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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  December 9, 2020 3:12am-3:42am PST

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trump's hopes of overturning the election. failure of leadership: after the brutal murder of vanessa guillen, the smathing investigation that led the army today to fire or suspend 14 commanders and leaders. plus our executive interview with the army's secretary after cbs news spoke with dozens of sexual assault survivors and families. what do you want to say to those families? college admission scandal: the daughter of actor lori loughlin breaks her silence, saying she now realizes she's "the poster child for white privilege" and remembering pioneer chuck yeager, the first human to break the sound barrier. >> this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening, and thank you for joining us. we are going to begin with breaking news. the fastest, biggest, and most-complex effort to eradicate a disease in modern history is now under way.
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tonight, the british government has started the first public campaign to vaccinate people for coronavirus, and as we come on the air the u.s. appears poised to approve the shots and begin giving them as soon as this weekend. the f.d.a. says data it has reviewed from the drug maker pfizer shows the company's vaccine is not only safe. it is effective. the agency will take up emergency approval of the shots in public hearing on thursday. still, it could take months to vaccinate enough americans to stop the spread of the virus, which is now exploding nationwide. more than 15 million americans have now been infected, and just eight days in, december is already on track to be the worst month of the pandemic. think about that. that is why president-elect joe biden is vowing tonight that his administration will give an average of one million doses of vaccines a day, promising to give 100 million shots in his first 100 days. we've got a lot of new reporting tonight for you and your family. our team is covering it all. cbs' charlie d'agata is going to lead off our coverage from
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england. good evening, charlie. >> reporter: good evening, norah. the health services said thousands of vaccinations took place today, including the first one right here at this hospital in what the health secretary called the beginning of the end of covid. margaret keenan with one sleeve pulled back took one historic leap forward. the 90-year-old grandmother became the first person in the world to receive a clinically approved vaccine. >> i say go for it. go for it, because it's free and it's the best thing that's ever happened. >> reporter: but first, maybe much ado about nothing when next came, poetically, william shakespeare, of warwickshire. there were among thousands inoculated today, a mass vaccination the kuk government dubbed v-day, focusing first on those over eighty and the medical workers administering the shots. a sense of relief, if not celebration, in a country with
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more than 62,000 covid fatalities and climbing, one of the highest death tolls per capita in the world, worse than the u.s. >> it's important for people to understand that the virus is alas still rising in some parts of the country. we can't afford to relax now. >> reporter: the immediate roll out, 800,000 doses in the days ahead, up to four million by the end of the year, distributed initially from around 70 hospital hubs across the u.k. later, more than 1,000 vaccination centers, including converted parking lots, village halls, even librarys. today's roll out came just days after regulators here gave emergency approval for the vaccine late last week. after isolating for months, maggie now can't wait to see her family. for the first time, a dream that is now a reality. and there is news about the
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oxford vaccine. in the "lanset medical journal" a researcher showed it was safe and effective and unlike the other vaccines, it could prevent transmission. >> o'donnell: tonight, president trump says the f.d.a. is just days away from approving pfizer's vaccine here in the u.s., and that the government would immediately begin mass distribution. cbs' adriana diaz has new details tonight. >> reporter: what seemed almost impossible when the pandemic began is now in sight: the u.s. is on the verge of a vaccine. tonight, f.d.a. scientists say for the first time, pfizer's vaccine offers americans strong protection and is, indeed, up to 95% effective after two doses. the report also finds protection begins within 10 days of the first dose, and that it's effective, no matter one's race, age, or weight. there are also no serious side effects beyond fever, fatigue, and muscle aches, most of which disappear within two days. >> we will be able to vaccinate
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about 20 million people this month, and another 20-25 million in january. >> reporter: hospitals around the country are now also on the front lines of administering the vaccine. >> our biggest worries are making sure we don't lose any vaccine to storage issues. we want to get as much of that vaccine into people as possible. >> reporter: another challenge: complacency. >> i know everybody is excited and we'd love to take our masks off by valentine's day, but that's just not going to happen. >> reporter: some continue to take their masks off, like this christmas pag pageant in missouri and this concert in ohio. but americans must be willing to take a vaccine while a pew research survey found 60% of americans say they will, dr. anthony fauci told norah o'donnell that number needs to be higher. >> if we can get 75% to 85% of the people in the united states vaccinated, we could crush this outbreak. >> reporter: but, keep in mind, today, the white house
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coronavirus task force warned about what the vaccine won't do. it will not reduce the speed of the spread of this virus, hospitalizations, or deaths, until the 100 million americans with underlying conditions are fully vaccinated and that's not expected until late spring, norah. >> o'donnell: adriana diaz, thank you. president trump's last-ditch effort to stay in office was dealt a decisive blow tonight by the supreme court. the court denied a bid to overturn election results in pennsylvania. cbs' ed o'keefe is in wilmington, delaware, tonight. good evening, ed. >> reporter: good evening, norah. that's right, the supreme court blocking one of the president's last paths to possibly overturning the election results. the high court in a one-sentence decision rejected attempts by the president's supporters in pennsylvania to toss out most of the state's mail-in ballots. they argued they were unlawfull. the decision comes as the president and the president-elect held dueling events today on the pandemic. >> i'm going to speak directly to the american people and say what i'm saying now-- we need
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your help. >> reporter: president-elect joe biden today laying out his three-point plan to fight the pandemic as soon as he enters office, urging people to wear masks for 100 days, getting kids safely back to school, and carrying out 100 million covid vaccinations. >> 100 million covid vaccine shots into the arms of the american people in the first 100 days. >> reporter: mr. biden warned the current administration's vaccination plan will fall short without additional funding. >> there's a real chance that after an early round of vaccinations, the effort will slow and stall. >> reporter: dr. anthony fauci, who biden has tapped as his chief medical adviser, helped devise the new plan and gave the president-elect credit for leaving politics out of it. >> i believe, as you do, that in the fight against this pandemic, we must lead with science. >> reporter: fauci skipped a vaccine summit hosted by president trump today, which featured no representatives from vaccine manufacturers and members of the incoming biden administration, who will handle
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much of the distribution, also were not invited. >> every american who wants the vaccine will be able to get the vaccine. >> reporter: mr. trump continued to insist he won the election. >> hopefully, the next administration will be the trump administration. >> reporter: even though nearly all 50 states have certified their results, officially giving mr. biden an electoral college victory. republican leaders on capitol hill still refuse to accept the result, today blocking the committee planning the inauguration from recognizing mr. biden as the president-elect. the president's legal team it vowing to fight on, despite mounting courtroom lozs and its two top attorneys, rudy giuliani, and jenna ellis, testing positive for covid-19. meanwhile, cbs news has learned that outgoing alabama senator doug jones remains a top contender to serve as mr. biden's first attorney general. and we learned tonight he plans to dominate, marcia fudge, to lead the department of housing and urban development. norah. >> o'donnell: ed o'keefe,
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thank you. a scathing new report by the army describes a culture of sexual harassment and assault at fort hood in texas. 14 base leaders, including two generals, have been removed or suspended. cbs' mireya villarreal reports tonight from fort hood. >> we are not going to fix some of the challenges we have here at fort hood unless... >> reporter: in front of thousands of soldiers, fort hood's commanding officer, lieutenant general robert white, took full responsibility for the failures outlined in the report, including a finding that only 59 out of 93 accounts of sexual assault were actually reported. what do you say to the victims who did not have enough confidence in the army to report crimes like sexual harassment and sexual assaults? >> well, for those victims that are out there that will not report, the first thing i did was i gave everybody my phone number. you can call me 24/7 if you don't have confidence in your chain of command. >> reporter: in the 136-page
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report, an independent panel issued nine findings, including that the command climate at fort hood has been permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault. today's revelations gave some soldiers the courage to speak out and finally be heard. >> for the first two weeks, three weeks i was back, i was living the same barracks as the person who raped me. >> reporter: the nearly-four-month investigation comes in a year in which 31 soldiers assigned to fort hood died by suicide, accident, or homicide, including the murder of 20-year-old specialist vanessa guillen. before her death, guillen told her family and friends she'd been sexually harassed on post, something the army continues to investigate. >> it's for to us keep on asking for justice to find those who are responsible. >> reporter: in the report, one soldier said she felt like sexual harassment and assault was like initiation here at fort hood. it's a sentiment shared by two victims that we spoke with just
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minutes ago. the army secretary says the 70 reform recommendations are just the first steps to solving this big problem. norah. >> o'donnell: mireya villarreal, thank you. now to our exclusive cbs news interview with army secretary ryan mccarthy. today's firing and suspensions follow our year-and-a-half-long investigation into sexual assaults in the military, including interviews with nearly two dozen victims and their families. we asked mccarthy why action wasn't taken sooner and where the army goes from here. some of the soldiers we talked to and the whistleblower said it's time for a "me too" movement in the military. do you expect revolutionary change? yes, i do. what you'll see is one of the most comprehensive steps of accountability in the army thoft get after this. >> o'donnell: the most comprehensive in accountability? >> it will be among one of the largest, yes. >> o'donnell: in the course of our own investigation, service members told us they experienced retaliation for reporting sexual
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assault. >> they were trying to break me down. they just go after you because you're the victim and you're the program. >> it got to the point where i didn't just wish i never reported. i wished that i had never joined. i wished that i was dead many times. >> o'donnell: survivors told us that no one took their reports seriously, and that when they did report it, they were often retaliated against and that in some cases, the retaliation was worse than the assault. is that unacceptable? >> it's totally unacceptable. it's incredibly disappointing, and some of the things that we saw in the independent review's findings. >> o'donnell: we also spoke with the families of two suicide victims who said their daughters' assaults and retaliation led to their deaths. >> i still cry every day. my mind's always on nicole. i i turn one corner there she is, i turn another corner there she is. >> she was doing a job, a job she loved. it was for her country, and to think that that's what took her life, that's what broke her,
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they wanted her body, and they took her soul. >> o'donnell: were you able to see our series of reports on cbs? >> yes, it was very powerful reporting, and any time you see soldiers-- they're soldiers for life whether they're on active duty or not-- for them to come forward shows how terribly hurt they were, and it just compelled me to want to respond. >> o'donnell: what do you want to say to those families? >> i'm a father. i have a young daughter. i couldn't imagine the pain that they're going through. >> o'donnell: what do you say to families about whether that's going to change or not. >> it will change. it's going to change. we're going to use that 140-page report as a mechanism to create the enduring change that we need. it will change the army. >> o'donnell: sexual harassment and assault in the military are not new. 15 years ago, the pentagon created a program to try to fix it. today's report sheds light on where it falls short. i notice that in the new report you acknowledge that ineffective due to command climate. that sounds kind of like a
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euphemism. what is "command climate." commanders, that's the problem? >> in this case, some of them, yes. >> o'donnell: and while today's report outlines wide-ranging reforms, one of the most stunning revelations is only half of female soldiers interviewed felt confident their commanders would take any report seriously. those survivors and whistleblowers that we spoke with raised real concerns about whether the army can police itself. >> it's fair for them to be upset. results matter. >> o'donnell: so is it a cultural issue or is it a command issue? >> commanders set the culture. >> o'donnell: and those commanders will be held accountable. >> correct. >> o'donnell: you will likely lead in a new administration. how do you ensure that this doesn't just become one more report about one more problem? it's why i wanted to make this decision before january 20. i did not want to pass this to my successor. people need us to perform, and we're-- we're not-- in this particular issue, we're not performing well. but we will get better. >> o'donnell: and that
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includes fighting for the soldiers who are victims. >> every day. >> o'donnell: and we will continue to follow this story. and while the army took these steps today, we should note that our reporting revealed the failure to stop sexual assault is not just limited to fort hood or even the army. the problem is more widespread, and impacts all branches of the u.s. military. there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." the daughter of actor lori loughlin breaks her silence on the college admissions scandal. does she have regrets? i really need to start adding "less to cart" and "more to savings." sitting on this couch so long made me want to make some changes... starting with this couch. yeah, i need a house with a different view. and this is the bank that will help you do it all. because at u.s. bank, our people are dedicated to turning your new inspiration into your next pursuit.
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smith she initially didn't see anything wrong with her parents' half-million-dollar scheme to get their daughters into u.s.c. >> i walked around my whole 20 years of life not realizing you have insane privilege. you're like the poster child of white privilege. you have no idea. >> reporter: both parents are now in prison. loughlin has served one month. >> she gets to rethink everything that happened, hopefully will be a blessing in the end. >> reporter: carter evans, cbs news, los angeles. >> o'donnell: and coming up next, we'll remember chuck yeager the test pilot who helped take us to the heavins. es santa, here comes santa claus♪ ♪right down santa claus lane ♪he's got a bag that's filled with toys♪ ♪for boys and girls again ♪so jump in bed, and cover your head, ♪ ♪'cause santa claus comes tonight♪
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we'd be closer to the twins. change in plans. at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan. >> o'donnell: chuck yeager holds a special place in aviation history. like the writing brother and charles lindbergh, yeager accomplished something many considered impossible. cbs' jericka duncan has a look back at a test pilot with the right stuff. >> captain charles yakker climbs into the cockpit of the rocket raft. >> reporter: the first time chuck yeager ever saw a jet he shot it down. he was a world war ii flying ace, but history will always remember him for the boom heard 'round the world, october 14, 1947. >> the first human to crack the
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sound barrier. ( explosion ) >> there he goes! >> reporter: 65 years later, to the minute, yeager rode along to recreate the flight that landed him in the history books. >> see, up until that time, we had never been able to get above the speed of sound and open up space to us. >> reporter: in 1953, he broke mach 2, flying twice the speed of sound. >> it's not a of thinking it's possible. it's duty. it's just like flying combat. >> reporter: a life well lived. chuck yeager died last night at the age of 97. jericka duncan, cbs news, new york. >> o'donnell: conquering the skies and our hearts. we'll be right back. she's so beautiful. janie, come here. check this out. let me see.
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♪ this is the "cbs overnight news." thanks for staying with us this morning. the krocoronavirus pandemic is threatening to knock the rail system off the rails. the public has been avoiding the rail way many are already planning for widespread lay-offs and drastic service ed the chal around the bend with the head of the largest transit system is. >> new york's metropolitan
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transit authority has been knocked down before. the great depression, 9/11, super storm sandy. but they say nothing matches the pandemic by orders of magnitude. >> in the great depression, subway ridership was down 13% in 1933 was that stat. in the worse days of the pandemic in march and april, ridership down 39%. >> we meant the chairman inside the authority's vast coronavirus maintenance facility. >> 500 cars, 200 employees. >> this is not titled after the virus, it's in corona queens. not as cruel as what is happening to millions people depending on public transportation across the country. new york is at the top of the
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food chain. he said unless they receive $12 billion in federal help over the next several years, massive cuts in jobs and service will take place. why should people from nebraska and iowa fund the new york city subway system? >> one answer to that question is, you mentioned nebraska. so, let's start there. a company called you ka sa ed - kawasaki builds the subway cars. we have production products in florida, iowa, texas, obviously new york state, it's now on pause, it touches literally every state in the nation. including nebraska had. >> in just the new york area, one study estimated 450,000 nontransit jobs are depending on public transportation services. first generation america


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