less. just 266,000 >> we never thought that after the first 50 or 60 days everything would be fine today there's more evidence that our economy is moving in the right direction. >> reporter: nbc's kelly o'donnell asked the president about the extra unemployment benefits put in place during the pandemic that critics say can pay more than some jobs >> do you believe enhanced unemployment benefits had any effect on diminishing a return to work in some categories? >> no. nothing measurable >> reporter: in march eleanor fernandez told us she's been looking
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for work for nearly a year but at the time she was only being offered low-paying part-time positions. >> you've been offered those jobs but didn't take them? >> i haven't taken them yet because honestly the unemployment is a little bit more than the pay too. i'll just be honest with that. it covers all my bills. >> reporter: some states are taking action next month south carolina and montana are ending federal unemployment benefits, including the extra $300 a week. and in maine workers will have to prove they're actively looking for unemployment to receive the extra money. for the first time in months christopher gregory will not be filing for unemployment today is his first day back on the job at a movie theater in idaho. >> never really expected to find myself out of work it's exciting to get a real paycheck. >> stephanie, the president says his recovery plan will take more time when might we begin to see change >> reporter: lester, that money is just starting to make its way out the door
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for example, $28 billion was allocated to the restaurant industry. those additional funds will hopefully help increase wages and get more workers back on the payroll. >> all right, stephanie, thank you good to have you here tonight. let's start this next story by telling you that everything is probably going to be okay the thing is no one knows right now where pieces of a large chinese rocket are going to crash back on earth this weekend our gadi schwartz is keeping a watch. >> reporter: it started with the launch of a massive chinese rocket delivering a piece of chinese space station under construction but now that nine-story-tall rocket body, one of the biggest objects to ever make re-entry, is hurtling around the earth out of control at 18,000 miles an hour and could hit nearly anywhere. china downplaying the risk nbc's janis mackey frayer is in beijing >> reporter: chinese officials are confident the falling rocket won't cause any harm, and they dismiss the criticism as western hype >> reporter: orbiting space junk around earth has increased
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dramatically and is closely monitored. most of the rocket is expected to burn in the atmosphere like controlled re-entries recently seen over the u.s. and could disintegrate to pieces the size of a basketball but last year another massive chinese rocket body may have struck near a village in west africa and other chinese rocket debris has fallen onto populated areas destroying buildings. right now the department of defense is monitoring the rocket's trajectory. >> we look at a lot of things but we don't have a plan to shoot it down as we speak. >> reporter: lester, we're told no matter where this comes down our tracking system should be able to pinpoint exactly where it will hit at least a couple of hours before impact lester >> in the meantime we'll all be looking up gadi, thank you. the covid catastrophe in india is prompting a growing number of indian-american doctors to join the fight from here. here's nbc's dasha burns with that. >> reporter: doctors avinash and gita gupta just finished a ten-hour hospital shift at monmouth medical center in new jersey now at home, they're gearing up for a
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different kind of shift. triaging and treating covid patients in india. >> 20 milligrams twice daily. >> reporter: the country is in the throes of a covid catastrophe. india's health care system past its breaking point ivs hang from trees. as sick patients are treated on the ground. >> there is no hospital beds and no oxygen, no even basic things >> reporter: for more than two weeks there have been over 300,000 new cases every single day. the guptas, both from india, sprang into action, launching a growing coalition of indian-american doctors in the u.s. using telemedicine to help >> this way we can not clog the hospitals and leave the beds open for patients who are really sick. >> reporter: they answer questions from patients and frightened family members. >> can i keep both mother and son in the same room? >> reporter: they look over test results and recommend treatments >> let me know if you get worse.
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>> reporter: how significant could this kind of intervention be >> it can save lives >> reporter: and it's personal for the guptas >> my worst nightmare came true. >> reporter: gita's 87-year-old mother just tested positive for the virus. and avinash is trying to spare others the pain he's experiencing >> i lost my brother-in-law, and i lost one sister also to this covid. >> reporter: you are processing your own grief at the same time you're actually taking action to help >> the best way to be happy is to go out and help other people. >> reporter: doing everything they can to be on the front line, even from a world away >> we call it [ speaking foreign language ] that means the whole world is your family and we cannot isolate ourselves. >> reporter: dasha burns, nbc news. breaking news from jerusalem tonight. violent clashes between palestinian worshippers and israeli police at the al aqsa mosque more than 150 people are injured. the violence coming
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after israel threatened to evict dozens of palestinians from an east jerusalem neighborhood up next, the hero who jumped off a bridge to save a baby revealed
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back now with a hero who jumped off a bridge to save a toddler's life speaking out here's kristen dahlgren >> reporter: this is what a hero looks like a humble man named jonathan bauer simply running errands with his daughter ava. >> the first thing i remember is hearing tires screech. >> reporter: when they became part of a
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five-car pileup that left a truck teetering on the edge of a bridge >> one vehicle is on its side hanging off the roadway. >> reporter: jonathan didn't think twice when he saw a little girl floating below, next to her car seat >> she was on her back completely floating, head completely out of the water. arms moving, legs kicking. in a little pink dress. >> reporter: his own daughter looking on. >> probably the scariest part of my life seeing my dad jump off the bridge >> i popped up, swam over to the girl, lifted her out of the water, and looked at her. her mouth was open her eyes were semi-open. and then i put her against my shoulder very high and aggressively patted her on the back. >> reporter: his quick action saved the 2-year-old they climbed aboard a nearby boat and she was rushed to a hospital this afternoon jonathan was able to thank those boaters. the little girl now home thanks to a stranger who may never have thought of himself as a hero.
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>> he's afraid of heights. >> reporter: who jumped into the role at just the right time kristen dahlgren, nbc news >> i think hero fits him quite well now a follow-up to a story you saw right here more than two years after a viral video of students led to calls for anti-racism education in a texas town, opponents of that plan won big. here's antonia hylton. >> reporter: this week voters in southlake, texas sent a strong message. nine months after the school district proposed a diversity and inclusion plan voters gave a landslide victory to conservative city and school board candidates opposed to it >> if that's not a mandate, i don't know what is. >> reporter: the plan, developed after a 2018 viral video of students chanting the n word, first had the community united but then some parents saw it as an effort to discriminate against white students >> there will be no home for this toxic ideology here in
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southlake. >> reporter: many believing the school can address racist incidents with its existing code of conduct. >> so now the work begins >> reporter: southlake's candidates opposing the plan declined interviews. but hannah smith, winner of a school board seat, said in a statement to nbc news, "the voters have come together they don't want racially divisive critical race theory taught to their children or forced on their teachers." parents like robin cornish worry about what comes next. >> do i stand and fight? because honestly that's what black people do. is it worth staying? is this worth subjecting my kids to this >> reporter: at a school board meeting monday night parents were as divided as ever >> the false narrative of rampant racism within cisd is over. indoctrination of children is over >> this is a public school district, and the board's legal mandate is to protect and educate all students, not just white christian conservative students. >> you want to make it national sure
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let's go national. tell the story >> reporter: fights over anti-racism education have become a new flashpoint across the country happening in states from utah, virginia, arizona, and even california >> this isn't something that started in 2018. >> reporter: high school senior nikki olaleye who i first spoke to in february has been a vocal advocate of the diversity plan >> was that all for nothing? >> it wasn't for nothing, but it just hurt me that a lot of these students who had to go through all of this horrible, horrible treatment aren't getting to see the better that comes out of it. >> reporter: nikki graduates at the end of may her family isn't sure they'll stay in town >> you can't tell people of color to just pretend that racism isn't there you can't tell them that because you do not believe that there is systemic racism in southlake it does not exist. because we know it not to be true >> reporter: antonia hylton, nbc news, southlake, texas we'll take a short break. up next, for so many a mother's day like no other.
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for countless american families this mother's day just being together at last will be the biggest gift of all. >> i love my mom because she reads me stories. >> she picks me up from school. >> she does a lot of important stuff for me >> she's always there for me >> reporter: mother's day. that perfect sunday in may. breakfast in bed flowers. maybe even some chocolates but this year many moms like tracy
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spencer wright are getting a sweet gift of a different kind. >> hi, mom >> reporter: a family reunion. >> oh, my god! >> i was excited to hug my mom >> reporter: it's been seven months since tracy laid eyes on her son, mac the pandemic keeping them apart >> this is the best mother's day gift. beats anything you could be bought. you know, when i saw him of course i gave him the motherly once-over. he looked healthy. his teeth were brushed. >> reporter: spicy mehdi hasn't seen her mom marta, an essential worker, in over a year. she's about to give her mom the shock of a lifetime a little reveal that we're in on. >> it's a cake we're celebrating. can you read it? >> it says happy grandmother's day. >> to have something good come out of this time of separation, to have -- i just feel very fortunate >> the reaction that she had was everything
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that i wanted and more of course i had to give you a spicy surprise >> reporter: a mother's day they and so many other mothers will never forget. new memoriesy. to all moms and grandmothers, have a happy mother's day that's "nightly news" for this friday. thanks for watching. please take care of [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ and pa ♪ arkansas, i l
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♪ you are the apple of my eye ♪ ♪ boy, i've never loved one like you ♪ ♪ man oh, man, you're my best friend, ♪ ♪ oh home, let me come home ♪ ♪ home is wherever i'm with you ♪ ♪ oh home, let me come home ♪ ♪ home is where i'm with you ♪ ♪ home, let me come home ♪ ♪ home is whenever i'm with you ♪ ♪ oh, home, home is when i'm
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alone with you ♪ ♪ home, let me come home ♪ ♪ moats and boats and waterfalls ♪ ♪ alleyways and pay phone calls ♪ ♪ home, let me come home ♪ ♪ home is wherever i'm with you ♪ ♪♪[cheers and applause] >> kelly: welcome to "the kelly clarkson show." give it up for my band, y'all. with the body roll and the guns. what made you want to hear "home," lily? >> i have four beautiful

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