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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 7, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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more news in the afternoon. that includes three afternoon shows at 5:00 p.m., 5:30 and 6. bay news starts at 7:00. >> thanks for watching. nightly news is next. tonight, dangerous, new milesteps in the covid surge. the u.s. hits 100,000 cases a day. massive lines to get tested. hospitals pushed to the brink. this baby airlifted 150 miles for covid treatment because a pediatric ward was full. dr. fauci's prediction that full-fda approval for the vaccine is just weeks away. why he says there will be a flood of vaccine mandates, as worried parents ask why aren't they required for teachers? >> there are still so many people who are not vaccinated. >> the sheriff
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investigating governor andrew cuomo. >> yes, it could lead to an arrest. >> and the accuser behind that criminal complaint break their silence. california's biggest single wildfire, ever. the smoke spreading so far, denver now has some of the worst air quality in the world. the ancient greek city of olympia in danger, as a massive wildfire burns closer. the terrifying evacuations overnight. president biden's infrastructure bill clears a key-senate vote. what happens, next? and final gold rush. team usa closing strong. allyson felix now the most decorated american track and field olympian, ever. golden redemption for men's basketball and the men's relay team and the marathoner who shocked the world. >> this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz-balart. good evening. as this latest covid surge has taken hold, there has been a painful sense of déjà vu. no more than today,
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the scenes all too familiar. long lines of people trying to get tested, as cases skyrocket. many areas seeing more than at any other point during the pandemic. there are new stories of hospitals pushed to their limits. but this time, children's wards are under siege. and there are new battles but not just over masks. we begin, tonight, with vaughn hillyard in florida. >> reporter: new covid milestones, tonight. cases in the u.s., more than doubling in the last two weeks. now, more than 100,000, a day. as lines for testing starting to mirror last summer's dramatic spike. the country's covid epicenter, florida, shattering its daily record. more than 23,000 new cases, on friday alone. and another jump in hospitalizations to more than 13,000 in the state. cars snaking down roads. families waiting in the heat in tallahassee.
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>> have you been vaccinated. >> i have not, no. >> but just two blocks away at the local-vaccination site, a slow trickle. nationwide, still more than 100 million americans, yet, to get a shot. dr. anthony fauci now saying he expects the tha >> we know that we can curb this, in three to four weeks, if everybody does what needs to be done in order to curve the virus. >> but for now, hospitals in texas are overwhelmed. all five houston pediatric wards are full. 11-month-old eva ramirez had to be airlifted to a hospital 150 miles away. >> she arrived at a hospital in houston where, because of her condition, they needed to put her on a breathing machine. >> reporter: and concerns only mounting. 700,000 bikers expected in south dakota, this weekend, for the annual-sturgis motorcycle rally, despite widespread transmission at the
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same event last year. and according to a document obtained by nbc news, more than 18% of migrant families on the border are testing positive before being deported. the u.s. now averaging nearly-500 deaths, a day. officials, desperately, hoping these rising numbers will lead more people to get vaccinated. >> i'd rather know, than not know. >> have you been vaccinated? >> i have not been vaccinated. i have actually been against the vaccine prior to this but i'm actually considering it, now. you know, because i do have small kids. >> vaughn, who did you see at those testing sites today? >> we saw young people. college students. parents with school-aged children and the data reflects that. in the last week in florida, more than half the new cases are people under the age of 40. jose. >> vaughn hillyard, in tallahassee, florida, thank you. the criminal investigation into new york governor andrew cuomo is ramping up. the sheriff detailed the case today for the first time, while one
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of the governor's accusers also spoke out for the first time. kathy park is in albany. >> tonight, new york governor andrew cuomo is laying low in albany at the executive mansion, while less than a mile away, the county sheriff released new details on a criminal complaint filed by one of cuomo's accusers. >> i have read our report that we took from our victim. and -- and again, i commend them on their bravery for coming forward. and now, it's time for us to begin our investigation. >> reporter: adding a misdemeanor charge and arrest are possibilities. but premature, at this point. the attorney general's office says they will turn over all evidence related to this complainant. the unnamed victim, known as executive assistant number one, in the ag's report, has alleged cuomo reached under her blouse and groped her last year. she is breaking her silence to the albany times union telling them, what he did to me was a crime. he broke the law. cuomo has denied any wrongdoing.
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and his legal team cast doubt on the ag's findings. >> the documentary evidence does not support what she said. # and what is disturbing, to me, is that the two investigators did not show that evidence to you. they ignored it. ask them why. >> the ag's office says they will make redacted transcripts from witnesses available to state lawmakers. the legal and political fallout, deepening for the governor, as a judiciary committee prepares to meet monday to discuss next steps for a possible impeachment. >> kathy, how are new yorkers responding to the latest development? >> jose, according to a new poll, support for the governor is slipping. 70% of new york voters say that the governor should step down. 55% say that he should be charged with a crime. jose. >> kathy park in albany, thank you. now, to california where intense wildfires are putting
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thousands in peril tonight, with no end in sight. the biggest is a dixie fire in northern california. currently, the largest fire in the u.s. guad venegas is there. >> reporter: tonight, a growing threat as the giant dixie fire carves a destructive path. now, the largest-single wildfire in california history. it's, also, the largest currently burning in the u.s., incinerating some 450,000 acres. an area triple the size of chicago. the massive inferno, driven by historic-drought conditions and winds fueling a blowtorch. >> this really was explosive fire growth. >> reporter: four firefighters have been injured. one, still, recovering in the hospital. and with more than 30,000 forced from their homes, monstrous clouds of smoke from several, large fires can be seen from space. blanketing areas from salt lake city, to
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denver, with dangerous-air quality among the worst in the world. in greenville, which was nearly wiped off the map, authorities damage. >> this was the pharmacy. the village drug company. >> reporter: county supervisor, kevin is family business. >> shock just like anything else. shock. and really hard to put into words. >> now, he's convinced his home and an area still threatened by the fire will be next. you think you are prepared for it but i guarantee you you're not until you have been here and smell the smoke. and see the destruction. >> guad, the weather was better today. were crews able to gain any ground? >> so, the spread of the fire has slowed down but a change in weather in the next few days is expected to bring back dangerous conditions making this a more precarious situation, jose. >> guad venegas in greenville,
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california, thank you. massive fires are also tearing through large parts of greece, tonight. they are closing in on major historical sites and forcing thousands to flee by land and sea. molly hunter reports from just outside athens. >> reporter: apocalyptic themes. a terrifying overnight escape as more than a thousand people evacuated the island in greece. this is what they saw from the ferries and boats pulling away to safety. the bright-red flames lighting up the sky. a woman clutching her baby. another, wiping away a tear. three hours away in the suburbs of athens, firefighters water bombing flare-ups but they can't keep up. quick, this woman says, the houses are on fire. nearby, a new blaze threatening this hilltop village. on this side of the road, two priests are trying to save their monastery. and then, come with me right here. you have got a single house.
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apparently, there is one person inside. these are all volunteers. there are no firefighters here. and to the north, flames threatening ancient olympia. this farmer says, when you violently disrespect the earth, it punishes you. one firefighters has died and crews from at least ten other nations on the way to help, despite the scorching triple-digit temperatures. with more than 100 fires burning across the country over the last-24 hours, one city official calling it a biblical catastrophe and it's not over, yet. molly hunter, nbc news, greece. in tokyo, it's the final-full day of competition at the olympics and team usa is finishing strong. allyson felix claimed her place in the history books. and another american runner surprised everyone. stephanie gosk has more from tokyo. >> reporter: molly seidel ran with the audacity of a newcomer. >> molly seidel in her third marathon is running with some of the best to ever compete in marathon.
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>> reporter: and it paid off. >> molly seidel, you are an olympic medalist. >> reporter: the third u.s. woman to ever medal in the marathon in the olympics. something her cheering section in wisconsin, certainly, appreciates. >> we did it. i'm good. i'm so tired. >> reporter: there was gold today, too, for the u.s. both, the men and women winning the 4 by 400 relay. allyson felix going out on top in her last-ever race at the olympics. her 11th medal. now, the most decorated track athlete in u.s. history. >> the collection of team work and the unity we had and the balance we had in our team. that gives me the chills. you know? like, whoo. >> and in basketball, the u.s. men overcame a wobbly start to the game beating france in the final. >> kevin durant leads the united states to their fourth-straight gold medal. >> it was just a special feeling, man. not everybody gets the opportunity to -- to compete in the
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olympics and win a gold medal. >> reporter: the tokyo olympics held under the specter of covid are now winding down. organizers are calling the handling of the pandemic a success. >> case numbers have been very, very low. >> tonight, an olympics health adviser says out of 600,000 tests of people associated with the games since july 1st, only 404 came back positive. even though case numbers are soaring in tokyo, itself. with a high-vaccination rate, social distancing, and masking, there haven't been any large-scale outbreaks. you have the beijing olympics, coming up in six months. is this something of a case study in how it should be handled? >> this is a case study not only of how the beijing olympics should be handled but how other nations can handle it, as well. >> and, stephanie, could we see any more golds for team usa before games wrap up? >> there are a couple of chances. the u.s. women have a chance in both volleyball and basketball later on tonight, jose.
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>> stephanie gosk in tokyo, thank you. and they could use that gold. china leads the u.s. by two golds but the u.s. is way ahead in total medals. back home, the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill cleared a key hurdle today. senators voting to move forward with the debate on the bill that includes new spending on nation's roads, bridges, and public transit. lawmakers have paused their scheduled recess in hopes the measure can be passed, in the next couple of days. still ahead, tonight. questions so many parents are asking. why aren't teachers required to be now, we all know progressive offers 24/7 protection, but we also bundle outdoor vehicles with home and auto to help people save more! [ laughs ] ♪♪ [ humming ] [ door creaks ] oh. [ soft music playing ] what are you all doing in my daydream?
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rinvoq. make it your mission. if you can't afford your medicine, abbvie may be able to help. tonight, the debate over vaccine mandates rages on. this time, in our country's schools as kids head back to the classroom. there is growing concern among parents that not enough teachers are vaccinated. and without a mandate, it could put kids in danger. erin mclaughlin has more. >> reporter: tonight, at schools across the country, anxiety. growing concern that as students and teachers return to the classroom, not enough is being done to keep everyone safe. >> there is always a level of nerves. but um, this year, it's -- it's -- it's really heavy. it's not butterflies. >> reporter: while many businesses across the country, including bars and restaurants, are requiring proof of vaccine, that's not the case for the vast
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majority of america's classrooms. >> you have, already, intense polarization on everything. and we are really trying to create trust amongst everyone who is in the school community. >> reporter: randi weingarten is president of the largest teacher's union in the country. while the american federation of teachers is currently against vaccine requirements, given the contagiousness of the delta variant, it's a position that weingarten says is being looked at, again. >> i think we need to do a lot more myth busting. >> high school teacher and mother of two in los angeles. one of many cities, where teachers have a choice. get vaccinated or get tested, regularly. she says that's not enough. do you think that vaccines and masks should be required for teachers and students? >> yes. >> others, such as new york city teacher, michael cane, argue that's too restrictive. he refuses to get a shot. >> me, personally, i am not vaccinated.
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i do believe that there needs to be more data on this vaccine. >> reporter: the aft estimates that 90% of its teachers are vaccinated but they don't have access to vaccination records to verify that. even so, experts say the science is clear. >> a vaccine mandate is the first and probably the most important step to keeping schools safe, especially school-aged children that can't get a vaccine. >> reporter: experts argue, full-fda approval of the covid-19 vaccines would go a long way to ease people's fears but that approval's not expected until the fall. and many schools are starting, now. jose. >> erin mclaughlin in los angeles, thank you. we are back, in a moment, with the (judith) in this market, you'll find fisher investments is different than other money managers. (other money manager) different how? don't you just ride the wave? (judith) no - we actively manage client portfolios based on our forward-looking views of the market. (other money manager) but you still sell investments that generate high commissions, right? (judith) no, we don't sell commission products. we're a fiduciary,
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we are back with a death from the music world. dennis dt thomas, co-founder of the band kool and the gang has died. tonight, fans are remembering him for hits like get down on it and "celebration." thomas was 70 years old. tonight, as the olympics wrap up, the countdown to the paralympics is on. kristen dahlgren has the story of one champion who's beaten incredible odds to soar. >> reporter: growing up, sam gru dreamed of being a pro-athlete. >> sports were everything for me. >> so when he was diagnosed with osteo
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sarcoma. >> my first initial questions were would i be able to finish the basketball season? would i be able to play baseball in a few weeks? would i lose my leg? would i live to see my 14th birthday? and so, it was really a dark place i went into after that. >> reporter: doctors would take sam's leg but instead of the usual amputation, they tried a rare procedure so he wouldn't lose the thing he loved most, sports. his lower leg wasn't affected by the tumor so by flipping and rotating it, his ankle could replace his knee joint. >> so here is my ankle. so my foot basically goes down to my prosthetic kind of like a shoe and it operates as a knee. >> like science fiction. >> yeah, it's so bizarre but it's extremely functional. >> reporter: sam had to relearn how to walk, run, and, eventually, jump. through an adaptive-sports program, sam fell in love with high jump. >> it seemed like such an elegant, beautiful, you know, event. so went home and
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started working on it, myself. >> reporter: within a year, he came out of nowhere to win the para-world championship. >> what's that like for the kid who had just a few years prior been in a hospital bed unable to do anything? >> yeah. it was such an incredible feeling. >> reporter: off the track, sam is soaring, too. he was accepted to every med school he applied to. >> michigan, harvard, yale, stanford. >> reporter: he and girlfriend, maddie, started at michigan just three weeks before tokyo. >> i'd like to think that my professors will allow me to miss a few days of class. >> reporter: u.s. olympic officials joked they could write an excuse note. for a young man, once brought down by a devastating illness, now flying high. >> i would not change a thing. i think i am so, so, so much better off today because of the challenges that i have gone through. >> reporter: in spite of everything, still, living out that little boy's dream. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, middlebury,
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have seen epic vaults, top-notch skill. >> that was awesome. >> and amazing jumps. >> a horse couldn't have jumped that any better. >> but in a different kind of olympics, we've seen this. and this. and this. clearly, they're not professional athletes. but british couple are attempting the impossible. matching the action of champions over the 17 days of the tokyo games. 49 sports. more than 100 events. like pole vaulting. even synchronized swimming. >> we've got blisters on top of blisters. but we're smiling. >> we're good. >> smiling because they're doing it all for a good cause. competing against each other, to raise money for als research. als is a disease
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affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. >> i lost my brother ten years ago, this year, who died of als. they now understand so much more about the disease. they just need money for the research to do it. >> they are calling it the spennylympics in honor of his late brother, who was a huge sports fan. >> i think it's such an amazing thing that you all are doing. it's -- but why not, like, a chess tournament? >> we wanted to do something massive. we want to do something that no one had ever done, before. because this charity. it needs so much recognition. >> so far, raising over $135,000 and earning them fans around the world. >> it's impossible not to get excited and just really -- um -- behind them because it's -- it's amazing.
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>> amateur athletes with hearts of gold. >> if we, in some, small way, with our crazy antics, can help towards a world that's free from als, then we will do anything. bring it on. >> stewart and charlotte are considering doing it again for the winter olympics. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm jose diaz-balart. thank you for the privilege of your time and good night. right now at 4:00, tracking smoky skies in the bay area. fires in the northern area are
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creating hazardous conditions for some here. thanks for joining us for a special edition of nbc4 news. >> let's get to our top story. wildfire smoke in the bay area and may be causing breathing problems for some people. some parts are worse than others, rob. >> walnut creek, that is smoke. another red to orange sunset on the way. an san francisco, it looks like fog. and with the push of sea air, you see as you head inland, the red and purple, that is unhealthy to downright hazardous. the sea breeze is helping things out.


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