tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS September 15, 2020 3:12am-3:42am PDT
joe biden calls president trump >> o'donneesidenst. denies climate change is real, in an extraordinary exchange with a california state official. >> i don't think science knows, actually. >> o'donnell: the manhunt intensifies for a suspect in a brazen ambush of two deputies in los angeles and tonight the new video showing the heroic effort of the officer shot in the face trying to save her partner's life. paired down parade? how the macy's thanksgiving day parade will be a lot different this year. and spreading sunshine. a farmer's gift in troubled times. two million sunflowers. are >> this is the cbs evening news with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capitol.
>> o'donnell: good evening and thank you for joining us. we're going to begin with breaking news tonight. what is now being called hurricane sally is threatening the gulf coast and growing stronger by the minute. just a few hours ago sally was a tropical storm but as we come on the air tonight the system has picked up so much force it is now a category two hurricane. we want you to take a look at this storm because forecasters now tell us that sally is intensifying so rapidly that it could be a dangerous category three hurricane by the time it slams into the coast tomorrow. tonight more than 17 million americans are in sally's path and hundreds of miles of coastline are under storm watches and warnings. from louisiana all the way to the panhandle of florida, millions of americans are scrambling to board up their houses and move out before the storm's flooding rain and hundred mile per hour winds move in. now sally is the seventh hurricane this season and there are four more active storms brewing in the atlantic right now. tonight's scientists are blaming that as well as the devastating
wildfires out west on climate change, something president trump challenged while visiting california today, creating yet another battle line in the race for the white house. there's a lot of new reporting to get to tonight and our team of correspondents is standing by to cover it all. cbs' anuel bojorquez will lead off our coverage in dauphin island, alabama where there is already flooding tonight, good evening, manny. >> reporter: good evening, norah. the worst of this storm is not expected to hit this area until well into tomorrow. but already tonight here along dauphin island, alabama, as you can see we are already getting the first impact of hurricane sally. these gusty winds churning up the waves and the water already lapping up to where we are standing. as time to prepare runs out, the threat of hurricane sally comes into focus. storm surge of up to 11 feet for parts of the gulf coast and rainfall of up to 16 inches.
>> you don't want to take any chances with the storm, so it is good to be prepared. >> reporter: alabama, mississippi and louisiana have all declared a state of emergency. >> we're here and of course it changes almost every hour, 7 to 11 feet of storm surge. >> reporter: andrew gilich is the mayor of biloxi, mississippi. the winds are going to be an issue, but the storm surge, the flooding is your biggest concern. >> that is what kills people. >> reporter: and that is why you want them to get out. >> that's right. >> reporter: earlier forecasts showed the hurricane making a direct hit on new orleans. sally is now tracking east. but officials still aren't taking any chances. cbs news mireya villarreal is there as floodgates close and the city braces for a potential storm surge. >> so the system was aurricane . the idea is the big metal door behind me is going to close tightly and minimize the storm surge that goes into the city. >> reporter: even before it intensified sally had already dumped close to a foot of rain in parts of florida like the keys.
the national hurricane center is predicting the storm surge will be deadly and officials are urging people to get out. the time to leave dauphin island is quickly approaching. that is because a bridge is the only roadway on or off the island and it will be shut down as soon as the winds get too high. the storm surge here is expected to be anywhere from six to nine feet and norah, clearly that would be well over our heads. >> o'donnell: manny bojorquez, thank you for your reporting tonight, thank you. t f's get the latest from lonnie quinn, this storm is expected to be extremely dangerous. >> oh you betcha. hurricanes often come with more water than wind. this one has both. it is going to pack a punch in both areas. take a look at what we are dealing with. right now the storm has a hundred mile per hour wind category two, 140 miles southeast of biloxi, mississippi, where do i think landfall will be and when, i will be more precise, i think it will be similar on the mississippi, alabama border as a category two if not a category three.
it is going to be borderline, it will be close, and i do believe it will pack a punch with the water, a lot of rain but also storm surge on mobile bay could be seven to 11 feet and look at the rainfall totals, anywhere from a foot to two feet in this area shaded in black on the mississippi alabama border, that could be two feet or more of rain, and then if you look at what else is out there, we've got all kinds of names in the atlantic basin, paulette, renee, sally, teddy, vickie, this could very well become wilfred it is a record-setting season so far. i think that will become wilfred. if that happens we are then out of letters, we don't use x y and z, then we go to the greek alphabet, we are three weeks ahead of schedule 2005 which is the most active hurricane season on record. i believe you and i right now are living through history. i think we will break that record. >> o'donnell: all right, good thing i studied latin, not greek. thanks, lonnie. now to the west where at least 35 people are confirmed dead from those historic wildfires.
dozens of major fires are raging across the region. the devastation is unimaginable. and tonight we have the story of a 13 year old who died while trying to rescue his grandmother. here's cbs's jonathan vigliotti. >> reporter: it has been more than a week and the historic fires continue to rage. more evacuations in southern california as flames close in. hundreds of homes already lost throughout the west. today president trump was briefed by officials. >> it's a tough battle but they have never let us down. >> reporter: one of the hardest hit areas, the northern california town of berry creek. this map showing all the homes damaged or destroyed. the west zone fire swept through butte county so fast, 14 people were killed and today the search is on for at least seven who are still missing. the fires also creating thick smoke so hazardous california's governor says it is like smoking 400 cigarettes a day. among cities with the world's worst air quality, portland ranks second, seattle and san francisco also in the top five.
in oregon where flames exploded as they roared throu s today a surreal scene, talent, oregon covered in retardant meant to save this town, it was no match. the entire neighborhood now in ruins. oregon officials fear the death toll could dramatically rise. it already includes peggy mosso and her 13 year old grandson wyatt tofte. >> he was such a brave boy trying to go back to save his grandma, i think he is a hero trying to save her, opposed to caught in the flames and just panicking alone. they all did die together. >> reporter: wyatt's mother escaped in a separate car, she survived but she is recovering in the hospital tonight with severe burns. the heat and the wind are expected to last through the week. firefighters say these blazes could burn until november, norah. >> o'donnell: oh my goodness, jonathan, thank you. and as those wildfires rage across the west, tonight joe
biden is launching an extraordinary attack on president trump calling him a climate arsonist whose denial of science is responsible for the widespread destruction. biden's new assault came as the president was sitting down for a briefing on those blazes in california which quickly turned to a debate over climate change. here is cbs's paula reid. of climate change by california's governor gavin newsom. >> we come from a perspective, humbly, where we submit that the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real. >> reporter: the growing number of wildfires has been linked to global warming but the president disputes the science and instead blames poor state management of forests. >> there has to be good strong forest management. >> reporter: despite the fact that most california fires are on federal land. the summer has been deemed the hottest on record, yet president trump claimed today that the
high temperatures will drop in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. o helming scientific need a presido respects science. >> reporter: former vice president joe biden called the president a climate denier and predicted more catastrophic events if there trump is re- elected. >> you give a climate arsonist four more years in the white house, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of america ablaze. >> reporter: meanwhile the democratic governor of nevada called the president selfish and reckless for rallying thousands of supporters inside a warehouse last night defying state regulations. the president told the crowd the coronavirus was nearing its end despite evidence to the contrary. and in an exchange with bob woodward obtained by cnn, president trump again said his response to the pandemic was flawless. >> nothing more could have been
done. i acted early. >> reporter: new evidence tonight that the trump administration may be trying to improperly influence the c.d.c. h.h.s spokesman michael caputto and an advisor have been pushing for changes to the c.d.c. weekly reports. caputto says he wants to report --protect against deep state motives but health experts say this is unprecedented and may result in further disruption of that critical agency, norah. >> o'donnell: paula reid at the white house, thank you. tonight the hunt for the suspect in the shooting of two sheriff deputies in southern california is intensifying. the reward has grown to at least 150,000. the deputies were shot yesterday repeatedely as they sat in their both are expected to survive thanks to a heroic effort by one of them. here's cbs's carter evans. >> reporter: tonight new video
shows the wounded 31 year old female deputy covered in blood applying a tourniquet to her 24 year old partner's bleeding arm. and she is shot in the face. >> she is one tough mom. actually they were both shot in the head and the fact that they weren't gravely disabled from it is just a miracle. >> reporter: l.a. county sheriff alex villanueva says the department now has 14 homicide investigators working to track down the shooter. >> we have some good leads that we are working on right now. and i am not going to divulge them but they are promising. >> reporter: in this surveillance video you can see the gunman walk right up to the patrol car and fire several shots; both deputies were hit multiple times. on the job just 14 months each but the sheriff says the male deputy still tried to return fire. >> he tried to grab his gun but his right hand was disabled. >> reporter: this is the female deputy calling for help after for h shot in the jaw. >> reporter: what is it like for you to see this happen to two of your own? >> it breaks my heart. it pisses me off at the same time that a coward would ambush them when they are just doing their job.
we are going to get them. >> reporter: the manhunt now in its third day. carter evans, cbs news, los angeles. >> o'donnell: tonight there is new concern about young people spreading the coronavirus. wisconsin is seeing its highest daily load because of spikes in college towns, and as we come on the air, more than six and a half million cases have been reported in the u.s. the virus has killed nearly 195,000. here's cbs's nikki battiste. >> reporter: scenes of unmasked college students crowded together at parties. this one in new york city. continue to raise fears of spikes in covid cases at colleges and universities across the country. ( chanting ) and concerns mount for younger students.
kindergarten through 12 grade teachers and parents in new york city, frustrated with what they call unsafe conditions at some city schools, protested. >> what do we want? >> safe schools. >> when do we want it? >> now! >> reporter: with plans to begin in-person learning incomes monday. >> i love my job. and if i am forced into the building i will go in. >> you will risk your own health. >> yes, for those of us who can't afford to lose our paycheck we have to risk our lives. >> reporter: and the risks for transmission from. ch a c.d.c. report shows children can play a role in transmission from child care settings to households. emphasizing the importance of contact tracing and mask-wearing especially among staff. and there is vaccine news tonight. u.k. and brazil are resuming astrazeneca oxford trials but so far the u.s. is not after one patient's illness halted worldwide trials last week. meanwhile pfizer expects to know soon if its vaccine is effective. >> we will know if the product works or not by the end of october. >> reporter: we're learning today from the american academy of pediatrics that nearly 550,000 children have tested positive for covid-19 since the pandemic began.
here in new york city mayor bill de blasio says the city is adding 2,000 teachers to address staffing shortages ahead of the first day of school next monday. norah? >> o'donnell: nikki battiste, thank you. i saw the mayor said at least 55 teachers and staff tested positive. we're going to turn to the 2020 campaign and cbs news battle ground tracker poll in arizona where joe biden is trying to become the first democrat to win since bill clinton in 1996. here's cbs's nancy cordes tonight in our series "america decides: battleground 2020". >> if you vote by mail, if you go to the polls. >> reporter: ask arizonans about the election and the temperature starts to rise fast. >> you could be the devil, and i would voteim trump. >> a joe biden presidency represents chaos and anarchy. >> reporter: voters here are on edge. >> it's very tense. >> reporter: and it showed up in our battleground tracker. 71% said things in america are
going somewhat or very badly. how do you think the past four years have gone? >> ( bleep ) and you can bleep that. >> reporter: arizonans still give president trump a one point edge when it comes to the economy. but the pandemic has emerged as a major issue. >> reporter: do you think joe biden will do better handling coronavirus? >> he wouldn't have called it a democratic hoax when he knew that it was deadly. >> reporter: arizonans who say they were financially impacted by covid favor former vice president joe biden by 25 points. >> we laid off almost 500 employees. >> reporter: cesar cramton co- owns nine restaurants and bars. he has seen a shift since 2016 when president trump won this state by nearly four points. >> a lot of people from california are moving to arizona so it's making arizona more of a purple state. >> reporter: nearly every voter told us their mind is already made up. you're trump all the way. >> yes. >> i think biden is a good caretaker for the next four years.
>> reporter: that means the race will come down to turnout. especially when it comes to latinos who now make up nearly a third of the state's population. >> now i see that people are more interested, yes, i want to vote, yes, what do i do, where do i go? >> reporter: arizona's 11 electoral votes aren't typically considered pivotal to the election's outcome. but if president trump's repeats his strong showing in the rust belt, vice president biden will have to pull off upsets elsewhere. democrats now believe arizona is one of their best bets. norah? >> o'donnell: nancy cordes, thank you. and there is still much more news ahead on tonight's cbs evening news, the fallout aftern traffic stop turned violent. and the hugely popular macy's thanksgiving day parade, will it go on? we have an update.
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>> o'donnell: his family had talked about growing sunflowers for years but the coronavirus convinced them the timing was right. >> people are going to be looking for a way to naturally social distance and why not be happy in a field of sunflowers. >> o'donnell: pictures have blossomed on social media. after all it is hard to take a bad shot osis came to pick their own, $25 for a dozen. >> it's gorgeous, absolutely beautiful. >> it's really relaxing. >> i take it for granted because i live here. i get to look out my back window and see these flowers. but for people who don't get that, it almost takes them back to what normal used to be like. >> o'donnell: we will be right back. ack.
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this i i'm kris van cleave in washington. thanks for staying with us this morning. bob woodward's controversial book about president trump "rage" is officially out today and it's already making political waves on and off the campaign trail. "rage" describes in the president's own words how he was warned in january about the coronavirus but downplayed the pandemic in public. scott pelley spoke to bob woodward. >> on 28th of this year, before the virus was on anyone's radar, the national security adviser
robert o'brien told the president this virus will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency. >> what was the president's reaction? >> his head popped up and he asked questions. >> reporter: president trump's questions in the january 28th meeting exposed a difference of opinion. beth saner from the office of the director of national intelligence said the virus might be no worse than sars in 2003 when there were only eight known infections in the u.s. but woodward says deputy national security adviser matt pottinger, who had been a reporter in china, told mr. trump his unofficial chinese contacts had raised a grave warning. >> pottinger said his contacts in china told him this is going to be like the 1918 spanish flu pandemic.
that killed 675,000 people in this country. it was a stunning moment in the trump presidency and i think in american history because he then went on to publicly dismiss the virus and he knew that this was a pandemic coming. >> and this is january 28th. >> yes. >> reporter: the next day the white house announced a coronavirus task force. this was mr. trump january 30th, two days after the warning. >> we think we have it very well under control. we have very little problem in this country at this moment, five, and those people are all recuperating successfully. but we're working very closely with china and other countries and we think it's going to have a very good ending for us, so that i can assure you. >> reporter: chinese
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