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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 28, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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at 10:00. that's going to be on the usa network. >> i have fingers crossed for ryan murphy. he was with me in rio. i really want him to do well. >> yes. you have a personal connection. >> i know, i have my list of athletes. >> see you back here at 4:00. tonight, frustration and confusion over the cdc's mask guidance reversal with covid now surging in all 50 states. and breaking news. the washington nationals game postponed after 12 positive tests. the cdc defending its call for fully vaccinated people to mask up inrea of high or substantial transmission. many cities, states and businesses scrambling to adapt. other states rejecting the new guidance outright. president biden today wearing a mask outside at the white house, and now google and facebook joining the growing list of companies mandating vaccines for
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employees. also tonight, simone biles withdrawing from another olympic event to focus on her mental health. will she return to the mat here in tokyo? and my conversation with the legendary michael phelps. his message of support for biles and while he calls this moment a game changer. after weeks of talks of bipartisan breakthrough on a $1 trillion infrastructure deal. the deadly shooting at a movie theater. was it a random act? and america's superstar swimmers. my conversation with katie ledecky and erica sullivan after they dominated a grueling new women's event. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. reporting tonight from tokyo. >> hello from tokyo. more than 5,000 miles from the u.s. mainland, yet part of what feels like an ever shrinking world under the pandemic. as this olympic city struggles to contain its own covid outbreak, the latest effort to reverse a
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surge in cases back home in the united states is causing confusion and irritation after the cdc reissued those new face mask guidelines for regions of the country where the virus is spreading rapidly. and for children returning back to school, though some local leaders moved quickly to adopt them, others are pointing to a loss in confidence as the agency's policies evolve. all of this comes as covid cases spike in some areas, leaving hospitals overwhelmed. miguel almaguer has the fallout. >> reporter: tonight mask confusion as the united states stands divided over changing guidelines, just hours after the cdc released this blotted map saying all americans should wear masks indoors where covid spread is substantial or high. nebraska's governor argued the guidance flies in the face of public health goals. at least nine states already have restrictions on mask mandates. >> it's frustrating. it's confusing.
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they're sending mixed messages constantly. >> reporter: as americans and elected leaders struggle to find common ground over simple health measures -- >> which is it, vaccines or masks? the vaccines work or don't roar. >> reporter: today those announcing the change defend their decisi would no longer need masks. >> something has changed, and what has changed is the virus. >> reporter: the delta variant is driving covid clusters in every day. the attorney general in missouri says he'll sue to overturn kansas city's adoption of the new cdc guidelines. just as hospitals and hot spots nationwide are on the brink of crisis again. >> we are full, full, full. and it's scary. >> reporter: as major employers like google and facebook announce today vaccine requirements for those returning to the office, new york city says they'll soon pay people $100 to get vaccinated. >> if we get people vaccinated who are not yet vaccinated, if we
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mask in the interim, we can halt this in just a matter of a couple of weeks. >> reporter: despite the plea, 100 million americans have yet to be inoculated. washington's football i'm -- i'm immune deficient. >> reporter: tonight there is no sign our nation will return to a 2020 style lockdown. but as the delta variant surges, far too many families will face last year's heartbreak. miguel, we're just learning a major league baseball game has been canceled over covid. >> the phillies/nationals game has been canceled. reports say 12 players and staff members tested positive for the virus. 11 were fully vaccinated. this highlights that concern for breakthrough infections. lester? >> all right. miguel almaguer, thank you. president biden once again wearing a mask outdoors as he is expected to order all
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civilians who worked for the federal government to get vaccinated or face strict covid protocols. peter alexander is at the white house. >> reporter: tonight president biden back at the white house, back to wearing a mask. just weeks after celebrating a return to mask-free life for the vaccinated. >> let this be the summer of joy and freedom. >> reporter: but today a major u-turn. the white house now ordering mask mandates inside federal buildings, even for the vaccinated where the virus' spread is high. and president biden's tomorrow is expect todman date all federal civilian employees be vaccinated or submit to strict covid protocols. a dramatic reversal for the president who was asked just months ago if he supports a vaccine mandate. >> no, i don't think should it be mandatory. just like i don't think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide. >> reporter: under the expected new policy, officials here say those who do not show proof of vaccination would have to be tested frequent lid and wear masks. the president again today urging all americans to get the shot. >> please, if you're
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not vaccinated, protect yourself. >> reporter: but republicans are slamming the shifting message, including on capitol hill where the chief doctor announced the mask mandate for the house due to rising cases in d.c. top republican kevin mccarthy saying that was not based on science but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic sta >> against the signs -- >> reporter: mccarthy firing back. >> we're vaccinated. we're not a hot spot, but they're forcing you to wear a mask? not in the senate, but in the house. this is just about more control. >> to say that wearing a mask is not based on science i think is not wise. >> and peter, there is also a major headline tonight about a bipartisan infrastructure deal. what can you tell us? >> that's right, lester. it's announcing they reached adeal with
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bipartisan senators on this $1.2 trillion package, the most expensive transportation bill in u.s. history. a vote to advance it happening tonight. lester? >> peter alexander at the white house, thank you. in just 60 seconds, my conversation with c olympi
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here in tokyo, gymnast simone biles was hoping to repeat her gold medal performance in the individual all-around. instead, biles will skip that event as she focuses on her mental health. tom llamas has late details. >> reporter: the biggest star in gymnastics is sitting out its marquee event. just a day after withdrawing from the team final, simone biles announcing she won't compete in the individual all around either, saying she is focusing on her mental health. >> it's been really stressful this olympic games. >> reporter: she could still compete in four more events, but biles says she's taking those decisions day by day. here at the ariake
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gymnastics center, a surprise at the men's all-around final. not in the competition, but in the crowd. simone biles here rooting on team usa, despite everything she wa through. teammates grace mccallum and jordan chiles recalling the moment biles told them she was out. >> i'm sorry. i love you guys. but you're going to be just fine. >> did you guys have any hint whatsoever what was going happen that night? >> no. >> no. >> not at all. >> it came as a surprise. >> very. >> we were all very shocked and filled with emotions. >> reporter: chiles says she first noticed something was up with her teammate during training. >> she told us she was fine. oh, we're good, we're fine. okay. >> reporter: the team calling themselves the fighting four, saying they're proud they've pulled together to win silver. >> although it is a silver medal, it doesn't matter, in our eyes, in our heart, it's our gold. >> reporter: in the pool, it was gold and silver for the u.s. today. katie ledecky and
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erica sullivan going one, two in the 1500 meter freestyle, ledecky's first gold here in tokyo. and there was jubilation in charlottesville. >> it's a battle between ross. >> as a pair of swimmers from the university of virginia took silver and bronze in the individual 200 medley. while next door andrew capobiano. and the american women bringing home the first ever gold medal in three x three basketball making it 31 medals for team usa. >> tom, what are the u.s.'s chances for a medal in the all around white house simone biles? >> jade carey is going to replace biles in the all around. suni lee has a chance at a silver m teammates. >> tom llamas, thanks.
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i spent some time visiting the swimming venue earlier today where first impressions can be deceiving. from the outside, the tokyo aquatic center almost looks abandoned. there are no lines of ticketholders ready to see events. it almost has the feel of a monument to an olympics that never was. but don't tell that to the swimmers, especially team usa who are rocking this house. >> ledecky is looking so good right now. >> reporter: katie ledecky has done what she came here to do. >> the greatest female swimmer of all time, katie ledecky to the wall, who will win gold. and here comes 20-year-old erica sullivan to pick up the silver. >> reporter: not just gold, but this the 1500 meter, a race only swam by men until this olympics. you did it. >> yeah. >> this was a race you fought for. >> it's amazing to go one, two for the first ever women's. couldn't have gone any better. >> reporter: did you have any sense the whole time of how
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extensive you're lead was? >> yeah, i did. i knew i got out in front at the beginning, and just kind of try to keep my eye on everyone and just stay out there. don't let anyone pass me. that was kind of the -- all i needed to do. >> reporter: how important is it that this race is now a part of the olympics? >> it's awesome. it's been a long time coming. i think of all the great female distant swimmers the u.s. has had over the years that haven't had that opportunity, and we wanted to do it for them. >> reporter: for them and the next generation, like first-time olympian erica sullivan. by the way, you just got a silver medal. >> that's cool. i think i'll process that two or three days from now. >> reporter: the u.s. swim team really came to play. >> we showed up. after the hard year we've had, that's all you could hope for. >> reporter: and you've had struggled. >> i lost my dad in 2017 at 16 years old. and depression and mental health issues and being able to bounce back really percent veersing for that means the world. >> si mentioned a feeling of the weight of the
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world especially familiar to another olympic legend, michael phelps, who has been very public about his own mental health struggles. he sat down with me earlier this evening. michael, what was your first reaction when you heard about simone? >> i was taken aback, number one, because i had never really heard her kind of open up about some of the struggles, right. for me, i could tell she was going through something difficult. i don't know what that is. but i also know at this level, kit be overwhelming. everything is overwhelming when you're at the olympics. i know what that feels like. >> but that's part of competition, isn't it? the idea that people expect -- >> it is. it's hard when it comes to mental health because it's going to sneak up on you at any random time, right? it's not like i can say go away for today, come back tomorrow. it's just how it is. >> michael phelps has done it again! >> for me, i look at everything that we've seen over the last 24 hours as an amazing opportunity to stand up and try to figure this out.
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spend more time with mental health. spend more time on mental health. as olympic athletes, i feel we need to have somebody who we can trust to talk to who is going to listen to us, not try and fix us. i can say throughout my whole olympic career, i've never had somebody that asked me if i was okay that way, if i was okay mentally. >> what about we fans? we want michael phelps to win gold, but we also want him to be this bigger than life character. >> we're human beings. that's what i can say. i think the biggest message is it's okay to not be okay. support is all we want, is all we need. we're doing what we love. this is what we love. and trust me, for me, g, i felt love and zoo animal so say, not a human being. and that's hard. >> she didn't cut and run. she is owning this and seems to want to talk about it. how important is that to continue to raise
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awareness? >> a game changer. we saw it earlier in the year with naomi osaka. now we have another amazing talented female athlete that's publicly said she is struggling. we have to make a change. we have to make a difference. we have to do something about this. >> my conversation with michael phelps here in tokyo. up next, as we continue introducing aleve x. it's fast, powerful long-lasting relief with a revolutionary, rollerball design. because with the right pain reliever...
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dramatic moment in court. parents facing the man convicted of killing their daughter after she mistook his car for an uber. here is catie beck. >> we the jury find the defendant guilty. >> reporter: the road to justice for samantha josephson's family ended tuesday with a guilty verdict and a life sentence, but unbearable pain lives on. >> i close my eyes and i feel his hands 120 times over and over and over fighting for her life locked in his car. >> reporter: in 2019, the 21-year-old university of south carolina student steps into what she thought was an uber ride, a fatal mistake. a jury convicted nathaniel roland of kidnapping and murder for imperson nating an uber driver and trapping her with child locks and stabbing her to death. >> she made it so. the lesson she taught me as a mom are
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carries for me forever. >> reporter: both uber and lyft responding to the verdict with condolences for the family, stressing continued efforts to secure rides. uber's website encourages riders to use their app to match the license plate of the vehicle as women as the make and model and driver's photo. and before entering the car, have the driver confirm the rider's name. >> i still to this day can't believe she is gone. i keep waiting for her to walk through the door. >> reporter: safety solutions that might have saved her life after still could save another. catie beck, nbc news. police have arrested a 20-year-old man for a shooting at a movie theater near l.a. it happened during a showing of "the forever purge" leaving an 18-year-old woman dead and a tiktok star fighting for his life. no word on a mohamed al fayed. the cdc's eviction moratorium ends this week, but we found federal rent relief
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with simone biles out, another american gymnast is facing the biggest spotlight of her career, and she is no stranger to obstacles. here is kate snow. >> reporter: sunisa lee, suni, knows a lot about how to handle life's twists and turns. >> i mean, it's just so fun, flying from one bar to the other bar. >> reporter: do you feel like you're flying? >> yeah, you're literally flying in between. >> reporter: she grew up in st. paul, minnesota, surrounded by siblings and a large extended family. her parents moved here from laos. she is first the hmong american to compete on team usa with a huge community cheering her on. >> we're basically all like family. we're all related somehow. >> reporter: suni's olympic dreams started young, and she found a partner in her dad john. >> my dad is like my best friend. been through the whole journey with me. he would give me pep talks and make me feel better about myself. >> reporter: but two years ago, he was
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about to drive suni to nationals when he fell headfirst off a ladder. >> his foot slipped, and he landed head-first on the ground. he was paralyzed from the waist down. >> reporter: suddenly, competing felt impossible. >> i saw my dad right before i was about to leave, and i don't even want to go to championships anymore. my dad comes first. >> reporter: but her dad urged her to go. >> i told suni, you worked so hard for this. just go. i'll be okay. >> reporter: she thought about him the whole time. >> he is probably watching right now, and i just know he would be so proud. >> reporter: suni shocked everyone, finishing second. >> we know that she was nervous. and on top of that, she had me to worry about. that was amazing. >> i hung all my medals on this shelf that my dad made me. >> reporter: she was coming into her own, then the pandemic shut her gym down. her parents contracted covid and she lost an aunt and uncle to the
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virus. >> it was hard, but i feel like when i come into the gym, it kind of helps me forget about everything. because the gym is like my safe place. >> reporter: what have you learned about yourself in the last year? >> i'm a pretty strong person. >> sunisa lee! >> i've gone through so much and i still managed to get through it every time. >> reporter: kate snow, nbc news, st. paul, minnesota. that's "nightly news" this wednesday from to right now at 4:00, withdrawing from another event. simone biles taking more time to focus on herself while getting support from fellow olympians.
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>> we're human beings. we have emotions. >> we're going to take you live to tokyo for the latest on the olympic games. i'm cot budman with a new mandate from several bay area tech companies. if you want to come back to the office, you need proof of vaccination. and should restaurants require proof of vaccination? the results of a new poll out of san francisco. happy wednesday. the news at 4:00 starts right now. thanks for joining us for this special olympics edition of nbc bay area news. i'm janelle wang. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. we're going to take you live to tokyo in just a few minutes. first, get your shot or don't come back. tech companies large and small tightening rules big and small. what executives and >> reporter: google becomes one

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