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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 22, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PDT

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trapped in deadly and unprecedented flooding the bombshell today from house speaker nancy pelosi a new battle in congress over the committee to investigate the deadly january riot olympic countdown. competition kicks off for team usa two days before the opening ceremony as another athlete tests positive our exclusive new reporting on covid misinformation code words being used to get around social media bans and he is the new king of the court. the nba champion and his personal story truly inspiring america. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening. i'm kate snow in for lester tonight, and this is where we're at tonight, one thousand new covid infections are being reported in this country every hour the focus is again on the spread of the delta sty is calling into question the so& johnson
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vaccine against that delta variant, but that study has limitations. what there is no doubt about is the effects the delta variant is having on the unvaccinated, and even in rare cases on children with many health care workers across the country still unvaccinated, today the nation's largest city announced it would require workers in city-run hospitals to get the covid shot. our gabe gutierrez has the latest >> reporter: as the u.s. sees a thousand new covid infections every hour, a new study suggests that the one-shot johnson & johnson vaccine may be less effective against the delta variant, and that the 13 million people who have received it may need a booster. the cdc does not recommend that, and the study is facing backlash because it's not been peer reviewed and has a very small sample size of 27 people j&j says its own studies show its vaccine does offer strong protection. >> this was a very small study done in a laboratory, not in a real-world environment. and other studies have shown that the johnson
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& johnson in the real world has proven very effective, particularly preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths >> reporter: tonight growing concern over the highly contagious strain today new york city announced it will now require all 42,000 employees of city-run hospitals to be vaccinated or get weekly covid tests >> i do believe that it will be beneficial in the end, especially because as the health care workers, we need be the ones to be protected to take care of patients. >> reporter: 42% of them have not gotten the shot at a jacksonville hospital we visited this week, 40% hadn't. across the country, about one in four health care workers are still unvaccinated >> this is about keeping people safe and stopping the delta variant. >> reporter: tonight a family is mourning the loss of 5-year-old wyatt gibson, who they say died from covid complications. his father a georgia sheriff's deputy ♪ >> wyatt's relatives too heartbroken to speak on camera, wanted us to show this home video, to remember the exuberant as.
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they say he had no underlying health conditions still, serious covid complications and death among children are extremely rare of the more than 600,000 covid deaths in the u.s., only 493 were under 18. >> and gabe, there is new information about breakthrough cases when someone vaccinated gets infected >> yeah, kate, breakthrough cases are still a very small percentage of the total, but the cdc now says that more than 5400 people have either been hospitalized or died from covid after getting vaccinated 3/4 of them were age 65 and older kate >> all right, gabe, thank you. in a growing number of hospitals, we're seeing disturbing and eerily familiar scenes as they see an influx of covid patients, most of them unvaccinated, most of them young ellison barber returned to one hospital in south carolina
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>> reporter: a year ago the covid icu at lexington medical center was pushed to the brink. this week doctors say it's feeling like deja vu >> we could very easily be back in a similar situation. >> reporter: this man is the newest covid patient admitted to the icu, and dr. phillip keith is trying to figure out if he needs to be on a ventilator >> there is a very high likelihood he'll require, you know, more invasive care. >> reporter: around the corner is another covid patient. just 26 years old, receiving a plasma exchange because some of his organs are failing. a week ago there were zero covid patients in this hospital's icu. today there are nine, and four of them are on ventilators the vast majority unvaccinated >> obesity would probably be the only diagnosis of some. others have no conditions at all, and otherwise really the only link is that they're not vaccinated. >> reporter: almanzo cromer was one of dr. keith's covid
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patients, hospitalized for nearly two months. almanzo was eligible to get vaccinated early in the year but didn't now he'll tell anyone who will listen. >> go and get the vaccination. covid is for real. like, it had me on my dying bed. >> reporter: statewide covid hospitalizations have increased by 103% in less than a month >> what i would ask from our community is to continue to understand the vaccine. the benefit outweigh the risk 100-1. >> reporter: ellison barber, nbc news, west columbia, south carolina >> you can make a plan for when and where to get vaccinated visit plan your for more in just 60 seconds, we're on the front lines of the most intense firefight in years the impact being felt thousands of miles away and the battle in congress over investigating the capitol riot shouldn't something, you know, wacky be happening right now?
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we thought people could use a break. we've all been through a lot this year. -that makes sense. -yeah. so... ♪♪ now's not a good time 3/5ths of nsync. are you sure? you have us booked all day. -read the room, guys. -yeah. right? - i'm norm. -rea- i'm szasz.guys. -yeah. [norm] and we live in columbia, missouri. we do consulting, but we also write. [szasz] we take care of ourselves constantly; it's important. we walk three to five times a week, a couple miles at a time. - we've both been taking prevagen for a little more than 11 years now. after about 30 days of taking it, we noticed clarity that we didn't notice before. - it's still helping me. i still notice a difference. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. back now with those intense wildfires in the west. the smoke reaching as far as here in new york just one example of the ravages of climate
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change being felt as never before, and it's getting worse. here is miguel almaguer >> reporter: burning hotter, faster, and more explosive than ever before, tonight wildfires in the west are threatening homes and's unfolding here is more than one disaster feeding off another. historic drought is the perfect fuel for these epic conditions. but it's climate change creating infernos larger than ever, with vortex of smoke powerful enough to spawn their own weather systems. the unimaginable is becoming routine >> we're seeing hot days and heatwaves like we've never seen before and then the winds is just a formula for disaster. >> reporter: fire chief brian fennessy and his crew say what's already been lost is devastating, but what's still at risk is mind-boggling. >> these fires are moving at such speed that it's exceeding all of the models
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we've been using for decades when trying to gauge fire spread. we hear it all the time from citizens, i didn't think the fire was going to get here that quickly. >> reporter: while extreme conditions aren't new, the intensity and duration is this year, texas was buried under historic snow and ice tropical storms and hurricanes are forming earlier in the season. catastrophic floods are becoming routine and as cool climates record record heat, 94% of the west is in drought with 64% in the critical category of extreme drought. >> the long-term impacts of climate change are largely unknown. we do expect increased heat and increased incidents of fire, but what's important is to monitor the changes so we can be prepared for future impacts. >> reporter: scientists say greenhouse gases must be reduced as a start to the solution. >> it would be very difficult to go back in time and return the greenhouse gas levels to the level that they
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were 50 years ago. i do think it's important to not lose hope, to consider that we still have options. >> reporter: tonight as scorching fires burn the west, toxic smoke drifts thousands of miles and chokes the east the sun tainted red in its soupy haze our planet's beauty and its peril in one >> miguel, as we push into summer wildfires and their explosive growth a big concern now? >> yeah, kate, this hillside is what so much of the west looks like if a fire ripped through here, it would destroy this area in a matter of minutes. last year there were more than 22 major disasters connected to climate change and weather. the price tag? more than $121 billion. kate >> wow, an unbelievable picture there. another weather disaster to tell you about. dozens are dead in china tonight after unprecedented flooding brought on by torrential rain, some losing their lives in subways as they filled with water janis mackey frayer is in china with details.
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>> reporter: tonight stunning scenes in a subway in central china. passengers trapped inside flooded train cars, posting horrifying videos to social media "my phone will run out of power soon," she says "the water rising higher." >> others clinging to handles. it took hours for rescuers to reach them a dozen people didn't make it out alive. across the city of zhengzhou, people were stranded kids floated out of a kindergarten in plastic bins nearly a year's worth of rain falling in just three days. what forecasters call a once in a thousand years event. the torrential rain has forced 100,000 people to relocate as china's army scrambles to shore up dams now at risk of bursting this catastrophic flooding adds to a grim roster of extreme weather across the globe. what scientists link to climate change, and
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there is more rain in the forecast kate >> janis, thank you. a battle in congress tonight over a committee to investigate the deadly january riot at the capitol. the top house republican pulling his picks for the commission after house speaker nancy pelosi in an unprecedented >>eportera committee in chaos >> it's an egregious abuse of power pelosi has broken this institution. >> reporter: republican leader kevin mccarthy withdrawing all of his selections for the january 6 special committee after speaker pelosi announced she would reject two of his choices for the panel. republicans now calling the committee a sham while democrats vow to push ahead. >> we have a bipartisan quorum. we can proceed. >> reporter: the speaker writing that her unprecedented decision to not seat ohio's jim jordan or indiana's jim banks was necessary to protect the integrity of the investigation >> the fact that she has rejected two
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recommendations for two members who have indicated that they are not supportive of the objectives of the select committee is consistent with how serious this committee is and how important it is to have patriots serving on this committee, not partisans. >> reporter: now just one republican remains on the committee, wyoming's liz cheney, appointed by the speaker alongside seven democrats. tonight defending the investigation to come. >> this must be an investigation that is focused on facts and the idea that any of this has become politicized is really unworthy of the office that we all hold and unworthy of our republic >> reporter: the committee's first hearing featuring d.c. and capitol police officers is still scheduled for tuesday morning, now likely with five empty seats on the republican side kate >> garrett, thank you. a mix of victory and defeat for team usa as the games get under way in tokyo also, news that another american athlete has tested positive for covid we've also learned which american athletes will carry the flag at the opening ceremony in
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just two days' time. our tom llamas is there. >> reporter: for five years, the u.s. women's soccer team has been thinking about this game. ever since sweden knocked them out in rio. but it was not the result they wanted >> sweden are taking team usa apart here in tokyo. >> reporter: a stunning 3-0 loss. >> we know this wasn't our best i think we beat ourselves a lot. >> reporter: the u.s. softball team starting stronger, with games getting under way in fukushima, topping italy, 2-0 >> pure excitement excitement to finally be back on the stage and get it going for us >> reporter: with the opening ceremony two days away, japanese jets practiced writing olympic rings in the sky. and team usa chose its flag bearers for the first time, there will be two. baseball player eddy alvarez, who already has a silver medal in speed skating, and wnba star sue bird for you, what does that flag represent during this pandemic
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>> as an athlete, i'm always wanting our country to be better when i hold that flag, that's really what it's going to represent to me. >> reporter: but it's heartbreak for another american beach volleyball player taylor crabb testing positive for covid. infections here up 150% from last week. more than 1800 new cases on wednesday to stay safe, triathlete katie zaferes is training on her balcony in the athletes village. >> it's really nice to feel united with the other countries that are here, and just seeing everybody come together in a safe way during covid is really exciting to see that we can do this we can pull it off >> reporter: kate, tonight we learned even though there won't be spectators at the opening ceremony, there will be athletes about 40% of team usa will be there. that's more than 230 u.s. olympians kate >> looking forward to it, tom. thank you. harvey weinstein entered a los angeles courtroom today in a wheelchair and wearing a prison jumpsuit. the former hollywood producer pleading not guilty to 11 counts of
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sexual assault against five women weinstein was extradited yesterday from new york where he is serving 23 years for rape up next, an nbc news exclusive the tricks anti-vaxxe to spread misinformation. of bipolar i? some medicines only treat the lows or highs. vraylar effectively treats depression, acute manic or mixed episodes of bipolar i in adults. full-spectrum relief for all bipolar i symptoms with just one pill, once a day. elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis have an increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor about unusual changes in behavior or suicidal thoughts. antidepressants can increase these in children and young adults. report fever, stiff muscles, or confusion, which may mean a life-threatening reaction, or uncontrollable muscle movements, which may be permanent. side effects may not appear for several weeks. high cholesterol and weight gain, and high blood sugar, which can lead to coma or death, may occur.
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that feels like a bullet train. and works like a freight train. the fully electric f-150 lightning. the battle over misinformation and the vaccine has become a pressure point in this country, and tonight nbc news has exclusive reporting on what anti-vaccine advocates are doing to evade social media bans. here is vicky nguyros
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are trying to stop facebook from removing their posts by using code words and fake profile names related to dance, like in these posts. "dancing folks" are vaccinated people. vaccine is "hokeypokey" or "beer. while facebook says it's working hard to fight misinformation, removing 18 million covid falsehoods so far, this new tactic could make that tougher, which could impact people like sisters nara and hannah al hajj, who get their information from social media and other sources and don't agree on the vaccine. >> i am a bit skeptical. i don't really trust the government too much >> reporter: when you hear your sister say these things, how do you feel >> it makes me sad the vaccine is something i think everyone should get to help prevent other people from getting sick >> reporter: some families have joined online support groups to help with conversations about misinformation including this group with more than 150,000 members.
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psychologist sander van der linden studies the effect of misinformation on social media how does social media influence people's relationship with facts? >> when people receive most of their information about covid-19 and vaccination from social media, they're more likely to be misinformed and they're less likely to get vaccinated >> reporter: a survey shows 53% of americans get their news from social media as for the al hajj sisters, they no longer talk about the vaccine. >> we make our own choices. >> reporter: expert says when talking about a tough topic, find common ground for example, a concern people have about the vaccine's side effects, and then pivot toward evidence about its safety and effectiveness. finally, allow that person to make their own choice kate >> vicky nguyen, thank you. in less than two months, the country will pause on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. it's been that long. but the 9/11 memorial and museum is struggling to continue its mission. rehema ellis has an exclusive look
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>> reporter: 11-year-old chloe downey never met her grandfather, but a the 9/11 memorial museum she feels close to him >> he loved being a fireman and saving lives, and he was a big hero. >> reporter: new york fire department deputy chief raymond downey died in the attacks, but first he saved lots of lives. national 9/11 psa, asking people to remember nearly 3,000 were killed in the attacks. it's part of a fundraising campaign to keep the museum open following an unprecedented year how did the pandemic affect the operating budget of this museum? >> the reality is our business model collapsed overnight. >> reporter: the head of the 9/11 memorial and museum said its revenue comes mostly from ticket sales, which plummeted nearly $45 million last year. despite federal ppe and increased efforts, there were cutbacks in staff, programs and
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visiting hours but the museum, like the moment it commemorates, is determined to come back strong. why is it so important that this museum is here >> there is an entire generation of young pe teach them >> reporter: teach about heroes like chloe's grandfather. >> he just, like, inspires me to do great things too >> reporter: and that only happens if we never forget rehema ellis, nbc news, new york up next, the mvp of last night's big nba final. his journey inspiring america. america. staying active and eating right? yup, on it there, too. you may think you're doing all you can to manage type 2 diabetes and heart disease but could your medication do more to lower your heart risk? jardiance can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for adults who also have known heart disease. so, it could help save your life from a heart attack or stroke.
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finally, the milwaukee bucks won the nba championship last night for the first time since 1971. and for the mvp of the game, it was the culmination of a life journey that is inspiring america. in milwaukee, a championship celebration a half century in the making. >> this is amazing. >> reporter: and for 26-year-old milwaukee bucks star giannis antetokounmpo, an ending right out of a storybook. >> i hope i give people around the world from africa, from europe, give them hope, you know, that it can be done >> the greek freak is a greek nba champion. >> reporter: they call him the greek freak, drafted by the bucks straight from greece his parents were nigerian immigrants struggling to survive. basketball was a way out. >> 8 1/2 years ago, i didn't know where my next meal would come
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from my mom was selling stuff in the street. like and now i'm here sitting the top of the top. >> reporter: last year the two-time mvp signing the biggest contract in nba history. unlike many nba superstars, never leaving the team that drafted him, embracing milwaukee like they embraced him >> this is my city, you know they trust me, they believe in me, they believe in us. >> reporter: tonight from athens to america, now an nba champion >> this should be -- should make every person, every kid, anybody around the world to believing their dreams. >> we're all listening that is "nightly news" for this wednesday lester will be live from the tokyo olympics tomorrow night. i'm kate snow. for all of us at nbc news, stay safe and have great night
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♪ ♪ ♪♪ mama told her baby girl take it real slow ♪ ♪ girl told her momma hey i
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really gotta go ♪ ♪ he's waiting in the car ♪ ♪ mama said girl you won't get far ♪ ♪ just a little while into abilene ♪ ♪ he pulls into a station and he robs it clean ♪ ♪ she's waitin' in the car ♪ ♪ underneath the texaco star ♪ ♪ she only wanted love ♪ ♪ didn't bargain for this ♪ ♪ she can't help but love him for the way he is ♪ ♪ she's only seventeen ♪ ♪ and there ain't no reasoning ♪ ♪ so she'll ride this ride ♪ ♪ as far as it can go ♪ ♪ cuz that boy's just a walkaway joe ♪ ♪ born to be a leaver ♪ ♪ tell you from the word go ♪
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♪ destined to deceive her ♪ ♪ he's the wrong kind of paradise ♪ ♪ but it was just another lesson in life ♪ ♪ that boy was a walkaway joe ♪ ♪ all he was was a walkaway joe ♪ ♪ ooh ♪ ♪ he was a walkaway joe ♪♪ [cheers and applause] >> kelly: all right, all right, all right, welcome to "the kelly clarkson show"! give it up for my band!
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i love that song


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