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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 6, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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but you can smell it out in contra costa county. limit your exposure. >> lester holt from tokyo next. we'll be back at 4:00, hope to see you then. tonight, the major milestone in the fight against covid. half of americans now fully vaccinated. new vaccinations rising, and new word that booster shots could be authorized for at-risk americans within weeks. it comes as the delta variant surges. florida hitting a new daily record, with nearly 23,000 cases. new super spreader fears as the sturgis motorcycle rally returns. 700,000 expected to attend. plus, what nbc news has learned about an alarming spike at nursing homes, and major news impacting
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millions with student loans. new trouble for new york governor andrew cuomo. his aide filing a complaint after that scathing report. how the governor is responding. the dixie fire, now the third largest in california's history after destroying a whole town. and we're on the ground in greece. thousands fleeing massive fire there's. the sixth day of chaos for spirit airlines. hundreds of more flights canceled. spirit's ceo on when things will improve. and history in tokyo. team usa's allyson felix setting a record in track. the american duo winning gold in women's beach volleyball, and the stars of u.s. women's soccer. have we seen them play in their last olympics? >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from tokyo. >> hello, everyone. on our final night from tokyo, as the summer games draw to a close later this weekend, we'll have full details from here
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ahead. but back home, we're witnessing tonight what officials stress is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, but one that's impacting all of us, just as experts have been predicting, the covid outlook is continuing to worsen. as we come on the air, over 125,000 new cases to report. 566 new deaths, and more medical centers calling for help, even as summer events bring together massive crowds in communities already hard hit. florida recording nearly 23,000 cases today, the highest single day count since the pandemic began. while there has been some progress in the number of new vaccinations, little has slowed the current surge, and shot requirements are being imposed in more and more places. our miguel almaguer has details. >> reporter: hitting the new bench mark today, 50% of all americans, half our country is now fully vaccinated. the shot of encouraging news coming as the fda
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looks to speed up its timeline, perhaps authorizing the use of boosters for the immunocompromised within weeks. the urgency fueled by the delta variant. >> if you're not vaccinated, you will get covid at some point in time, and the only question will be how sick you will become. >> reporter: with a new report revealing many of the unvaccinated are not wearing masks or keeping social distance, this weekend, the sturgis motorcycle rally will bring together an estimated 700,000 with no restrictions in place, the super spreader event last year comes as our nation battles the most contagious variant of the virus. >> we're back to square one. that's why i'm frustrated. >> reporter: with hospitals overwhelmed, covid surge response teams are now on the ground in 16 states, urgency grows to protect children who aren't old enough to be vaccinated. the former surgeon general tweeting "heard a rumor that fda may authorize
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vaccines for under 12 much sooner than expected," but there has been no official change in the end of the year timeline. while it's been well documented, children rarely die of covid, delta means more will get sick, and the long-term effects remain unknown. >> we need to make sure again we are protecting our children. we need to be wearing masks indoors. well need to make sure the people around them are vaccinated. >> reporter: with the deepening divide over mask mandates in the classroom, new jersey now joins the states requiring them in schools. more states, private businesses, even an airline are requiring mass vaccinations for employees. it took the loss of her son kurt for christy carpenter to get vaccinated. >> it's just a lot. it's not fair to lose a young person, especially at the age of 28 who was completely healthy except for covid when he went into the hospital. >> and miguel, there
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new troubling reporting tonight on covid and nursing homes. what do we know? >> lester, nbc news has learned nursing home infections are up nearly 40% nationwide. experts are concerned unvaccinated staff members are fueling the cases. the white house is discussing the possibility of mandating vaccines for nursing home staff. lester? >> all right, miguel, thank you. in new york, one of governor cuomo's accusers filed a criminal complaint against him as pressure builds for him to resign. late today his lawyer spoke out. our gabe gutierrez is in albany. >> reporter: tonight governor andrew cuomo's attorneys are blasting the report that accused him of sexually harassing seven women. >> this was one-sided and he was ambushed. >> reporter: they're calling on the ag to release transcripts. the pushback comes as this executive filed a new criminal complaint with the albany county
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sheriff. she had told the ag's investigators that cuomo reached under her blouse and groped her in november of last year. >> this woman's story which is stated as fact in the report is false. >> reporter: late today the aag said she would make redacted transcripts availables to lawmakers, adding an attack on this administration and trying to undermine takes away from the brave women. 70% new yorkers think cuomo should resign. 55% think he should be charged with a crime. cuomo himself has not spoken publicly since this prerecorded statement on tuesday. >> that never happened. >> reporter: where he denied all wrongdoing. but he has yet to directly address the allegations that he sexually harassed a state trooper assigned to his security detail. >> i can't give you a timeline, but i know he wants to do it soon. >> reporter: here in albany, the assembly's judiciary committee plans to meet on monday to discuss the next steps for
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impeachment. lester? >> reporter: gabe gutierrez, thank you. here in tokyo, team usa making history as we head into the home stretch of these olympics. tom llamas watching it all for us. >> reporter: tonight, april ross and alix klineman proving why they're nicknamed the a-team. doing it on a boiling court, which felt like it was hotter than 120 degrees. >> i was always a really hard worker. it led to one opportunity and then the next. and the next thing you know, i have a gold medal. >> reporter: and history made on the track. allyson felix winning olympic medal number 10, a bronze in the 400 meter, tying carl lewis as the most decorated american runner history. in wrestling, gable steveson named after famed wrestler dan gable pulling out a last second gold medal win, celebrating with a backflip. >> got another one!
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>> reporter: the women's basketball team is on the way to the final against japan, looking for an incredible seventh straight gold medal. >> it's a brilliant goal by carli lloyd. >> reporter: while the women of u.s. soccer are reflecting on their rocky road here in tokyo. >> this was probably the most challenging tournament i've ever been a part of. >> reporter: the team clicking in their final match to win bronze. >> to leave tokyo empty handed would have been tough? >> oh, god, it would have been terrible. with something, with how difficult it's been, i think everybody is so happy and so proud of that. >> reporter: that's megan rapinoe and carli lloyd stepping up with two goals apiece. it's possibly the last olympics for both. >> beyond soccer, the journey and the fight for equal pay, for social justice, where does that go from here? >> it keeps going. >> continue to fight for equality, to fight to make our sport better. >> and tom, you and i were there. it was a pressure cooker certainly at volleyball. but it's not the only sport being affected by the heat. >> that's right, lester. as you know, there has
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been no relief when it comes to the extreme heat. the women's marathon had to be moved up an hour today to give the women some type of relief. we witnessed event where olympians had to ea my name is douglas. i'm a writer/director and i'm still working. in the kind of work that i do, you are surrounded by people who are all younger than you. i had to get help somewhere along the line to stay competitive. i discovered prevagen. i started taking it and after a period of time, my memory improved. it was a game-changer for me. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. did you know that your toughest cleaning problems can be caused by hard water metals? they lock in residues like a glue, on your hard surfaces and fabrics. try 9 elements. its vinegar powered deep clean dissolves hard water buildup and releases trapped residues
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and odors like detoxifying your clothes. made with never more than 9 ingredients. 9 elements - more than a clean, a cleanse. tonight we're on the front lines of desperate battles against wildfires. we begin with steve patterson in california. >> reporter: tonight, the dixie fire's march of flames swallowing more than 400,000 acres, becoming the nation's largest active wildfire and third largest in california history. the small town of il eenvle transformed into a field of ruin and heartbreak. >> we watched it swirling and burning trees. getting closer. >> reporter: rhonda reams and her partner
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made it out just in time. >> we're just grateful to be alive. we've got each other and bodie boy. >> reporter: the fire threatening some 13,000 struck. he can holding out. >> reporter: so far this year, california wildfires have charred more than 808,000 acres, more than tripling what burned by this time last year. >> we are at historic levels for how dry the fuels are. we are at 100% chance of it starting wildfires. >> reporter: a climate in peril, priming the already fire weary west for more pain. steve patterson, nbc news. tonight, wildfires raging across greece and turkey, forcing thousands to flee their homes. flames surrounding the town just outside of athens. it's one of 100 fires across the country in the last 24 hours. >> we are surrounded. >> reporter: at least one person has died, but even with planes
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and helicopters circling to drop water, firefighters can't keep up. the men in this village defied evacuation orders to stay and fight the blaze themselves. >> we've been up at this fire about half an hour. the top of the village, and finally choppers are coming, firefighters are coming up. up until now it's been all volunteers. >> reporter: topped out at 117 degrees this weekend, across southern europe, the worst heatwave in 30 years. in turkey, walls of flames scorching more than 250,000 acres. at least eight people have died, and raging is the site of ancient olympia, where the greek prime minister challenging anyone who doubts climate change is real to come here and see it. molly hunter, nbc news, greece. back home we're hearing from the ceo of spirit airlines after hundreds of flights were canceled for a sixth day. tom costello joins us. tom, there is a lot of frustration going here. >> reporter: yeah,
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lester, spirit has now canceled some 2,000 flights this week, bumping roughly 300,000 passengers. it all began on sunday with weather delays. add to that staffing shortages, computer problems, and the volume of passengers. now we're headed into another summer weekend with more families hoping their vacation plans won't be ruined. spirit's ceo says he hopes the company will regain its footing over the coming days. >> we expect to continue to improve here throughout the course of the weekend such that by the time we hit the earlier middle part of next week, we're running back to where we want to be. >> reporter: spirit says it's trying to buy seats on other airlines for its passengers, but all airlines are flying full right now. lester? >> tom costello tonight, thank you. also new this evening, the biden administration is extending the freeze on student loan payments until january 31st. the department of education says this will be the final extension. with vaccine mandates growing, businesses and customers are confused about showing proof of
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vaccination. here is stephanie ruhle. >> reporter: restaurant owner edward gomez has just ten days left before new york city's mandatory vaccine rules starts for bars, indoor dining, gyms, and theaters. and while safety is key, he admits enforcing the new rules could be a challenge. >> time in the restaurant business. i'm not in the business of checking one more thing. i'm not sure exactly how to go about it. >> reporter: while new york is the first city to require proof, it's on the minds of business owners elsewhere too. there is not currently a vaccine mandate here. do you want there to be? >> i think for the safety of the public, we would be well served to have some guideline and some rules around that. >> reporter: lisa is visiting philly from florida,asshe is asked for proof. do you worry that you might lose it? >> no. >> reporter: it's a smart move since there is no national standard, but there are options. you can use an app.
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the highly anticipated women's marathon is under way here in japan as we speak. anne thompson has more. >> reporter: marathoner molly sidle pursuing the olympics' most solitary achievement through the neighborhoods of flagstaff, arizona. why did you want to run? >> i've always loved it. if i was stress or my brain wasn't working right, i'd go off and the woods. my brain just worked. >> molly seidel gets second in her first marathon ever. >> reporter: at the time molly was working in boston as a baby-sitter and a barista. her sister izzy insisted she enter the race. >> have i more confidence in molly than she has in herself. >> reporter: an amazing comeback that seemed impossible after what happened at the 2016 olympic trials. >> i basically self-destructed before i even got to line.
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that moment of having everything you ever dreamed of right in front of you, and knowing that the only thing that's keeping you from getting that is yourself. >> reporter: winner of four ncaa titles at notre dame, molly checked herself into a mental health facility for obsessive compulsive and eating disorders. >> i was so afraid of failure. i believed i had to keep winning national championships. that if i didn't, i was a failure. >> reporter: with her family, molly discovered just the opposite. >> i think that was the key moment. my mom telling me i don't care about molly the runner. i care about molly the person. and that's why i'm able to be where i am today. >> i'm excited. >> reporter: it also helps to have a sister like izzy. >> she is wildly supportive of me. she also keep miss ego in check. she is my best friend. >> reporter: by her side, doing the turkey trot. >> you're doing great, honey. >> reporter: and racing to run the slowest mile possible. how did you run a
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40-minute mile? >> legitimately, that was one of the harder things i've done in my athletic career. >> reporter: that and making the olympics in her first ever marathon. how many marathons have you ever run? >> two. >> reporter: how many marathons should you have run before the olympics? >> well, at the very least, i'm glad the olympics is not my second marathon. >> reporter: it will be molly's third, and hopefully her best. anne thompson, nbc news, flagstaff, arizona. there has been nothing quite so ambitious than hosting the world in the middle of a pandemic, but tokyo has managed, even when the view is not what many expected. tokyo, we hardly knew you. covid quarantines made most of the city a bridge too far for many olympic participants and foreign media, required to work and live in a protective bubble. the city was ready to welcome the world. shuttered souvenir stores and empty fan plazas speak to its best intentions and to
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the reality of a pandemic. during my stay, i've been required to have a special app on my phone that monitors some of my movements and my health. today i look at it, and it reminds me i have hit day 14. my quarantine is over. now free to explore, i ventured into the heart of tokyo, cruising elevated expressways that wind between densely packed office buildings, revealing a modern city of tony residential neighborhoods, fashionable young people, and lively crossroads. with fewer visitor, tokyo retains a vibrancy, despite the fact the city is under a state of emergency. just beyond its bustling shopping districts and gleaming office tourks tokyo reveals its ancient soul. its most famous temples and shrines frame so much of japan's tradition and culture. >> one thing strikes me as i walk around and travel around is how few reminders there are that the olympics are in town. there is a few t-shirts here and
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knickknacks. but what you don't see, things i've seen in previous cities of banners hanging from light poles,ing in that declares this is the site of the olympics. of course the games drew some public resistance here, in part because of covid. isolating foreigners was a public health measure, but one that maybe left parts of this city's lated too. in the end, tokyo did open its doors to the world, just wide enough to let the athletes and the competition shine in ways that it could not. the people being are you tired of clean clothes that just don't smell clean? what if your clothes could stay fresh for weeks? now they can! downy unstopables in-wash scent boosters keep your laundry smelling fresh way longer than detergent alone. pour a cap of downy unstopables into your washing machine before each load and enjoy fresher smelling laundry. with 6 times the freshness ingredients, downy unstopables gives you more of what you love. if you want laundry to smell fresh for weeks
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perhaps a most remarkable thing here in tokyo is that the games took place at all. and what we witnessed was unforgettable. our eyes did not deceive us. the year was raw, but the pageantry was familiar. tokyo found a way to let the games begin. they have been the games of high flight and of youth. young teenagers practically owning some of the olympics' newest sports. >> katie ledecky to the wall who will win gold. >> we saw legends deliver again. usa swimmer katie ledecky adding two more gold medals to her career haul.
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>> the world record for dressel! >> and new legends were made. has it sunk in yet that you're the guy? >> no, i don't really want to be the guy either. >> but you're the guy. >> reporter: and only if they gave out medals for knitting. >> that was not what was planned. >> reporter: we also got a humbling lesson about what can be the price of greatness. >> simone biles is leaving the floor. >> reporter: we worried for simone and held our breath when she made her return on the beam. bronze never hined more brightly. but it was suni lee and that dramatic and uncertain week who leaped above the pressure for gold. >> i've been looking at them every single day. >> to make sure it's real? >> uh-huh. >> reporter: emotion was never thicker than at these olympics. for every empty seat, there were hearts full of pride back home, video feeds bridged the distance, and moments that moved us.
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>> that's a world record again! >> reporter: in tokyo, records fell. expectations were dashed, and competitors became compatriots. a high jump showdown ending in an offer to share golds. covid defined how these games would be held, but it will be the athletes who define how we will remember them. that's "nightly news" for this friday. i'll see you back from the states on monday. i'm lester holt. please take care of right now at 4:00. are you ready to head back to work? a majority of companies say things will not go back to normal once the pandemic is over. what is means for your commute.
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>> did your son or daughter struggle in school? you have options. a deadline is coming soon. >> this whole covid situation. learn at home situation. it changed that for me. >> a college counsellor tell us what to do about the pass or no pass grade law. >> i'm sure you have seen it today. the smoke over the east bay. the smoke forecast tonight and through the weekend coming up. >> a bay area athlete claims gold while another pulls out a last second come from behind victory. >> it's hard to explain what happened. i'm coming home with a gold. >> we're tracking the back flip celebrations and what's to come tonight as the games wind down. >> the news at 4:00 starts now. thank you soft for joining us

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