tv Today NBC November 27, 2021 5:30am-7:00am PST
good morning. concerns over omicron. a new highly transmissible covid variant first discovered in south africa raising alarms across the globe. >> the variant has a large number of mutations. >> the.s. and other nations restricting air travel from the region. the dow plunging, fears rising. how worried should we be and is it here in the united states already? this morning dr. anthony fauci joins us live. shopping frenzy. the lines may not have been as long as usual on black friday
but already nearly 110 million people have taken advantage of the start of the holiday shopping season, both instores and online but due to supply chain problems, discounts aren't as steep. we'll break down black friday by the numbers as we look to small business saturday and cyber monday. on rare apology, a republican congresswoman says she's sorry after making remarks about elan omar. what they're both saying about it all. those stories plus remembering stephen sondheim. the legendary broadway composer and lyricist who brought us "west side story," "into the woods," and sunday in the park with george is being remembered
after he died at the age of 91. we'll look at his career and the legend he leaves behind today, saturday november 27th, 2021. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is today, with peter alexander, kristen welker, and dylan dreyer. welcome to "today" and thank you so much for joining us on this saturday morning. peter it's great to be here with you here in new york where the broadway community, frankly like the rest of the country remembering stephen sondheim this morning. >> "west side story," "gypsy" the list is long here. sondheim was attending shows just this week. >> he was a real legend. we'll have more on his legacy a little bit later on in the show. but we want to get to our top story. the troubling new concerns in
the coronavirus pandemic. on friday the world health organization identified a new covid strain as omicron, calling it a variant of concern as scientists worldwide try to learn about it. >> it was first discovered in south africa. on friday, president biden banned travel from eight countries in that region beginning monday. it does not apply to american travelers. experts are getting worried about another surge in cases. over the last week the u.s. averaged roughly 100,000 new cases a day, just two weeks ago, that number hovered closer to 70,000. >> we're going to talk to dr. anthony fauci about it all in just a moment. but we want to begin with the latest on the omicron variant. from nbc, raf sanchez in israel where the strain has been detected already. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. this new variant detected for the first time a few days ago,
it got its first name, omicron, yesterday but it's already causing a ripple of fear and a wave of new travel restrictions around the globe. this morning the world racing to shut out or at least slow down the alarming new covid variant first found in south africa. the w.h.o. officially naming it omicron. >> this variant has a large number of mutations and some of these mutations have some worrying characteristics. >> reporter: those raising fears it could be more contagious than delta and existing vaccines may be less effective about it. starting monday, the white house closing borders to travel from eight nations, an exception made for u.s. citizens trying to get home. >> we don't know a lot about the variant, except it is a great concern. >> reporter: so far no confirmed cases of omicron inside the u.s. but with the variant already in
israel, belgium and hong kong, experts say it may have reached america undetected. >> the chances are that this virus has travelled to many other parts of the world and maybe those other places haven't yet realized. >> reporter: more and more countries now restricting travel to southern africa. triggering a scramble to get out before the borders shut. the uncertainty rattling markets worldwide. the dow dropping more than 900 points, 2.5% yesterday in response to the news. its worst ever performance on black friday. more research still needed to fully understand omicron but with much of the world still grappling with delta, it's an unwelcome arrival at the start of the holiday season. now pfizer, moderna, johnson & johnson are all studying the new variant to see if they need to update the existing vaccines. but experts say this is proof of
what we knew, it is not enough for wealthy countries alone to be vaccinated until everyone is vaccinated around the world, it's likely we're going to continue seeing new variants like this one. guys. >> has to be a global response. raf sanchez, thank you for that report. we want to bring in dr. anthony fauci he, of course, is the director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases. dr. fauci good morning, thanks for getting up with us here. we're. going to try to break it down for folks with real questions about it. the first question is, what makes the new variant so different and so concerning? >> well, it has a large number of mutations, particularly that relates to its ability to bind to the cells in the nasal and lungs, namely related to transmissability. you would predict from looking at the mutations that have been
identified that it likely will be more transmissible. we don't know that yet, but you have to be careful and assume that that's the case. it also has a bunch of mutations that would suggest it could evade the protection, for example, of antibodies and perhaps even plasma for people who have been infected and recovered and possibly vaccine. these are all maybes. but the suggestion is enough and it seems to have real spread rapidly in south africa, even though the numbers are relatively small, its ability to infect people who have recovered from infection and people who have been vaccinated make us say this is something you have to pay close attention to and be prepared for something that's serious. it may not turn out that way, but you want to be ahead of it. that's why we're doing what we're doing. >> i hear you say there's a lot
you don't know about the variant. what are the key questions you want answered, and when do you think you will have those answers? >> well, there are a couple of questions. one is, when these individuals in south africa who relatively speaking are not a large number, those who have gotten infected with the new variant, is the disease more serious than when you, for example, get infected with the delta variant. that's point number one. point number two, are the antibodies induced by the vaccines that we are using, do they protect against this? it is conceivable it may be diminishing a little bit the protection. but the vaccines we use may very well be able to contain this. and then it won't be as serious as some people are surmising it might be. a lot of unknowns which is the reason we're all over this. as i say, you assume something that might be worse than it is, but better that than under
estimating. you don't want people to panic but we want people to know we're doing everything we can to stay ahead of this. >> do you believe that omicron is already here in the u.s. likely? >> you know, i would not be surprised if it is. we have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility and you're having travel related cases they've noted in other places already, when you have a virus like this, it almost unvariableability is going to go all over. the issue of blocking travel from a given country is to just give us time to assess it better. that's the reason for doing that. not any reason to panic, but we want to give it some time to really fill in the blanks of what we don't know right now. >> dr. fauci, let's talk about what we know is happening in this country, which is that we are seeing increases in at least
15 states, nearly 100,000 new cases per day. so i guess the question this morning, are we at the mercy of this virus or at the mercy of people who are not getting vaccinated right now? >> well, our fate is in our own hands. this is, yet again, another reason, not only what's going on right now with the delta variant in our own country, but what you see throughout the world. it is absolutely essential that unvaccinated people get vaccinated. and the vaccinated people get boosters. we know now, clearly, that when you get a booster shot, like a third shot after the two shots of an mrna or the second shot after the j&j, you dramatically increase the level of protection. so if ever there was a reason now for people to say putting all of these other things aside, let's get vaccinated, let's get boosted, and let's be careful when you're in indoor congregate
settings to make sure you wear a mask and do not pull back on your guard. >> we appreciate your time and expertise. thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> just remarkable to hear him say omicron is possibly already here. it's been a busy weekend for 100 million people taking advantage of the black friday discounts but many shoppers are choosing to stay home and shop online, instead of rushing out to the stores. jolene kent with a look at how black friday went in maryland. how did it go? >> reporter: we do expect record spending this holiday weekend, but the lines across the country were light, they were short. the mad dash happening online and believe it or not, customers are going crazy for clothes. this morning consumers embarking on the final stretch of holiday shopping, but instead of storming stores on black friday
many sauntered in looking for deep discounts. >> it's empty. >> reporter: on black friday an estimated 108 million people shopped instore and online. 64% hitting physical stores. up from last year. but $5.1 billion online the same as last year. the supply chain delays and rising cost of living hitting wallets hard. >> things are expensive. feel it. >> reporter: shoppers will pay 9% more this week thanks to smaller price cuts. >> prices going up through inflation is putting consumers in the position they have to spend more. the old adage, i can get it cheaper online and it's available, that's being turned on its head. >> reporter: threats of shortages and delays inspired people to shop early. >> shipping concerns were why i started in july. >> reporter: some of the popular
items are gaming consoles and toys, but consumers are expected to spend the most on clothing. and despite the economic challenges, cyber monday is likely to be the biggest shopping day ever. >> we're expecting over $11 billion to be spent online on that day. >> reporter: of course tyou pre shop in your neighborhood, i want to you remember one thing. 78% of small business owners say that this holiday season is going to determine whether or not they can stay open into next year. so be sure and shop wisely and shop thoughtfully, guys. >> thank you. >> millions of people of course, heading home this weekend after enjoying the holiday with family. hope is that the weather cooperates for the long trip back. a lot of folks asking is it going to be okay cause we had a great thanksgiving. >> everyone got there. now we have to get everyone home.
for today, we're looking at a relatively tranquil weather map. it could be a lot worst this time of year. you were dig diagnose out in northern portions of vermont and slight snow coming down areas of the midwest and through the great lakes. maybe some minor airport delays there possible in chicago. there is a lot of green on the map. i do not expect a lot of weather weather-related delays on the east coast or the west coast. with the exception of seattle, with heavy rain and gusty winds. that takes us into sunday and you notice the southern half of the country fantastic. we still have issues in the northwest and a little bit more in the way you have snow and snow showers going to go through the northwest. northeast. if you're driving, the proble 94 through michigan from buffalo to syracuse but that's about it. most of your travel, and including airport, are going to be pretty good as we return home from our thanksgiving holidays. so guys, not bad. mean, i have to give this about a nine outof a ten. >> we've been in good shape.
bill, we appreciate it. thanks so much. we're oing to get the rest of your forecast in just a few minutes. president biden is spending his holiday weekend in nantucket, preparing for a busy agenda when he gets back to washington. with no coronal deal, government funding set to run out next week and the country set to hit the debt limit by mid-december. nbc's white house correspondent kelly o'donnell is traveling with the president. she's in nantucket this morning. kelly, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning. of course, the duties of the office go with the president everywhere, even when he's taking a trip with family for thanksgiving. so he's been dealing with that new covid variant. the economy, and all these big issues use the just around the corner. but he's also been trying to take in some of the mood and flavor of the holiday season. a biden family tradition. not the national christmas tree lighting, but a small island celebration on nantucket.
the cheer of the holiday season. out andabout, visiting small local shops, here with extended family. to be enjoyed this weekend before a return to washington, where the president faces pressing economic challenges. >> i've talked to the feds about a whole range of things. >> reporter: inflation has climbed to a three-decade high. while gas prices are stingd inf >> reporter: inflation at a decade high, while gas prices are stinging holiday travelers this weekend. republicans hammering those issues. >> they can say what they want, but the american people understand it for what it is. >> reporter: the administration says it's taking steps to ease gas prices like releasing 50 million barrels from the nation's strategic supply. and urging the federal trade commission to examine oil and gas company's pricing.
>> we want supply to increase in the united states and around the world so we can reduce the pressure at the pump. >> reporter: washington's december calendar is filled with dramatic. government funding runs out december 3rd. the risk of default looms as the borrowing limit is reached december 15th. at the white house, goal for passing the climate and family care bill through the senate by christmas. >> i know for a lot of americans things are still very hard. >> reporter: but some economic news is bright. the most recent jobless claims fell to 199,000. the lowest level since 1969. >> and something happened on capitol hill that doesn't usually happen. a rare apology, what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: rare among those political allies of donald trump. this involved congresswoman lauren bovert, who issued an apology she said to anyone in the muslim community and also
reached out to the office of minnesota democrat representative ilhan omar. she did so after making a public comment where she seemed to compare representative omar, suggesting the idea that she might be a suicide bomber. here's the joke she made in public. >> i look to my left and there she is, ilhan omar. i said, well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine. >> reporter: so she made that apology and speaker pelosi and democratic leadership said they found that comment deeply concerning. kristen? >> kelly o'donnell in nantucket covering the headlines, thank you. this morning musical theatre lovers remembering one of the greatest song writers they've ever seen, stephen sondheim passed away sunday at the age of
91. we look back at his legendary career. >> reporter: stephen sondheim's most famous song was an unexpected hit. ♪ isn't it rich ♪ >> reporter: judy collins and then frank sinatra. putting the words and music of broadway's master into the pop. >> it's the right singer at the right time with the right material. >> reporter: it was sondheim who was right for his time. ♪ someone to make you come through ♪ ♪ who will always be there ♪ ♪ as frightened as you of being alive ♪ >> reporter: filling theatres with songs about the complex relationships between people. ♪ i want you so ♪ ♪ it's like i'm losing my mind ♪ >> reporter: and unusual subjects. a murderous barber.
presidential assassins, a 19th century french painter. >> stephen reinvented the american musical. >> reporter: presidential honors, tonys, an oscar. his name permanently in lights on broadway. his work celebrated on stage and film and revered by broadway's best. talent future nurtured by oscar hammerstine ii, who urged a reluctant sondheim to write the words to the music for "west side story." >> he's the one who said stop fetching, take the job. write music later. but they would be his launching pad. doing the lyrics for "gypsys".
and then his. >> it's not a tune you can hum. there's not a tune you go -- >> i wanted to tell stories and write songs and make people laugh, cry, have a good time. >> reporter: even at 91 he was still a cultural presence, bradley witford playing the master. stephen spielberg remaking "west side story." >> the cast of company dedicate this performance to you. >> reporter: and another revival of "company" lighting up broadway. piece by piece stephen sondheim put it together and left us a lifetime of art. ♪ i'm still here ♪ >> reporter: ann thompson nbc news new york. just an incredible legacy who loved broad way to the end, attending a matinee and even
performance here in new york on this past wednesday. >> incredible to think about how passionate you have to be to have that much energy into your final days. a lot of people will be missing him. we want to take a turn and get another check of the weather with bill karins. what's the rest of the forecast look like? >> we have to have some good weather out there because we have millions of people decorating and getting outside this weekend. it's that time officially. we had the problem spots in the northwest with the rain, michigan with the snow. getting rid of the snow in the northeast and then showers in texas. but we have some beautiful weather out there from the west coast to the rockies, denver is great,
flags. the new variant has 32 mutations on it. delta has 11. dr. ghandi says it's important to get vaccinated and the booster shot. those who were not vaccinated had symptoms. this is a story we are keeping track of, you will find all of our reporting on our website. we posted an explainer about the new variant, go to nbcbayarea.com, click on our story on our trending bar at the top of our home page. let's check in with vianey arana for a quick look of our forecast on this final weekend of november. it's crazy. >> it really is, we have been having cold morning to start out. beautiful view in san francisco, look at that. no fog, not a lot of clouds out there pchlt current temperatures in the 40s. we'll get plenty of sunshine for the afternoon. we are starting out in the low 40s for the south bay, 44
degrees. livermore. a couple of 50s through the peninsula. as far as fog. everywhere we are seeing clear conditions with the exception of up through the north bay. also we could see fog into the central valley, down toless than 2 miles up in santa rosa, keep in mind limited visibilities. high pressure is going to be dominating this weekend which means a lot of sunshine and also warmer temperatures, pretty comfortable in the 60s. we'll top out in the 50s about 10:00 a.m. in afternoon we'll be mid to upper 60s into concord. dublin is about 41 degrees. notice the icon, no fog and clouds, it's going to be a beautiful sunny weekend for small business on saturday. kira. >> vianey, thank you so much. it's 5:58. coming up on "today in the bay," shots fired at a high school football game. the moment had players and fans dropping for cover.
when the drive was ordered to stop he got out of the vehicle and approached with a knife. after several more warnings the person was shot by base personnel, who was pronounced dead at the scene. the incident is under investigation. well, a bitter college football rivalry. more than 100 years in the making resumes today as ohio state and michigan take the field together for the first time since the pandemic began. it was cancel last year due to covid. the game as it's referred to, kicks off in ann arbor. this is the first time since 2016 that both are top five teams, which means michigan's head coach and former star quarterback jim harbaugh may finally get m his chance to lea the wolverines the vikt rimry. the winner will advance and get bragging rights for the rest of the year. >> the trial start ghislaine
maxwell. gabe gutierrez with the latest. >> this morning, ghislaine maxwell is behind bars in brooklyn. opening s statements scheduled r monday. >> maxwell played a critical role in helping epstein befriend and groom minor victims for a bus. >> reporter: prosecutors say she was the -- who police say later killed himself ing jail. she was one of the coconspirators. she was right there with him. >> she was a co-conspirator, right there with him. she might have been just as bad she was. >> reporter: jennifer has accused maxwell and others helping to facile indicate epstein's abuse. she is not maxwell, all of whom will be identified at the trial only by their initials. >> the biggest challenge for the
government here is these alleged crimes happened decades ago. and since that time, memories can fade and that can be ripe for cross-examination by the defense. >> reporter: the defense said the prosecution just wants to blame someone, anyone for jeffrey epstein's alleged crimes. >> the authorities lost epstein on their watch, theoretically on 24/7 guard and they're taking it out on my sister. >> reporter: the trial is expected to be narrow in scope, not bringing up allegations from an alleged victim who said in a lawsuit that maxwell trafficked her to prince andrew when she was 17. he denied the allegations. it's also unlikely the prosecution will be allowed to delve too deeply into epstein's social and business relationships with names like president bill clinton and donald trump. in this trial maxwell will face six of eight criminal counts she was charged with. the trial will focus on just
four alleged victims. it's expected to last six weeks. peter. >> all eyes will be watching that. gabe gutierrez, thank you very much. we want to check your forecast with bill karins. you're looking at some weather in the pacific northwest? what are you tracking. >> it's been pouring, raining, we'd like to share more with california where we have the drought going on. but the pacific northwest it's ridiculous how much rain you've had. we have another river event moving in, under a flash flood watch. it was two weeks ago we had the horrific flooding. this is already the wettest fall recorded in areas like belling ham and probably the same for seattle. the mountains will be the worst of it. and then as the system comes through on sunday, it gets a little bit lighter but not sunny a chance of wednesday to wednesday and the mountains
could see 5 to 7 inches of that's going to stay to our north. we are not expecting any rain in the bay area. we are knowing some patchy areas up to the north bay santa rosa and also expect to see some fog into the central portion of california. temperature trend for this afternoon is comfortable. 44 degrees right now but notice temperatures and sunshine in the mid-60s. >> i know you mentioned the ohio state, michigan football game. there's a chance for snow in the second half of that game. >> i think the wolverines need all the help they can get. just ahead this small business saturday how local mom and pop shops are getting ready for the holiday season p even for the holiday season p even with the supy chainpl
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in manhattan they're ready for the holidays. how important is this time of year for you, a small business owner? >> crucial. >> this is your super bowl? >> this is our super bowl, absolute lit. without a good christmas it affects our entire year. >> reporter: when we visited a year ago during the pandemic, business was down more than 60%. only two shoppers were allowed inside at any time. today the customers are back and it's busy. but this year there are new challenges. supply chain disruptions driving up costs by as much as 25%. >> it looks like my sales are better than they are, but they're not because my prices are going up so high. >> reporter: for small businesses like hers it's been one thing after another for two years, from the shutdown to restrictions on reopening, to vaccinations. today over half of small businesses say they struggle to get what they need because of supply chain problems. and it's one reason why more than two thirds have increased their prices. >> if i could sum up our
experience through the pandemic, i would use one word and that's pivot. >> reporter: latoya has a home decor business in atlanta. when covid hit she shifted to online sales. today she have has two stores and works with local suppliers. >> we saw our local suppliers pick up and pivot to their products so we have easier access. >> reporter: when real estate prices fell during the pandemic she saw an opportunity and signed a lease for a sixth store in new york city. >> to open a retail location during the covid makes me optimistic. >> reporter: while she can't always find everything she wants to sell, finding staff to stock the shelves has been harder. >> i've been a retailer since 2007 and i've never struggled like this to to have staff my stores. >> reporter: despite it all they're hopeful this saturday. >> it's been challenging and
it's good to be standing. >> reporter: are you a better businesswoman today than two years ago? >> amen, yes. >> it does feel like we're getting back to normal, finally, a year later. >> and stephanie joins us live. it is so great to see you. we love seeing those women business owners thrive and having survived the pandemic. but the question is how do they compete against the big retailers? >> guys, it is so great to see you. unfortunately it's always the case for small businesses the amazon effect, it's hard for them to stay afloat while you have these big retailers. this year it's especially hard. when you talk about the supply chain issues, the big box stores they chartered their own ships, they control the supply chain and they're so big they can absorb the costs. but what the small businesses tell you, because they're smaller, don't need such large
supplies they can be nimble. they often use local vendors and offer that personal experience to shoppers. i can tell you, based on surveys, it's working. over half of the consumers out there say they plan to shop local, buy small this holiday season. for those of us so worried about shipping delays and increased shipping costs when we shop online, if you're buying from a local retailer you don't have to worry about shipping. pick it up around the corner. >> we know you like to roll deep doing your shopping. as it turns out in your reporting, you ran into another person who likes to shop local. >> i do. you can file this in stars there just like us. amy schumer was at west side kids doing her normal shopping. we walked in the store and everybody is masked up, but you're not sure. i thought i heard her voice, i think that's amy schumer and then next thing her 3-year-old
son comes in and there he was in the middle of the shot. if you pay him his day rate, he's happy to be your movie star. >> i love you had to slow down the video to catch her. >> i'm sure she was excited to see you. >> i'm like, wait. i wish that was the case. amy schumer, she shops local, supports small business. another reason to love her. >> setting the example. stephanie rhule thank you. we're thrilled to have our friend at nbc news now, anchor joe fryer in studio with us this morning. what's next? >> get your hanky ready we have a look at the final season ♪ your whole team can see your upper thigh ♪ ♪ pour that smooth roast and aim that camera up high ♪ ♪ the best part of wakin' up is folgers in your cup ♪ it's the black friday sale. get 30 to 50% off everything. ♪♪
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tackling an issue close to his heart. he just launched a new initiative to connect emergency services workers to mental health resources. he served as an air ambulance pilot starting in 2015 he sat down with two first responders to discuss the toll their job can take. >> any job i went to with children, that really affected me, much more than i think if i hadn't had children. for me it was the relation with my personal life with the family. and i found that very difficult. >> it was his own experiences, ones like that, that heightened stress of the pandemic as well, that inspired william to start the blue light together initiative. the royal said he hopes it will help support and protect first responders. >> up next, better get those tissues handy. the trailer for the sixth and final season of "this is us" was released. >> i would wish i could make time stand still. >> i know.
>> the bittersweet trailer shows the show will be just as emotional as ever as the peerson family faces alzheimer's and so much more. the final season premiers tuesday january 4th here on nbc. keeping things in the nbc family. finally we have kelly clarkson and ariana grande, the two singers went head-to-head in a singoff in a first look at jimmy fallon's new show, that's my jam. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ i can feel something inside me say ♪ >> how do you pick a winner? "that's my jam" is hosted by fallon, inspired by many of the games on "the tonight show." all four voice coaches are competing first. you can catch the sneak peek
episode monday night right here on nbc. it begs the question, if you two had a sing off, who would win? >> i'm going to say peter by just a nose. >> i'm going to say there would be shattered glass throughout the studio. >> you did the dance off. >> you might beat us both, joe. >> you do not want that at all, no. >> so good to see you in person. we'll have more from you coming up. the new jersey high school quarterback who lost his mom to cancer playing in the state championship last night, that mong story isvi
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vaccine manufactures are ready to work to adapt their shots. pfizer is testing their vaccine against this strain. the company says it can adapt vaccines within six weeks if needed. johnson & johnson is also testing the efficacy of its vaccines against this new variant. moderna will test three candidates against omicron. after taking a break for a year because of the pandemic. christmas in the park in san jose is back. yesterday's opening night was packed full of people. a live look this morning. you can see the massive christmas tree. it's the official start of christmas in the park. they have christmas decorations and galore and a tunnel through
the christmas tree. the drive through display, it will continue into the new year. after christmas, the music will change into rock hits. you can get your tickets online, $30 per car. >> vianey arana has a quick check of our forecast. >> it's going to be a good one. we'll start out a little cold the past couple of weeks. notice the skies are looking good. temperatures in the 40s. 44 degrees in san jose. san francisco and those low 50s and fog, most of the areas are pretty clear. we have some areas of fog mainly up to santa rosa and down to 7 miles per hour visibility. we'll get a lot of sunshine. a little haze out.
overall a nice day. a couple of 70s as we have pressure dominating this weekend. we'll remain dry here for small business saturday today. head and support those small businesses around you. frul forecast at 10:00. >> vianey, thank you. it's 6:29. as just mentioned, it's small business saturday. bay area businesses are ready for you. we'll tell you how you can help them afloat, this holiday season. that plus all your top stories coming up at 7:00. we'll see you then. right now we'll send you back to "today."
good morning. fears over omicron. a new highly transmissible covid variant first discovered in south africa now raising alarms around the world. >> this is something you got to pay really close attention to. >> the u.s. and other nations restricting air travel from that region. so how worried should americans be and is it here in the u.s. already? we're live with the latest. shopping frenzy, the lines may have been shorter than previous black fridays but already nearly 110 million people have revved up their spending for the start of the holiday shopping season in
stores and online. due to supply chain problems this year's discounts aren't as deep as before. >> things are expensive. inflation, man, you can feel it. and the return of the rockettes. ♪♪ the famed radio city music hall dancers are back and better than ever after the show was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. we will take you backstage as they kick up their heels ahead of another holiday spectacular. today, saturday november 27th, 2021. >> hi we're the cade family from texas, we love beginning our day watching the "today" show. love you, dee, happy birthday. >> we're the gomishay family. >> from pittsburgh pennsylvania. >> and my sister sky -- >> i'm celebrating my birthday on "today." >> yay! >> good morning and welcome back to "today" on a saturday
morning. we're normally in d.c. and we brought it to nyc and have a nice group of folks outside. >> thanks for being here. >> it's chilly outside but that did not deter him. >> the least we could do is let them be seen by their loved ones back at home. >> we want to get to the top story, the new concerns in the coronavirus pandemic with the discovery of a new highly infectious variant called omicron. the world health organization is calling this a variant of concern as scientists worldwide work to learn more about it. while it has not been found in the u.s. yet dr. anthony fauci told us a short time ago that he would not be surprised if omicron was already here. nbc's raf sanchez is in israel this morning with the story, it's already been detected there. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. this variant detected for the first time just a few days ago, it only got its official name,
omicron, yesterday. but it is already causing a ripple of fear and a wave of new travel restrictions around the globe. this morning the world racing to shut out or at least slow down the alarming new covid variant first found in south africa. the w.h.o. officially naming it omicron. >> this variant has a large number of mutations and some of these mutations have some worrying character ris you cans. >> reporter: those mutations raising fears it could be more contagious than delta and vaccines could be less effective against it. starting monday, the white house closing borders to travelers from eight african nations. exceptions made for u.s. citizens trying to get home. >> we don't know a lot about the variant except it's a concern. >> reporter: the variant has already been detected in
belgium, israel, and hong kong. dr. anthony fauci revealing omicron may have spread more rapidly than we've realized. perhaps even in the united states. >> i would not be surprised if it is. we have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility. it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over. >> reporter: more and more countries now restricting travel to southern africa. triggering a scramble to get out before borders shut. >> i hope i can make this flight. >> reporter: the uncertainty rattling markets worldwide. the dow dropping more than 900 points, 2.5% yesterday in response to the news. its worst ever performance on black friday. more research still needed to fully understand omicron. but with much of the world still grappling with delta, it's an unwelcome arrival at the start of the holiday season. now, pfizer, moderna, j&j are
all studying this new variant to see if they need to update their existing vaccines. but experts say this is proof of what we already knew. it is not enough for wealthy countries alone to be vaccinated until everyone is vaccinated around the world, it's likely we're going to continue seeing new variants like this one. >> we'll keep an eye on this for a while. raf thank you. we want to turn to the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season with black friday in the books and billions of dollars already spent but there's still a long way to go. nbc's business and tech correspondent jolene kent is at a mall in bethesda. i hope you brought your shopping list with you, good to see you. >> reporter: so good to see you, too. happy post black friday, happy small business saturday. the lines this year were very short and light all across the country for black friday. we expect record spending, 108
million people expected to have shopped on black friday, according to the national retail federation, 64% of shoppers say we're going to go out and hit a mall like this one and spend some money. but overall, most of the activity it feels like so far was very much online with customers going crazy over clothing as they venture out again to see family and friends and head back to work. but there was some violence on black friday across the country. according to police, three people, including a 10-year-old, were wounded in a shooting in durham, north carolina as the streets of south point. another three sustaining injuries not directly from the gun shots. all are now being treated for nonlife threatening injuries. and across the country, in tacoma, washington, police say one person was wounded at tacoma mall. police say this was an isolated
incident. but still scary. jolene, kent. thank you for that. to a bizarre scene in alabama where hundreds of packages were found dumped in the woods this week. photos posted showed nearly 400 boxes piled and scattered across a wooded ravine near a country road there. deputies guarded the scene until fed ex trucks could pick up the packages. they're trying to now figure out how they got there and why. >> it's a mystery, huh. let's check the weekend morning boost. joe is back with that. >> this is a good one. remember i told you to get your kleenex before, get them again. this is a high school quarterback bringing his team to victory, even while dealing with incredible grief. alex brown is red bank's quarterback. he helped his team pull off a state championship last night. not only did he score the winning touchdown but he patted
depaul's final hail mary attempt. but the victory was more than physical for brown, it was personal too. his mother michelle died just 15 days prior after losing a long battle with breast cancer. brown says he believes his mom, quote, guided us on this journey and that this was his destiny. imagine that. just unbelievable. third quarter, winning touchdown, and then batting back that hail mary attempt at the end. unreal. >> incredible strength to pull off those plays but to do it while you're grieving. >> that was a heck of a way to end that season. thanks for sharing their story. the new movies just out this the new movies just out this week, hoping no one can deliver your mom's homemade short ribs. for starters, your mom doesn't have a restaurant. if she did, it would be impossible to get in. she'd become famous overnight. she'd get talked into franchising everything.
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good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning. still a muted turnout compared to pre-pandemic showings but a dramatic improvement from last year. i spoke with families thrilled to return this week with peace of mind, thanks to covid safety protocols and shots in arms. with the holiday season officially in full swing, millions of americans are returned to treasured traditions for the first time in two years. and that includes trips to the movies. >> we came three weeks ago and there wasn't that many people box office sales will surge above $150 million between wednesday and sunday. >> gucci means no blood. >> reporter: is this a sign of life for the industry? >> it really is. this thanksgiving holiday weekend is showing that the movie industry is recovering and i think we can be very optimistic for a great 2022 for movie theatres. >> reporter: thanksgiving has long marked a robust turnout at
movie theatres. in the last decade hitting more than $250 million in ticket sales almost every year until the pandemic hit in 2020 which generated less than a tenth of that. but with vaccines now cleared for kids five and up, and nearly 75% of americans with at least one shot in the arm, more movie lovers are feeling comfortable to bounce back to the big screen. >> families feel more safer that the younger kids got to have the vaccination. i know i am. >> reporter: some lured by reboots. >> i saw ghost busters it was packed. >> reporter: others drawn by disney. leading the charts ayslone. unlike disney's previous pandemic era releases, it will not be immediately available on disney plus. analysts calling the move a sign of what's ahead. >> move goers want to go back so i think we'll see more films coming out just in theatres first.
>> reporter: industry experts say the early numbers for this week are a beacon of hope for christmas time releases like "west side story" and "sing 2" from our sister company universal. they're predicting a bigger showing then. kristen, peter. >> emily, thank you so much for that. looks like good movies out there. we're talking about the "ghostbuster film". >> it was fun taking the kids to movies we saw. and the trailer for "sing 2" looks fantastic. >> so many kids who haven't been in the theatre. >> the big tub of popcorn they can't finish. >> that's what it's about the popcorn. >> exactly. let's get into the forecast. i heard the wednesday before thanksgiving was the busiest travel day of the year. but sunday is the super bowl of the airlines tom costello told me. yes, there are some areas of vermont you're digging out from 6 to 12 inches of snow last
night. but that's exiting. light snow through michigan. if we have trouble at the airports watch out in seattle where we'll see heavy rain and gusty winds moving in. as far as sunday goes, the busiest travel day, we will see lake effect snow and snow showers but overall a really good looking map. driving it's mostly concerns through the great lakes, michigan i-94, 90 lake erie, ontario, but you're used to driving in that stuff this time of year. a lot of green on the map. if we're going to get weather related delays could be detroit, could be rain and snow showers in new york but doe
joe fryer went behind the scenes to speak with some of the dancers and we can say there was no pulled hamstrings. >> didn't try a kick this time around. >> smart. >> exactly. they call it the christmas spectacular, the show opened in early november after missing last year the rockettes returned with new music and dancers who are grateful to be part of a tradition that's nearly a century old. whether they're dancing inside radio city music hall or in front of macy's during the thanksgiving day parade, rockettes help families everywhere kick off the holidays. >> this is some people's christmas, this is people's new year's, this is people's thanksgiving. so to be able to be a part of someone else's experience and give them that is a special gift. >> for jojo carmichael, it's a fairly new gift. she's a rockette rookie. >> when you're up on the stage
and you're looking out, what's going through your mind? >> personally i feel honored to be able to be a representation of so many brown and black people. i truly feel honored every night to be able to do what i love and also inspire others in that act. >> for many rockettes, this is a life-long dream. >> i promise you, if it can happen to me, it can happen to you, just work really hard. >> julia grew up watching the iconic kick line with her grandpa, memories that could not be erased even after he developed dementia. . >> i could always been bring them up and he could talk about them. >> she auditioned seven times and got the win finally. >> it was a win for the whole family, unfortunately my grandpa passed away this past year, and something i dreamed of telling him was i got the job. >> her grandfather died after battling covid.
what would he say? >> he was a tough man. he was a war vet. he cried whenever he saw me dance and i think that would have -- yeah, he definitely would be emotional. >> you know he's watching you, right? >> i do. when i got the call i looked up and i was like grandpa, it happened. i got it. >> a true gift this holiday season. >> of course you'll see the rockettes performing at the tree lighting this wednesday and their christmas spectacular runs through january 2nd. >> what a beautiful piece, joe. and hearing from julia so emotional. is struggling to manage your type 2 diabetes knocking you out of your zone? lowering your a1c with once-weekly ozempic® can help you get back in it. oh, oh, oh, ozempic®! my zone... lowering my a1c, cv risk, and losing some weight... now, back to the game! ozempic® is proven to lower a1c. most people who took ozempic® reached an a1c under 7 and maintained it.
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♪♪ that is going to do it for us on this saturday morning. so greet to be here in new york. and joe it was great to have you in studio. >> and great to have you here in new york for the holidays. >> we hope you have a great small business saturday, enjoy small business saturday, enjoy your weekend. helen knew exercise could help her diabetes. but she didn't know what was right for her. no. nope. no way. but then helen went from no to know. with freestyle libre 2,