tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 16, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PST
it comes as cases rise in 24 states and major news tonight on fooisz's covid bill. also, the state of emergency in the northwest. dangerous flash floods facing evacuations and high water rescues. a baby among those airlifted to safety. submerged, mudslides shutting down a major highway. powerful winds nearly blowing a semi off a bridge tens of thousands without power. our team is in the flood zone tonight jury deliberations beginning in the kyle rittenhouse trial. rittenhouse himself randomly selecting seven women and five men, nearly all white who will decide his fate president biden hitting the road to tout his new infrastructure law and his next challenge getting his massive bill to expand the social safety net over the finish line. the major roadblocks it still faces the sex trafficking trial of jeffrey epstein associate ghislaine maxwell getting under way. and our nbc news exclusive first look
inside gm's new factory zero as america's biggest automaker goes electric this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. there is late word as we come on the air that the fda is on the verge of authorizing pfizer covid booster shots for all adults regardless of risk status, a decision that could come this week the move would put the agency in the unusual position of appearing to take its cues from states that have leapfrogged the government and are already making booster shots available to all. some medical experts remain unconvinced that healthy adults need boosters and the cdc has only so far endorsed them for those deemed to be at higher risk, but with all signs pointing to a winter holiday surge of new infections, government regulators find themselves under growing pressure to okay the extra shots anne thompson now with the breaking details >> reporter: tonight, the federal government
playing catch-up with states on who is eligible for a booster shot in an about face the fda could act thursday to authorize pfizer's booster for anyone over 18. this news comes amid a stark warning tonight from vermont where a nation leading 72% of residents are vaccinated >> the pandemic is not over. >> reporter: here covid is making a comeback driving the surge? the unvaccinated >> the data speaks for itself, about three-quarters of vermont's hospitalizations and 70% of our cases are unvaccinated >> reporter: vermont's two-week case count jumped 60% in fact, across new england the two-week case count is up in every state except connecticut, yet even there the virus is taking a deadly toll at the gear village senior community, a nursing home and rehabilitation center, eight residents died and 89 residents and staff infected since the end of september this despite nearly
all having been vaccinated >> the same folks we found are vulnerable in the beginning are still vulnerable. >> reporter: all of these warning signs as americans get ready to travel for the holidays, amid covid fatigue and mixed messaging on who should get booster shots. still, health officials say vaccinations remain the best defense >> it just makes the chances of getting infected incredibly low and if you do get infected you don't suffer severe complications from the disease. >> reporter: despite an uptick in cases i some areas, washington d.c.'s mayor announcing the city will lift its indoor mask mandate for public places monday here in new york city the times square new year's eve celebration is back on with a new price of admission, proof that you're fully vaccinated lester >> anne thompson, thank you. pfizer asked the fda today for emergency authorization of its
covid treatment pill. in people of greater risk of severe covid pfizer says the anti-viral pill reduced hospitalization and death by 89% when given quickly. the biden administration plans to purchase enough of the pills to treat 10 million people also tonight, the pacific northwest on the brink. days of record rains triggering historic flooding and mudslides driving hundreds from their homes and forcing harrowing rescues. washington state feeling the brunt of the unfolding disaster miguel almaguer is there for us >> reporter: this deadly and devastating deluge delivering an unrelenting blow to the pacific northwest, a quadruple catastrophe, record rain, fierce flooding, whipping winds and multiple mudslides. >> they're in a bad way out there. there's a lot of water and it's only getting higher. >> reporter: with northern washington state in the storm's bull's-eye, more than 500 people have been forced from their homes as daring rescues unfold near the canadian border. >> child with them holding. it's a very small
child. >> reporter: the coast guard plucking a baby, three children and six adults from fast-rising waters in just hours, six inches of rain swamped the region a state of emergency amid these deadly conditions. >> it's bad. it's pretty deep it's fast. >> reporter: sarah ivanhoe and her 15-year-old son wading through freezing water until fishing boats could rescue them. >> it was up to our knees and ankles and outside in our yard. for me it was up to my waist in some spots. >> reporter: facing peril on both sides of the border, massive helicopters lifted over 300 to safety, many trapped overnight after a highway buckled and a landslide killed at least one in canada. back-to-back atmospheric rivers helping to dump 40 inches of rain in just 31 days. the wettest fall on record for seattle with climate change fueling the intensity and frequency of storms like these, powerful gusts nearly
toppled the big rig over the side of a towering bridge as landslides re-shaped the geography here the brunt of the storm has passed but not the flooding tonight, one disaster now followed by another for a region still deep in misery >> miguel, we know a lot of folks are still without power, but about that flooding. i know the rain is receding what about the floodwaters? >> lester, the flooding can persist for several more days. we know rivers in this area are still cresting and it may be some hours until they start to finally recede and adding insult to the misery, 90% of the west remains in extreme drought. this is one of the very few areas that doesn't need more water. lester >> all right miguel, thank you. was he a vigilante or just defending himself? the central question this evening for the jury now deliberatin in the homicide trial of kyle rittenhouse in kenosha, wisconsin gabe gutierrez is there. >> say their names
>> reporter: tonight tensions high as kenosha waits. hundreds of national guard troops on standby but not yet deployed >> people who come here for reasons that do not bring good to this community, we don't want you here. >> folks, you can retire to consider your verdicts. >> reporter: the jury now deliberating for more than eight hours in the kyle rittenhouse trial. today rittenhouse himself picked at random six jury alternates from a lottery drum that remain in the courthouse in a second room while the other 12 jurors deliberate, 7 women and 5 men, including 1 person of color. >> if the jury finds that rittenhouse provoked the initial attack then rittenhouse may lose the argument of self-defense completely >> reporter: rittenhouse is charged with five felony counts, the most serious first-degree intentional homicide the prosecution portraying him as a then 17-year-old vigilante. >> you cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create.
>> reporter: the defense insisting there was a rush to judgment. >> every person who was shot was attacking kyle kyle shot joseph rosenbaum to stop the threat to his person, and i'm glad he shot him. >> reporter: the heated case became a rallying cry for conservatives and gun rights supporters, many of whom raised money for rittenhouse's defense and $2 million bail. >> do you view this as an attack on the second amendment >> yes >> reporter: emily cahill thinks he's innocent. >> people say he was a vigilante but he was one of us going out protecting the community. >> reporter: the girlfriend of anthony huber, the second man rittenhouse shot and killed, the trial is about accountability >> i think that real justice honestly would be -- that the bare minimum, some consequence for his actions. >> gabe, is there any read on what's happening in that jury room tonight >> well, lester, throughout the day they've asked for more copies of jury instructions, but just a short time ago the judge said he would dismiss the jury for
the night and expected back here tomorrow morning to continue their deliberations. lester >> gabe gutierrez, thank you. another hard sell by president biden tonight touting his recently passed trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, but he's facing new democratic resistance to his much bigger social spending bill peter alexander is at the white house. >> reporter: president biden tonight show casing a decaying 80-year-old new hampshire bridge set to be fast tracked to repairs thanks to his newly signed trillion-dollar infrastructure package. >> when you see these projects start in your hometowns i want you to feel what i feel, pride. pride in what we can do together as the united states of america. >> reporter: the president's trip an effort to demonstrate real results to voters who polls show are pessimistic about his presidency and the economy. amid record fligs impact -- record inflation impactin everything from gas to groceries. >> your life is going to change for the better and that's literal.
>> reporter: still many projects are unlikely to begin for months if not longer. it comes over the impending showdown over the $1.75 trillion social and climate spending plan house speaker nancy policy is pressuring democrats to vote on the bill this week holdout senator joe manchin remains worried about inflation. unconvinced the president's massive spending proposal will lower everyday costs for americans. >> i hear it when i go to the grocery store or if i go to the gas station. they say, are you as mad as i am? i say, absolutely. >> i look forward to getting down to business. >> reporter: it follows president biden's first virtual summit with president xi jinping >> translator: i am very happy to see my old friend >> reporter: during the three and a half hour call officials say the presiden confronted xi on china's poor human rights pressure record and its aggression toward taiwan, though trade was not a major topic. no breakthroughs but no new flares of tension either as for senate democrats new goal of passing the
climate and social spending plan by christmas, joe manchin who has pushed to delay the bill says he has a lot of concerns about that timeline. lester >> peter alexander, thank you. in just 60 seconds an arms race heating up russia's answer to one of america's most potent weapons our exclusive talk with a top executive in russia's arms industry
jury selection began today in the trial of ghislaine maxwell, the british socialite accused of recruiting underaged girls to have sex with the late jeffrey epstein. here's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: over a year ago federal agents descended upon a rural town in new hampshire, arresting ghislaine maxwell, longtime friend and confidant to alleged sex trafficker jeffrey epstein. >> maxwell played a critical role in helping epstein to identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse. in some cases maxwell participated in the abuse herself. >> reporter: the jury selection beginning today. maxwell faces eight
charges, including transporting minors for the purpose of sexual acts with jeffrey epstein. prosecutors say she groomed underaged girls luring them with shopping trips and encouraging them to take money for sex acts maxwell, a british socialite and daughter of a publishing mogul, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. among the questions prospective jurors are being asked is how familiar they are with jeffrey epstein and ghislaine maxwell to determine if any of them are coming in here with their minds already made up. the defense argues maxwell's arrest was only pursued after jeffrey epstein died by suicide in prison, awaiting a trial on sex trafficking charges. >> have a look at what's happening. >> reporter: her legal team will likely challenge the credibility of four accusers who are set to testify about events that took place roughly two decades ago. maxwell has repeatedly asked to be released on bail. her lawyers arguing she's being kept in terrible conditions, but the requests were denied the judge agreeing with prosecutors that maxwell is a flight risk opening statements are
set to begin after thanksgiving stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york let's turn to our nbc news exclusive the top executive in russia's arms industry speaking out about the fighter jet russia believes will be a game changer in the arms race with the u.s. keir simmons is in dubai tonight. >> reporter: sergei chemezov shows me a prototype stealth fighter. the su75 like america's cutting-edge f-35, but cheaper, the russians say. the key difference between the two, the f-35 is real, this is a model and untested still, the russians call their plane the checkmate. >> who are you putting in check the americans? the f-35 >> translator: you can really only compare our airplane with the f-35 usually, we are competing with the u.s. >> reporter: this is chemezov's first american television
interview, a member of president putin's inner circle eyther we both in the kgb in germany >> there's very little we know about him then what was he like what did he do in germany with you >> translator: we were both in intelligence >> so you can't talk about it >> translator: i would rather not. >> reporter: we meet at the dubai air show. u.s. and russian aircraft on parade in the same airspace. russia is the world's second largest arms exporter after the u.s., state-owned rosstech dominates russia's arms industry chemezov is the ceo and the target of u.s. sanctions. >> translator: i was also sanctioned because i am a friend of putin >> reporter: but he is still said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars >> would do you plan or hope to sell the plane to >> translator: i think that this airplane will be interesting to practically everyone >> saudi arabia? turkey >> translator:
completely possible. yes. >> these are american allies >> translator: well, turkey is also a u.s. ally, but nevertheless, they purchased the s-400. >> reporter: that's an air defense system turkey bought from russia, despite being a member of nato and owning u.s. sanctions. >> translator: business >> it's business >> reporter: and business, he tells me, is good. >> does it give you some pleasure to sell the s-400 to a country that is a nato country? [ laughter ] it's driving a wedge between turkey and america. >> translator: we think that we won in this case. >> reporter: just last month, congress was told that arms sales are a central element of russian foreign policy every deal increasing president putin's international influence. lester >> keir simmons, thank you. from the future of planes to the future of cars, up next, america's biggest automaker takes us behind the scenes of its electric revolution we'll hear exclusively from gm's ceo.
can you see my wall of smiles? when i first started using genesys technology i was kind of embarrased at all the love and attention i got from my customers. people are so moved by how much i understand about them. they start including me in their lives. that's helen and her friends. i arranged a wellness retreat for them. look at those ladies. such wisdom. mmm. but it's really genesys that helps me understand people and what they truly need. i'm just glad i can help.
back now with our nbc news exclusive inside gm's new factory zero in detroit where an iconic american automobile is going electric president biden is set to visit there tomorrow, but tom costello has your first look tonight >> reporter: general motors calls this factory zero, a 40-year-old plant gutted and retrofitted with a re-trained workforce. on the assembly line,
the all-new electric version of the hummer pickup, now at the center of gm's plans to produce nothing but electric vehicles by 2035 that's just 14 years away mary barra is gm's ceo. >> are you able to scale up fast enough to truly make it all-electric in 14 years? >> absolutely, yes we have the facilities we have a talented, trained workforce. with the ltm platform that gives us an advantage. >> reporter: make no mistake, gm is gunning for tesla which has 79% of the electric vehicle market other carmakers want a piece of the pie, including ford, volkswagen, nissan and jeff bezos-backed rivian, but this is gm america's biggest automaker going all in president biden will be here tomorrow after signing the infrastructure bill that pays for a network of charging stations nationwide. >> we believe in climate change it's real, and so we know that transportation plays a -- has a huge impact
so the quicker we ca bring everyone along to evs, the better it will be for climate. >> reporter: gm promises it will deliver performance and 0 to 60 in three seconds with a range of 350 miles and just like ford's electric f-150 customer demand for a powerful ev truck is strong the first electric hummer hasn't rolled off the assembly line, but 10,000 people have pre-ordered the vehicle. first deliveries by the end of the year. like most automakers gm has been caught in the global supply chain slowdown while it's now reopening the factory is forced to temporarily close a shortage of computer chips used in every car and truck may be take months to resolve. many of those chips come from taiwan, now the focus of tension between the u.s. and china, making it a top concern for the head of gm. >> you need that taiwan connection like many companies do. >> well, yeah, and we have -- again, we have semiconductors coming from many different countries across the
globe, so making sure that we have enough supply is our first issue and then that's not going to be other issues that impact, of course, is something that we look at. >> reporter: tonight the country's biggest automaker plotting a green future amid ever-changing global challenges tom costello, nbc news, detroit. up next, as we continue tonight, the pharmacist turned superhero "inspiring america.
finally tonight, when covid vaccines became available to kids 5 and up, one small pharmacy set out to help in a big way here's rehema ellis. >> reporter: a pennsylvania school gym turned into a carnival may be the best place for kids to get vaccinated with balloons, candy and superheroes. >> you did it! >> reporter: taking the sting out of the shot. >> and was it painful? >> no. >> reporter: the woman in the costume, pharmacist chichi moma, came up with the idea getting more than 18,000 kids vaccinated. >> where does the help come from? >> oh, the community i have an army of volunteers >> reporter: and she had experience to make it work. >> i give good shots >> reporter: when chichi's small pharmacy was inundated with calls from adults
wanting the vaccine, in a county with no public health department she got busy and went from having only 100 doses to giving out more than 30,000 vaccines >> i called the department of health every single day. >> what made you think that you could do this >> well, i don't take no for an answer. >> reporter: and she did the same thing to get shots for kids, but traded in he white pharmacy coat for a cartoon costume. >> and if taking off the white coat makes the child more comfortable that's exactly what i'm going to do. >> reporter: parents lined up with their kids >> it's remarkable >> reporter: one woman on a mission >> doing what i love to do, which is helping people >> reporter: helping them stay well rehema ellis, nbc news, springfield, pennsylvania. >> that's "nightly news" for this tuesday. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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