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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 15, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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variant fuels a surge in 40 states hospitals in hot spots filling up also, the move by the fda, potentially dashing hopes of vaccinating children under 12 before the new school year. plus, tonight's yankees/red sox game positive tests the cdc director is here to answer your questions. the first round of child tax credits hitting american families' bank accounts president biden hailing it as life-changing. who is eligible, and how much you're entitled to. the bombshell new book claiming top u.s. generals feared donald trump would stage a coup after losing the election how the former president is firing back tokyo hitting a six-month high in new covid cases, eight days before the olympics at least one team usa basketball player out on covid protocols and superstar simone biles arriving in tokyo. how she feels competing without fans
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the flood disaster in europe, dozens killed and the warning on renewing your passport why you may have to wait months. ♪ >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening, everyone tonight as covid cases climb and vaccination numbers fall, the nation's largest county, los angeles, is turning back the pandemic clock, issuing a new indoor mask mandate for public spaces. worries intensifying this evening over many states over a new covid wave breaking against a wall of vaccine hesitancy. the delta variant spreading far more quickly than anything we've seen here as we also learn tonight it will likely be early next year before the fda expects to approve vaccines for children younger than 12. my conversation with the head of the cdc in just a moment. but first, here is miguel almaguer with late developments. >> reporter: tonight los angeles, the nation's largest county, taking a step back, requiring masks indoors, even for the
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vaccinated effective sunday, impacting 10 million people here and breaking with cdc guidance, it's a clear signal concern is growing over the highly contagious delta variant. meantime, for some of the 48 million children under 12 and their parents who were hoping to get them vaccinated this fall, a longer wait. the fda will now review several additional months of safety data, meaning a vaccine for kids won't likely be available until early next year. >> it makes it a very stressful time to be a parent, an educator and a child that all schools should have very strong contingency plans. one of the metrics by which we could go back to virtual learning. what will we do to keep children and staff safe >> reporter: while more than four million children have contracted covid, less than 2% have been hospitalized and only a small fraction have died but now our nation is
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bracing for a tidal wave of new infects as experts fear a new wave of covid cases is just beginning to grip the country. >> we've exceeded last year's peak. >> reporter: while outbreaks were expected in unvaccinated pockets of the nation, 98 million are still not inoculated 40 states are seeing a rise in infections covid tests have forced the game against the rerid t a serious risk >> it's going to find those pockets in each community where people aren't vaccinated, and it's going to do a lot of damage. >> reporter: tonight that damage being done and for the unvaccinated, including the youngest americans, the worst may still be to come miguel almaguer, nbc news >> and with all that in mind, i spoke just a short time ago with dr. rochelle walensky, the director of the cdc. dr. walensky, thank you for joining us we've got the delta variant. we've got rising infections we've got dropping vaccination rates. is this becoming a
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worst case scenario? >> unfortunately, no, i think things can still get worse, which is why we're doing everything we can now to make sure that that doesn't happen. >> but it is starting to look like you're hitting a brick wall when it comes to vaccinations have you identified why those numbers are dropping so quickly? >> we knew that this was going to be harder as time -- as time went on. places with low rates of vaccination are actually seeing more disease, and we're really trying to go there now to say please we don't want to hit that worst case scenario >> you have been very bullish on the idea of getting kids back in school for the fall. watching what this delta variant is doing right now and the knowledge now that it could be wintertime next year before younger kids are eligible for a vaccine, is there any consideration, any scenario in which you might want to reverse yourself on reopening schools? >> i remain emphatic that our schools need to open in the fall. they need to open for fall in-person learning we know how to keep
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our children safe. if they're eligible for vaccination, we can keep them safe by being vaccinated if they're not eligible for vaccination, we can keep them safe in two important ways surround them with people who are vaccinated, and when they go to school, put a mask on. >> we hear a lot about people who are partially vaccinated if you haven't gotten your second shot, your follow-up shot of the pfizer or moderna, are you at risk from the delta variant? at greater risk? >> with the delta variant, you really do need your second shot in order to be better protected. the pfizer, moderna vaccines have a dosing schedule of three weeks and four weeks but if you missed that dosing schedule, there is no bad time to get your second shot >> is it time to consider or offer more consideration to masking up even vaccinated people in indoor settings? >> these vaccines work they generally work against the delta variant in preventing severe hospitalization and death. in terms of masking, those are going to be personal decisions as you engage outside in
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other activities >> the cdc is not recommending people who are fully vaccinated wear masks. >> we are not. one actual exception to that that i want to be clear about if you are immunosuppressed, those people we've always said please continue to wear a mask and consult your doctor. >> what level of concern are you at right now? >> i don't like to see our cases rising we haven't seen this amount of cases for months i'm very concerned >> part of my conversation with dr. walensky those fears have become a reality for many hospitals in the country, where the pandemic has taken hold again, and vaccines sit unused. gabe gutierrez went inside one of them >> reporter: in little rock, arkansas, you not only hear but see the surge. >> you hit the floor running and all of us are working extra hours. >> reporter: this is one of four covid units at the university of arkansas for medical sciences nurse mary ellis luz is exhausted.
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>> these patients are definitely sicker. we're seeing really, really sick patients >> and younger ones 20 to 40 years old, as well as pregnant women. overall, arkansas has seen a 130% jump in cases over the last two weeks. they're storing wheelchairs and other equipment in the hallways because there is just nowhere else to put them. every single room in this hospital is full. every single one, except for this one. they plan on bringing in someone here from the e.r. any minute now. >> i'm very worried about back to school i'm very concerned about continuing strain on our health care system. >> how much does it frustrate you that the vaccination issue has become politicized >> it's disheartening. >> reporter: at one of the hospital's vaccine clinics nearby, 600 doses are available each day today just 19 people made appointments. the overall vaccination rate here is only about 35%. were you skeptical of getting the vaccine? >> yes >> reporter: why is that
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>> because it was -- it was not proven yet. >> reporter: tate ezzi and his wife did not get the shot in may, the couple and four of their five kids tested positive for covid. tate was hospitalized.d side . >> reporter: they textedn a ventilator, all the more terrifying because she was pregnant. >> we lost the baby. you know, at some point her oxygen had just got too low. >> reporter: his wife survived and is now in rehab. to him, covid is far from over. >> i want other people to hear my story so maybe they will think twice about not getting vaccinated >> gabe, i know you've gone inside a lot of hospitals throughout this pandemic. what struck you today? >> well, lester, nearly everyone who is really sick in this hospital chose not to get vaccinated before, it seemed like we didn't really have a choice when it came to the coronavirus now by getting vaccinated, we do.
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>> all right, gabe gutierrez, thank you in just 60 seconds, we'll look at the impact of those monthly child tax credit payments showing up in families' bank accounts starting today.
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millions of parents tonight are about to receive their first monthly check from the government. president biden hailing the one-year expanded child tax credit as a major step toward ending child poverty in america here is peter alexander. >> reporter: tonight, badly needed relief for sasha demsky in arkansas the single mother of three, including 9-year-old zoe was laid off while she was hospitalized with covid this spring. what does that money mean to you and your family >> it means a lot. i've always lived paycheck to paycheck and so it will continue to be helpful and keep us going. >> reporter: the child tax credit payments began showing up in checking accounts today. up to $300 a month for each child 5 and under. $250 each month for children 6 to 17 it applies to single
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parents earning as much as $112,000 a year, and couples making up to 150,000 families that don't make enough to pay taxes can register to receive their check. >> this is the right thing to do, and it's a smart thing to do. >> reporter: the new program expands on the existing child tax edit, and as part of the covid relief package earlier this year. some republicans have criticized the program as welfare because it removes work requirements to receive the money. sasha says she hopes they make the one year program permanent. >> we've got billionaires going to space, but we still have people down here trying to make ends meet >> reporter: meanwhile tonight, president biden is set to host a dinner with german chancellor angela merkel the two leaders met here today her last visit to the white house before she leaves office. lester >> all right, peter, thanks and chancellor merkel
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spruzer skpruzs er expressing shock and kbreef today about the deadly flooding that has ripped through germany as well as parts of belgium dozens are reported dead and more than a thousand are missing there. now to the new book about the final days of the trump administration, describing joint chiefs chairman mark milley's worries about a possible coup by former president trump and his allies mr. trump is firing back tonight hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: explosive new reporting tonight describing the country's most senior military officer comparing former president trump's lies about election fraud to nazi era germany. joint chiefs of staff chairman general mark milley reportedly telling aides before the january 6 insurrection, this is a reichstag moment, the gospel of the furor, according to a new book by two "washington post" reporters based on interviews with more than 140 people, with newly revealed details of fears from top military brass about how close the country was to chaos milley concerned about a coup quote, they may try, but they're not going bleeping succeed," he reportedly told his deputies you can't do this without the military, adding we're the guys
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with the guns. mr. trump, who is still dangling the prospect of a 2024 run today saying he never threatened a coup, and, quote, if i was going to do a coup, one of the last people i would want to do it with is general mark milley, slamming him as a better politician than a general a spokesperson for milley declining to comment. another expert says white house attorneys on january 6 wondered could mr. trump be charged with a crime for setting off that deadly riot. lester >> hallie jackson, thank you. just eight days before the start of the tokyo olympics, usa basketball says one of its players will miss the games due to covid health and safety protocols, while the host city is dealing with a surge in cases tom llamas has late details for us. >> three to shoot. bradley beal >> reporter: he was hoping to help team usa win a fourth consecutive gold medal, but tonight usa basketball announcing wizards all-star bradley beal will miss the olympics after being placed in covid protocol
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>> he was playing very well you know, there is no next bradley beal. >> reporter: his teammate jerami grant now under those protocols as well out of an abundance of caution. >> there is the end. >> reporter: over the last week, they played teams from three different countries in las vegas. while here in tokyo, covid cases are at a six-month high tonight organizers saying another olympian has tested positive ioc president thomas bach telling me safety is their number one priority. >> we want to organize these olympic games, but we want to organize it in a safe and secure way for everybody. >> reporter: with eight days to go, athletes are flying in from around the world. simone biles and the women's gymnastics team the latest to arrive >> i've never competed without a crowd. i've never competed without my family there. so it will be very different. but i know they'll be there in spirit. >> reporter: and lester, this just in tonight. novak djokovic, the number-one ranked tennis player in the world confirming he
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will be competing in tokyo. lester >> tom llamas, thank you. if you're traveling internationally any time soon, there is something you need to know about a major backlog on passport renewals it's more fallout from the pandemic here is tom cost >> reporter: amid the post pandemic travel boom, a major hang-up could keep many travellers grounded. the state department now says it's taking three to four months to process americans' applications for new passports. >> i put it in for renewal and still pending. so nothing back yet. haven't seen anything in over 45 days. >> reporter: the problem, many americans let their passports expire during the pandemic. now passport offices are swamped with two million renewal applications and slowly processing more as government offices reopen from covid restrictions >> we certainly expect to be able to do more of that as conditions here in this country continue to improve. >> reporter: expedited application processing can still take 12 weeks by mail.
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americans with urgent travel needs must show proof they're leaving within 72 hours, often for an emergency to get an in-person appointment. rick grobart flew from chicago to seattle for a last-minute appointment before flying to mexico >> the whole extra trip cost me about $500 or $600 i had to buy an airline ticket i had to buy a rental car. >> reporter: be warned, if you apply today for a new passport, it could be november before yours arrives in the mail. lester >> all right, tom, thanks up next, a first of its kind mobile lab studying weed, in our series "red, white and green.
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delicia: this is where all our recycling is sorted -- 1.2 million pounds every day, helping to make san francisco the greenest big city in america. but that's not all you'll find here. there are hundreds of good-paying jobs, with most new workers hired from bayview-hunter's point. we don't just work at recology, we own it, creating opportunity and a better planet. now, that's making a difference.
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in our series "red, white and green," federal roadblocks to studying marijuana and the innovative way colorado researchers are getting around them >> i am a nurse that >> reporter: deb kirk loves her work >> okay, let's go. >> reporter: and she loves her life here high in the hills of golden, colorado. at 58, she has climbed 53 of colorado's 58 tallest peaks. but in 2007, she nearly lost her life when she fell off a cliff. >> it was ooh, i have a horrible head injury. >> reporter: several surgeries later, she says she couldn't tolerate the opioid pain meds. did they make you feel loopy? >> absolutely loopy. and it didn't seem like it really fixed the pain. >> reporter: her surgeon suggested she try weed. >> well, if he is telling me. >> reporter: deb says at bedtime she takes a quarter of a gummie at low dose with 1% of
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thc, that's what causes the high, combined with cbd. and says it's helped her get back on her feet and even cope with the anxiety of the pandemic despite the fact that more than half of the states have made medical marijuana legal, there is a stunning lack of scientific data about the appropriate dose, strength, and effectiveness of cannabis for particular ailments. was it trial and error for you? >> oh, 100%. >> just step on in >> all righty. >> reporter: which is why she is happy to take part in one of the series of innovative studies being conducted at the university of colorado boulder on the effects of legal cannabis on anxiety and stress it seemed crazy that more than half the states at this point made it legal in some way, and yet the scientific literature could really fill this notebook. >> that's true. >> we feel the same way. there are risks. there are benefits what are they? >> reporter: but doing that research has been tough. federal law categorizes marijuana
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as a schedule 1 drug like heroin. so university researchers can't buy pot, even in states where it's legal and study it >> the university colorado boulder could lose all of its federal support for student aid. >> exactly right >> reporter: but this team figured out a work-around. if cannabis couldn't be brought to the lab, the lab would go to the cannabis with a so-called canna-van. they show us how it works. before deb takes her gummie, the team evaluates her. an hour later, she returned for more testing. >> we're really looking at the real world and how people use these products >> reporter: results to come. but even in marijuana-friendly colorado, deb is still concerned about speaking out >> i was afraid of all the things that i want to get rid of, the judgment, the stigma, fear of what other people would think >> reporter: how many of the people you work with know that you in
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fact use marijuana >> i would say a handful. >> reporter: and now more >> and now more. >> reporter: cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, golden, colorado up next, their story of survival and determination inspiring americans.
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finally, i'd like you to meet two young women who survived a traumatic and life-threatening experience and today are thriving with new determination. you may not recognize their names, but their story may ring
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familiar joy bishara and lydia pogu, friends, were among the 300 teenaged girls kidnapped in 2014 by the terrorist group boko haram in nigeria. >> they came in and they were standing on top of us in the circle, shooting in the air saying if we do not cooperate, they are going to kill us >> what were you imagining for your future at this point >> at that moment, all my dreams and all what i have planned out is just gone. >> miraculously, they escaped, and years later those dreams have now come true in ways neither could have imagined. fueled by the same determination that sustained them as they fled from their captors, joy and lydia have just earned degrees at florida's southeastern university in legal studies and social work, a triumph over adversity. >> joy bishara. >> lydia pogu. >> it was kind of like wow, god has turned
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our story into good now, saying this is for all those who were not able to do that. >> both women are now pursuing masters degrees, determined to be the voice for those still missing. how important is it for you to tell this story? >> i've been telling i have never -- i haven't rested >> i feel like in africa, people really need someone to bring them to justice legally. i feel like it make a huge impact to still keep the story alive >> their strength is inspiring. that's "nightly news" for this thursday. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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i'm raj maithai. next, are you still going to go? many restaurants adding fees to your bill. we're having a conversation about all the ways businesses are still struggling and what it's going to take to fully recover. also, here we go again. los angeles requiring masks indoors whether you're vaccinated or not. is it going to happen in the covid area? our covid expert tonight. what's with the child tax credit? chris breaks down how much you should be getting and whether

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