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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  December 16, 2020 3:12am-3:43am PST

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senate majority leader mitch mcconnell congratulates joe biden and kamala harris. >> the electoral college has spoken. >> o'donnell: but president trump still won't concede. plus what role the president- elect wants for mayor pete in his cabinet. dire warning, more than a dozen states tell cbs news they don't have the money to handle covid testing, contact tracing or administering a vaccine. new body-cam video in the case of ahmaud arbery taken moments after his death, how it contradicts the story told by one of the men charged with aubrey's murder. dramatic videos rescuers free a family from a submerged car. plus how a nine-year-old makes sense of the pandemic by watching the news. 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're going to begin tonight with another breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus.
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tonight the f.d.a. says a second vaccine, this one from drug company moderna, is highly effective at stopping infections and preventing severe illness. the new shot is expected to be for emergency use friday, allowing moderna to ship out 6 million doses as soon as this weekend. distribution of pfizer's vaccine is ramping up tonight, too. hundreds of additional hospitals and clinics across the country began giving shots to doctors and nurses today, dramatically expanding the nation's largest vaccination campaign ever. but there are concerns about just how far that program can go can go without funding from congress, which has still not been approved, and with the fierce snowstorm heading for the east coast, shipments of the vaccines-- along with christmas presents-- could be delayed. about the only thing the storm won't slow is the spread of the virus. 1200 hospitals say people are getting sick so quickly they are running out of medical staff to treat them. there are now more than 110,000 covid patients in the hospitals
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here in the u.s. by tomorrow, experts say thousands of them will most likely be dead. we've got a lot of new reporting for you and your family and our team is covering it all. cbs' mola lenghi will lead the coverage off from new york city. good evening, mola. >> reporter: good evening, norah. here at mount sinai hospital in new york which just seven, eight months ago was overwhelmed with covid patients, they just wrapped up vaccinating their first round of healthcare workers. this as the f.d.a. are possibly days away, i should say, from two authorized vaccines after the f.d.a. review today signaled a strong endorsement. tonight, a sign that vaccine reinforcements could be on the way. the f.d.a. released new moderna vaccine data ahead of the panel vot thursday. the f.d.a. says the vaccine, overall, is 94.5% effective. it's 100% effective in people 65 and older. like the pfizer vaccine, it's given in two doses, but moderna's doses can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures for 30 days.
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six million doses could go out as soon as the f.d.a. gives the green light. >> we were kind of starting off with just a 50% requirement, and when we saw the critical number, it was fantastic. >> oh! ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: this as frontline healthcare workers at another 425 hospitals began getting their shots of the pfizer vaccine, including dr. umesh gidwani. he and his fellow doctors and nurses at new york's mount sinai hospital were overcome with emotion. is it hard to believe we've gotten here so quickly? >> it is indeed remarkable. it's a beautiful thing to see everyone's hopes realized and hard work rewarded. >> vaccinations done! ( applause ) >> reporter: the same scene from chicago to houston, but the but the covid death toll is mounting, with more than 110,000 people hospitalized, 76% of the nation's i.c.u.s full. in california, governor gavin newsom is preparing for a surge in deaths.
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>> 53-foot refrigerated storage units are currently standing by now in counties and at hospitals. we just had to order 5,000 additional body bags. ( bell tolls ) >> reporter: in remembrance, bells at the national cathedral in washington, d.c. rang out 300 300 times, to remember the 300,000 americans who have lost their lives to the virus. some remember all too well, like dr. gidwani, who in the early days of the pandemic kept a video diary of the daily emotional trauma. >> what could we have done better, what could we have done different, could we have saved another life? >> reporter: but today a new feeling: hope. >> the hope is that this vaccine will finally extinguish this fire that's been raging. >> reporter: well, health officials continue to stress that we are not yet in the clear, that this virus continues to spread, partly due to asymptomatic spread, but good news on that front from the
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f.d.a. today as they authorized a covid test that you can take at home, receive results at home within 20 minutes, all without a prescription, and it's said to be 91% accurate even among asymptomatic cases, norah. >> o'donnell: wow, that could be a game changer. mola lenghi, thank you. tonight more than 60 million americans are bracing for a powerful nor'easter. the same system dumped snow across the central plains today, but the storm will intensify before it wallops the east. the forecast from lonnie quinn. lonnie, how bad is it going to get? >> a lot worse than now. you talked about the plains picking up a couple of inches, the storm system as it moves from the plains to the northeast, once it bounces offshore, it will tap into all that atlantic moisture and that's when it blows up. but the question is once it gets to the northeast, is it cold to be all snow, or will it be a little too warm and maybe rain mixes in? right now the rain-snow line sets up on top of new york city. does new york city see a foot of snow? there's a chance. but rain mixes in, chances will
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be lower. whatever snow is falling the heavy wet snow will be made more problematic by the wind and power outages a possibility. 5-10 inches from new york city to providence, portions of pennsylvania, two feet or more. some indications, possibly 30 inches in parts of pennsylvania. so that's the latest, norah. >> o'donnell: lonnie quinn, thank you so much. tonight senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is accepting the election result for the first time. publicly congratulating president-elect joe biden for his victory. this as mr. biden campaigns in georgia backing his party's bid to take control of the senate from o'connell and republicans. here's ed o'keefe. >> reporter: president-elect joe biden rallying democrats in georgia after the electoral college made his win official on monday. >> i think all of you just taught donald trump a lesson. in this election, georgia wasn't
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going to be bullied. >> reporter: for over five weeks senate majority leader mitch mcconnell refused to acknowledge mr. biden as president-elect, staying silent as president trump made claims about voter fraud and pressured states to toss out results. today mcconnell gave in. >> the electoral college has spoken. so today, i want to congratulate president-elect joe biden. >> reporter: just minutes after mcconnell's statement, the president showed he hasn't moved on, again tweeting falsely that there's evidence of voter fraud. but senator mitt romney said top republicans must now speak out against mr. trump. >> we need to have people who are strong trump supporters come out and say that as well or you will continue to have this country divided which is pretty dangerous. >> reporter: mr. biden told reporters this morning he and mcconnell are now speaking and will able to work together. >> we've always been straight with one another. >> reporter: the reality is the senate republican majority stands in the way of the biden
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agenda and that's what brought the president-elect to georgia today. >> i need two senators from this state. i want to get something done. >> reporter: a win by democrats jon ossoff and raphael warnock in january, would give democrats senate control. and so mr. biden went after their republican opponents, senators kelly loeffler and david perdue, who supported overturning the election results in georgia and other battleground states. >> they fully embraced nullifying nearly five million georgia votes. you might want to remember that come january 5. >> reporter: meanwhile, cbs news has learned mr. biden is set to tap pete buttigieg as transportation secretary. the 38-year-old indiana mayor would be the first openly gay senate confirmed cabinet official. also tonight mr. biden says he will be vaccinated soon against covid-19 and plans to do so publicly. as for the biden inauguration, we know he will be sworn in outside at the capitol, but the usual parade along pennsylvania will be scaled back.
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reporters are asked to stay out of washington and to participate virtually. norah. >> o'donnell: ed o'keefe, thank you. tonight health officials in more than a dozen states tell cbs news they do not have enough money to effectively administer a covid vaccine or to continue testing and contact tracing. they're pleading for billions from the federal government. more now from cbs' nancy cordes in our series "vaccinating america." >> reporter: in this two-county swath of rural north carolina, the money to fight covid has all but run out. >> we have no indication of future funding past december 30. >> reporter: lisa macon harrison heads the local health department. she says her nurses are running on fumes after nine months of testing and tracking cases, which have doubled since thanksgiving. >> and listen, i will be calling you next week to check on you again. it's exponential. >> reporter: and that's before they have to mount a campaign to inoculate 100,000 residents.
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>> we need more people and we need better technology and we need infrastructure. >> reporter: she likens "operation warp speed," the federal rollout of the vaccine, to a war effort that's leaving out a key component: public health departments like hers. >> it's as if we've invested in those aircraft but we're not wait willing to pay for the fuel to get them off the ground. >> reporter: there are 3,000 local health departments across the country, and their funding funding for the first round of covid relief expires this t end of this months, just when they're supposed to be ramping up. what's going to happen if you don't get that money? >> i don't think the vaccine distribution will happen as fast as it could. >> we've done nothing, nothing, since march 23. >> reporter: a bipartisan proposal released monday would provide $16 billion for testing, tracing and vaccine distribution. pennsylvania alone says it needs
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hundreds of millions of dollars. mississippi wants 17 million. and in kentucky: >> we're facing a funding cliff. >> reporter: kentucky is the home state of senate leader mitch mcconnell. many states, including your own, say they actually needed that vaccine money months ago so they could plan. how much longer will they have to wait? >> shouldn't have been put in this position. we should have done this a long time ago. we're not leaving until we finish this package. >> reporter: he and other top congressional leaders are meeting tonight to hash all this out. it is their second meeting of the day. a sign that they may be nearing be nearing a deal, not just over vaccine funding, but over money for schools, small businesses, the airlines and other hard-hit industries. norah. >> o'donnell: nancy cordes, thank you. tonight, a record flood of mail is threatening to overwhelm the u.s. postal service. backlogs and work shortages means long delays in delivery, just as the pandemic sends more americans online for holiday
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shopping and shipping. here's cbs's janet shamlian. >> reporter: if you want that package delivered by christmas, today is the ground shipping deadline for most carriers. the volume of packages being shipped is unprecedented. that's put a tremendous strain on the postal service, fed ex and u.p.s. and it's coming at the same time the vaccine is being shipped and a winter storm is forecast for much of the east coast. fed ex and u.p.s. are not picking up extra packages beyond what they've already agreed to for some retailers, and that sent a crush of items through the post office. >> the only person i haven't seen any real problems with has been amazon. i have noticed with regular mail it's been coming a little slower. >> reporter: the postal service tells cbs news it does have workers out with covid and they're working to address the issues. as we come to you from a busy houston post office tonight, all the carriers have hired thousands of seasonal workers and, as always, there are higher-priced options like
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express delivery if you want to ship it later and still get it there on time, including delivery on christmas day. norah. >> o'donnell: janet shamlian, thank you. tonight, new video has surfaced in the killing of ahmaud arbery. he is the 25-year-old black man who was gunned down in february while his family says he was out jogging. the new video cast doubt on one suspect's version of what exactly happened. here's cbs' omar villafranca. >> reporter: this police body- cam video taken just moments after ahmaud arbery was killed shows investigators standing near the young man's body. in the video obtained by our jacksonville station, wjax, officers are seen talking to william roddie bryan at the crime scene. >> you're a passerby coming through? >> not necessarily. >> reporter: brian recorded the deadly confrontation on his cell phone. it shows aubrey running through a brunswick, georgia, neighborhood being chased by a truck, and ends with him being killed by travis mcmichael.
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( gunshot ) the video was leaked in may months after killing and immediately sparked national outrage. the mcmichaels were arrested and charged with murder and aubrey's family also wanted brian behind bars. >> i had nothing to do with it. >> reporter: before his arrest, bryan maintained his innocence, saying he had nothing to do with the confrontation and killing of arbrey, but the new body-cam video reveals a different story. >> i pulled out of my driveway, was going to try to block him. he was going around it. i made a few moves at him, you know, and he, he didn't stop. >> reporter: bryan was eventually arrested and charged with murder. all three men have pleaded not guilty and were denied bail. i just spoke with bryan's attorney kevin gough who maintains his client was nothing more than a witness to the shooting. ahmaud arbery's mother wanda cooper jones wants all the suspects held fully accountable
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by the law. no trial date has been set. norah. >> o'donnell: omar villafranca, thank you. and there is still much more news ahead on tonight's cbs evening news. an update on a college basketball star who collapsed during a game. and how quick thinking by a good samaritan helped save a family trapped in their car. ♪ are you ready to join the duers? those who du more with less asthma. thanks to dupixent. the add-on treatment for specific types of moderate-to-severe asthma. dupixent isn't for sudden breathing problems. it can improve lung function for better breathing in as little as 2 weeks and help prevent severe asthma attacks.
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"that makes sense." i just didn't have to work so hard to remember things. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. >> o'donnell: tonight the university of florida has encouraging news about its star basketball player keyontae johnson. he collapsed on the court saturday and was placed in a medically induced coma. well, tonight we can report he's in stable condition and speaking with family. he tested positive for covid this summer and it is not known if his collapse is related. a florida man hailed as a hero for saving a 4-year-old boy. orlando police video shows a car upside down in a retention pond, a family of four inside. a boy, four, strapped in a car seat. while jose diaz held his head above water, first responders responders got everyone out and only with minor injuries. sounds very frightening. up next, how one family is dealing with the pandemic by
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as a mom, i totally get it. but kids are resilient, and one family in massachusetts taught us they also put others first. ♪ ♪ nine-year-old abby hucker's mom sent us a note saying abbey, like most kids, has struggled this year, but that watching the news has helped. >> abby and her little brother are doing okay. i think a big part of that is due to the fact that she gets so many of her questions answered by watching the news. knowledge empowers her to dismiss many of her fears. >> o'donnell: we asked her mom if we could give abby a call. this is norah o'donnell. >> it is, it really is! >> o'donnell: i wanted to call and say thank you for watching the news. i love that, at nine years old, that you already love journalism. how is your family doing? >> good. >> o'donnell: abby's dad, dr. bill hucker, treats covid patients at massachusetts general hospital. tell your dad that we are so proud of the work he does.
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what we didn't know is abby's dad is listening. >> okay. he's on the phone now. >> o'donnell: hey, doctor, how are you? >> i'm good. thank you so much. >> o'donnell: one reason abby watches us every night is to learn all about the pandemic. when she heard protective gear was in short supply, she offered her tooth fairy money to her dad's hospital. she sometimes goes weeks without hugging him as he quarantines to keep the family safe. >> hi, guys! >> o'donnell: abby's dad is her hero. how's it going? >> it's busy. >> o'donnell: yeah. >> exploding, i would say. i was in the e.r., it's like a zoo down there. >> o'donnell: i'm from a family of doctors so i admire so much what you do and the care that you provide people. >> i really appreciate that. i would say what you do matters a ton, too. so thank you for what you do and how you do it and how you portray this crisis. for everybody at home, i really appreciate it. >> o'donnell: and when abby grows up, she says she wants to be a journalist.
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i'll get on it! that's a step in the right direction. i'll get on it! the americans who drive our trucks and ambulances, who put fear aside and run toward the flames. these are the people we depend on. that's why at the ford motor company, our super dutys have undergone 20 million miles of testing. so that these people can depend on us. ♪ >> o'donnell: really excited about this tomorrow. our series "season of giving," how a restaurant owner forced to shut down during the pandemic is still feeding the whole community. and if you can't watch us live, set your dvr to watch us later. that's tonight's "cbs evening news." i'm norah o'donnell. see you right back here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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♪ this is the cbs overnight news. i'm chip reid in washington, thanks for staying with us. as congress continues to wrang he will over a new covid relief package, 10s of millions americans are up against the clock. extended unemployment benefits run out the day after christmas and a nationwide eviction moratorium ends on new year's eve, that could leave 40 million people with no income, and no place to live. senior contributor ted koppel reports on the looming eviction crisis. >> there's no place like home.
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there's no place like home. >> it's deeply engrained among our most enduring cliches, home is where the heart is. a man's home is his castle. there's no place like home for the holidays. so, what happens when a family is evicted from their home? >> it's catastrophic, let's put ourselves in the shoes of a family who gets evicted. >> these days, matthew desmond is principal investigator of the eviction lab at aspirins ton university, where he is also a sociology professor, we lose the neighborhood, and the kids lose the school, we lose our things and possessions because they are piled on a sidewalk or taken by movers. back in 2008/2009, desmond spent 18 months living in low income
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neighborhoods, studying the impact of eviction and, what changed in the four years? >> what the pandemic has done is make it wrs. 10 million people have lost their jobs. rents have continued and we are seeing millions of people really at the threat of eviction, in a time where your home is your best medicine, your home is what prevent you from getting sick. >> covid has already had a devastating economic impact. one in four american households have experienced job loss or diminished income. black and latino families are taking a disproportion nate hit. >> i'm panning around to show you that we are going to be put out of the rental property. >> the garbage bags and boxes with most of her worldly possessions arebo


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