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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  December 23, 2020 6:30pm-7:01pm PST

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♪ ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> garrett: tonight, a holiday season like no other, as the coronavirus ravages the u.s. and brings hospitals nationwide to their breaking point. with more than 19,000 americans dying of covid in just one week, growing concern tonight as some people disregard public health guidelines. and in california, the crisis explodes-- patients spilling into the hallways of completely full i.c.u.s. >> it's pretty gruesome. >> garrett: vaccinating america: the u.s. buys another 100 million doses of the pfizer vaccine. price tag: $2 billion. tonight, how health advocates >> breaking news, a parade of pardons, president trump pardons paul manafort, his son-in-law's father, and two dozen others. plus jeopardizing covid relief. president trump calls the bill a disgrace.
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could that prolong economic plus, jeopardizing covid relief. president trump threatens to not sign the bill, and calls it a "disgrace." could that prolong economic suffering? deadly police shooting: an officer shoots and kills a man only holding a cell phone in columbus, ohio. how it was all caught on video, even though the policeman didn't activate his body camera until afterwards. major shipping delays. will your gifts make it in time for christmas? why the post office is struggling to deliver holiday mail. plus, more than 90 million americans are in the path of a at holiday storm. and our series, "season of giving:" a florida businessman's generous act of kindness, just in time for christmas. this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> garrett: good evening, to our viewers in the west. we thank you for joining us. norah is off tonight. i'm major garrett. we begin with a staggering number of new covid deaths in the united states. more than 3,400 were recorded on tuesday. and for the first time since the pandemic started, the u.s. has
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seen more than 19,000 covid deaths in a single week. the number of hospitalizations has surged to a new record of nearly 118,000. but tonight, there are also encouraging developments. the u.s. government struck a deal to purchase another 100 million pfizer doses, doubling the nation's supply of that vaccine. so far, more than one million americans have received a covid shot, and health and human services secretary alex azar said today, there should be enough vaccine by june for every american who wants it. as for congress' hard-fought covid relief package? well, president trump threw a monkey wrench into the works as he headed to florida for the holidays. the president is now threatening to torpedo this veto-proof deal, calling for $2,000 stimulus checks, while fellow republicans are complaining about the $600 checks they just agreed to. this, again, raises the possibility of a year-end government shutdown. there is a lot of new reporting to get to as we head to the
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holiday weekend, and our correspondents are standing by. we begin with cbs' lilia luciano in california, where as we said, covid cases are skyrocketing. good evening, lilia. >> reporter: good evening, nty had its deadliest day today with 145 deaths. l.a. county had its deadliest day today with 145 deaths. since the beginning of november, cases have skyrocketed by 900% and deaths by 500%. one california nurse told us he grew up in a war-torn country, and yet this is the most scared he's ever been. critically ill patients spilling into hallways. i.c.u.s completely full. that's how bad it's gotten in california. in los angeles county, hospitals admitted less than 150 covid patients a day in october. by thanksgiving, it was 300. and now, 700 a day, and getting worse. among those answering the call for help, traveling nurse sara houze from washington, d.c., who has filled in across the country, including in hard-hit el paso.
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>> it's pretty gruesome, and it's like slow-motion trauma. >> reporter: this week, she began work in california, which took more than nine months to reach one million covid cases. just six weeks later, the state about to hit two million, and deaths are skyrocketing. >> i see the implications, and my patients are dying alone. >> reporter: how has your job changed? >> my job traditionally as a cardiac i.c.u. nurse was to fix people and get them better. and my job now is to put my patients in body bags and get the room ready for the next patient. >> reporter: the hope is that help keeps coming. the u.s. government has reached an agreement with pfizer for 100 million more doses of vaccine. new york's mayor today ordering new enforcement to keep tabs on those now in quarantine after flying from the united kingdom. >> we're going to have sheriff's deputies go to the home or the hotel of every single traveler coming in from the u.k.
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♪ ♪ >> reporter: and yet there is still the mask-less gatherings, like this conga line in new york, where people are either oblivious to the ongoing pandemic-- or outright defiant. actor kirk cameron last night leading a group of carolers in southern california, a singalong in one of the nation's worst hot spots. >> my fear is that people aren't taking care of themselves, especially during this time where people really want to get together. i'm not going to quit on our community, and i hope that the communities aren't going to quit on us. >> reporter: california health officials are desperate to enlist more saras. 3,000 more, to be exact. but they're just nowhere to be found. major. >> garrett: lilia luciano, with an eye on the nation's slow-motion trauma, thank you. tonight, direct checks to workers, beefed-up unemployment benefits and help to small businesses, all in limbo after president trump unexpectedly panned the $900 billion stimulus
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bill just passed by congress. the president's late objection also means a government shutdown could come next week. here is cbs' paula reid. >> reporter: president trump >> just moments after arriving here in palm beach for the holidays, president trump announced a slew of new pardons and commutations, including relief for his former campaign advisor, and even a member of his extended family. just moments after he stepped off air force one to begin his holiday at his mar-a-lago resort, the white house released a list of new clemency actions, including a full pardon for qaraqous jared kushns father, charlie's, making false statements to the s.e.c. roger stone also received a pardon after the president previously
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commutered his sentence in july. and paul manafort, who was convicted and pleaded guilty in the special counsel's investigation, received a full pardon. president trump said he believes his former campaign chairman was treated unfairly. >> president trump: he happens to be a very good person. i think it is very sad what they've done to paul manafort. >> reporter: manafort was released to home confinement in may, amid concerns about covid. moments after the announcement, the former campaign chairman tweeted thanking the president. but the manhattan district attorney is fighting to bring a new case to manafort, and signaled they will keep fighting to overcome double jeopardy concerns. before traveling here to palm beach, president trump vetoed a $740 billion defense beach, president trump vetoed a $740 billion defense spending bill after lawmakers refused his demands to roll back protections for social media companies. the president also objected to a provision in the bill that would
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require military bases named after confederate leaders to be renamed. but next week, congress has already scheduled sessions to override that veto. major. >> garrett: paula reid, thank you. tonight, more than 90 million americans are in the path of a powerful storm system that could impact holiday travel from the northern plains all the way to the gulf of mexico and up to new england. as you can see, there were whiteout conditions today across minnesota. with the holiday forecast, here is cbs' lonnie quinn. lonnie? >> okay, major, this is a big storm. the blizzard that's right now in minnesota, if you look at it, if you go all the way down to, say, new orleans, it's severe storms moving through that area. and they're going to do nothing but get stronger as they push into places like, i'll say, norfolk or, like, around raleigh, north carolina. tomorrow we're looking at the possibility for christmas eve tornadoes in that area. and then it blows into the northeast, and i mean blows into the northeast. winds are 50, 60, 70-mile-per- hour gusts in downtown new york city, downtown boston. mount washington could very well come close to setting a record with winds over 150 miles per hour. but of course there's a lot of rain.
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it just erases snow pack as it moves through. so a lot of folks who have, you know, at least the hopes of a white christmas will wake up christmas morning without a white christmas, because it just gets erased with all the snow melt combined with the rain. look at all the rivers that will be at moderate or major flood level by the weekend. so tough traveling right now, but right through your weekend. major, i think one of the takeaways is, if you live in the northeast and you cook your christmas dinner with electric appliances, i think you might want to get a start the night before, on christmas eve, because i think there will be a lot of power outages in that portion of our country. major. >> garrett: lonnie quinn with weather and some cooking tips, we thank you. tonight, newly-released body cam video reveals the moment when a columbus, ohio police officer shot and killed a black man who appears to only be holding a cell phone. we must caution you, the video and details of the shooting are disturbing. here is cbs's errol barnett. >> reporter: body cam footage from columbus police officer adam coy showing him exiting his vehicle.
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the 19-year veteran of the force approaches 47-year-old andre hill, who is inside this garage. hill shows his cell phone and moves forward, at which point officer coy discharges his weapon. hill instantly falling. coy can be heard breathing heavily while screaming commands. >> get your hand up underneath you now! >> ( moaning ) >> reporter: despite hill's moans, officer coy did not administer c.p.r. >> roll over, dude. >> reporter: after five minutes, medics arrived, but hill later died at the hospital. according to the department of according to the department public safety, officers were dispatched to a non-emergency non-emergency30 in the morning-- call after 1:30 in the morning-- a neighbor repo a neighbor reported a person in an s.u.v. turning its engine on and off. the city is investigating the incident, while officer coy has been suspended. >> mr. hill was known to the residents of the home, where his car was parked on the street, and he was an expected guest. he was not an intruder.
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>> reporter: the shooting comes at an already-fragile time. a fraught community just buried casey goodson jr., who was shot in the back by law enforcement earlier this month. errol barnett, cbs news. >> garrett: today, dr. anthony fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told cbs news the country could begin to get back to normal by next summer. but there was a big "if" attached-- if a substantial number of americans get vaccinated. but in many communities, the vaccine still needs a boost in confidence. cbs news chief medical correspondent dr. jon lapook continues our series, "vaccinating america." >> reporter: armed with facts, community health deputies are hitting the streets of pittsburgh to boost confidence in the new covid vaccines. >> the moderna vaccine was created by an african american woman. >> i did not know that. >> yeah, i know! that's on the down-low. ( laughter ) >> reporter: using well-known locals to promote taking a shot. >> you know mike, so you can trust his opinion, right?
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>> reporter: like former pittsburgh steeler mike logan, who was sick with covid back in june. >> it actually changed my mind on how i felt about the vaccine. i'd come out here and share my testimony with my community. my community hasn't always been trusting of things that are going on in the medical field. >> reporter: it's part of the neighborhood resilience project founded by father paul abernathy. he says decades of health care inequities have led to mistrust. >> we have to be honest about the way in which government systems have failed these communities time and time again. and so whenever people see the government involved in the ryssemination or the development of these vaccines, there's a skepticism in the context of that history. >> reporter: and there's skepticism about the record pace of the rollout. >> it's great that it's fast, that it's warp speed, but, has it been done right? >> reporter: though the vaccines have been developed quickly, the science behind them was developed over decades. in 2003, it took 20 months to go from identifying the genetic pisani runs the advoctarting a
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human vaccine trial. this year? just two months. amy pisani runs the advocacy group "vaccinate your family." she says there were no shortcuts on safety. >> we watched and made sure that the f.d.a. and the c.d.c. followed the proper protocols, and we demanded that it be such. >> reporter: as a practicing physician, i was next up today to get the pfizer vaccine, and i was surprised by how emotional i got afterwards, tearing up. it was a moment of relief after the months of tension so many of us have been feeling. and it made me realize that even though there's still a lot of work to do, now is the moment to stop and appreciate the astounding scientific achievement of having all these vaccines available in less than a year. truly remarkable, major. >> garrett: dr. jon lapook, we thank you. tonight, officials in britain are warning of a second new and highly infectious strain of coronavirus found in south africa. this as the country is already on edge over a spike in cases,
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an expanding lockdown, and rising tensions at the nation's borders. cbs' charlie d'agata reports from london. >> reporter: the blockade at the border descended into chaos as truckers clashed with police. for days, they've been stacked by the thousands, the french government now demanding every driver get tested for covid before entering the country. here's why. as britain recorded its highest one-day total of new cases, health officials warned today the new, mutant variant of the virus is surging at dangerous rates in the most affected areas. millions more now face the toughest tier-4 lockdown from midnight on christmas day. >> it is absolutely vital that we act. we simply cannot have the kind christmas that we all yearn for. >> reporter: it's already a christmas no one yearned for. shutting down shops and pubs at the busiest time of the year has dealt a further blow to an economy that has already
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suffered its worst downturn for 300 years. the lockdown in london and much of southeast england has been imposed since the weekend in the emergence of a new strain thought to be up to 70% transmissible. no holiday visits to family or friends, unless they live alone. now, almost half the country's population faces the same fate, with no end in sight. charlie d'agata, cbs news, london. >> garrett: there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." 'tis the season to stress out over delivery delays, as a flood of packages overwhelms the post office. what's being done to break the logjam. ery delays as a flood of packages overwhelmed the post office. what's being done to break the logjam. claim online, on the app, or over the phone. yeah, but what if i never hear back? that's gonna make me want to go jab...jab! nope! your geico claims team is always there for you. that makes me want to celebrate with some fireworks. 5,6,7 go...
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>> garrett: tonight, the postal service is working around the clock to ease a backlog of >> garrett: tonight, the postal service is working around the clock to ease a backlog of deliveries that in some cases has lasted weeks. officials blame the pandemic for both the shortage of workers and r:historic volume of packages. here is cbs' janet shamlian. >> reporter: millions of christmas gifts will not make it under the tree. would we expect anything less in 2020? >> i'm not happy about this at all. very nerve-racking right now. >> reporter: all delivery
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companies are strained, but it's hitting hardest at the post office, with covid staffing issues, and unprecedented online shopping. only 75% of first class mail is arriving on time. was more than 90%. i'm not sure what's going on. >> r >> i'm worried about the u.s. postal system. i'm not sure what's going on. >> reporter: some postal workers report regular mail going out, but boxes piling up. delays like this: a u.p.s. package shipped from massachusetts december 3 arrived at a u.s. postal facility in houston on december 7. 16 days later, and it's still not delivered. n at one's mine. >> compared to last year, it's a lot more. a lot more stuff that's not moving, that's been lost or it gets delayed. >> reporter: as the u.s.p.s. says it's working around the clock, some are keeping perspective, resigned to late deliveries. >> i'm hoping for saturday, which is the day after, to tell you the truth, because i really don't think it's going to make it on time. >> reporter: janet shamlian, cbs news, houston.
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>> garrett: up next, "season of giving:" a businessman spreads kindness just in time for christmas. another dud. i'll check the turkey. jiggle it. jiggle it. -just jiggle it. arrgh! ♪ ('hallelujah chorus') ah ha ha! incredible, dad! wow! ha ha ha! i used to have a mustang, back when cars made sounds. the all new, all electric mustang mach-e. sprinting past every leak in our softest, smoothest fabric. she's confident, protected, her strength respected. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you. depend. iwith vicks sinex saline nasal cmist.tion
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>> garrett: the community of gulf breeze, florida was hit hard this year-- not just by the pandemic, but also a hurricane. now, a businessman is sharing some much-needed kindness. cbs's jim axelrod continues our ndries, "season of giving." >> ho-ho-ho. >> reporter: forget the red suit and beard-- in gulf breeze, florida, santa owns a pool construction business and drives a pickup. >> i don't know of a better way of helping someone out at christmas-time, other than paying their bill that they're going to be disconnected on. >> reporter: mike esmond knows what it's like to struggle, especially during the holidays. 37 years ago, he had to choose which bill not to pay. in florida, he chose the heat. >> that was a big mistake, because we had the coldest winter we ever had in history. i mean, we had ice in the house. >> reporter: the 74-year-old, mpany, never forgot.cial so last year, he went to c security a few years ago with his own company, never forgot. so last year, he went to city hall and cleared the delinquent accounts of 36 families.
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this year, on top of covid, hurricane sally ripped through the area in september, so mike's done it again, clearing 114 accounts, for $7,615. >> instead of getting that disconnect notice in the mail, they get this: "it is our honor and privilege to inform you that your past-due utility bill has been paid by gulf breeze pools and spas. you can rest easy..." >> "...easier this holiday season knowing you have one less bill to pay." >> reporter: kimberly haywood, mom to two little boys, just got her $165 sewer bill paid off. >> it was a total shock. i was totally amazed. truly a blessing. >> i don't believe there's a word in the dictionary that i could really use. to have helped people and made them a little bit happier, i can't describe the feeling. >> reporter: a lovely holiday reminder from a man providing his own personal push-back against many of the other feelings 2020 brought us. jim axelrod, cbs news. >> garrett: mike, we're happy to
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tell you, is inspiring others. people are asking him for advice on how they can do the same for their communities. and we'll be right back. crest gum detoxify.
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tears in the stomach or intestines and serious allergic reactions have happened. needles. fine for some. but for you, there's a pill that may provide symptom relief. ask your doctor about the pill first prescribed for ra more than seven years ago. xeljanz. an "unjection™". >> garrett: on tomorrow's "cbs evening news," how one photographer is making su >> garrett: on tomorrow's "cbs evening news," how one and if you can't watch us liv photographer is making sure you get your picture with santa in this year of covid. an if you can't watch us live, please set your dvr so you can watch us a bit later. and that's tonight's "cbs evening news." for norah o'donnell, i'm major garrett. we'll see you back here tomorrow. good night.
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captioning sponsore by cbs no one has ever seen anything like covid. my best friend's father died of covid-19. then my father caught it. wearing a mask, washing your hands. you have the power to protect the ones you love.
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right now, at seven. >> the numbers are going in the wrong direction and the reality is grim. >> do not travel. >> crisis mode in santa clara county tonight heard hospital beds are dwindling fast. the desperate plea from the health department. new hope for a bay area neighborhood that is barely hanging on because of the pandemic.>> we cannot let it die, it is our culture, our living room. amid all the struggles, a sign of hope for people in the east bay with nowhere to go.>> that is why project helmke has been such a christmas

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