tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS March 31, 2021 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
girl and put him or her in the box. >> the bystander got this video of captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ ♪ ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: tonight, the gripping testimony in the derek chauvin murder trial, and the never-before-seen video of george floyd, just moments before his deadly encounter with police. video of the final hour of floyd's life, inside the convenience store. the teenaged store clerk who flagged floyd's $20 bill as counterfeit takes the stand, describing the guilt of watching floyd die. plus, the emotional moment a witness breaks down sobbing. kids and the vaccine: the encouraging news tonight that pfizer's shot is 100% effective in children as young as 12. plus, why millions of doses of johnson & johnson's vaccine are
delayed. rebuilding america. prpresident bibiden unveilils a, ambitious proposal, saying it will create thousands of jobs. but, who will foot the bill? the border crisis, and the shocking video tonight of smugglers dropping toddlers onto american soil, over the border wall. sex trafficking investigation: florida republican congressman matt gaetz, a top trump ally, now under federal investigation for an alleged relationship with an under-aged girl. tonight, what he's saying. breaking news: detectives determine the cause of the tiger woods crash. "women and the pandemic:" we go inside a vaccine research lab with one of the female scientists trying to bring an end to the covid crisis. and, american kindness: how "cbs evening news" viewers stepped up in a big way to feed military families in need.
this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening to our viewers in the west and thank you for joining us on this busy wednesday night. we're going to begin tonight with that stunning new video of george floyd, and the heartbreaking testimony at the murder trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. it really has been a dramatic day of twists and turns in court with jurors hearing from the strangers whose lives crossed paths with floyd shortly before chauvin pinned the 46-year-old to the ground, with his knee on floyd's neck. one witness, a man who stopped his car when he saw police struggling with floyd, sobbed uncontrollably as he said he couldn't help but feel helpless. the trial, which is being carried wall to wall on live television, has focused on hours of graphic body cam and cell phone video of floyd's final moments, leading nearly every witness today to break down, and actually forcing one juror to leave the courtroom after suffering what the judge
called a stress-related reaction. and we've also got some disturbing details about a surge of coronavirus infections in a new group of americans, and some breaking news about millions of vaccines that have been spoiled. we're going to get to that in just a moment. but first, cbs' jamie yuccas is going to lead off our coverage from outside the courthouse in minneapolis. good evening, jamie. >> reporter: good evening, norah. every day, the prosecution has played new video from the day floyd died. each witness then narrates what they saw happen in front of them more than ten months ago. the jury is watching, and seeing that reliving those moments is traumatizing. today, the jury got to see the shocking police body cam video of officers putting george floyy into a squad car. >> get in this car! we're done! >> i'm-- i'm claustrophobic! >> reporter: the intense struggle continued on the other side of the vehicle. ( screaming ) >> reporter: floyd eventually forced to the ground. >> ahhhh! momma! momma.
>> reporter: charles mcmillan witnessed it all. the 61-year-old broke down as he relived the moment in court. >> oh, my god! >> reporter: mcmillan had confronted chauvin about his actions, and tonight, for the first time, we're hearing chauvin's initial reaction to what had just happened. >> we have to control this guy, because he's a sizable guy. >> yeah, and that guy, he wouldn't get in the car! >> looks like he's probably on something. >> reporter: earlier, the prosecution showed this newly- released security video of floyd inside the cup foods convenience store, less than two hours before his death. 19-year-old christopher martin worked at the store and had a brief conversation with floyd. >> but it kind of took him a little long to get to what he was trying to say, so it would appear that he was high. >> reporter: cbs legal analyst rikki klieman. is there also a strategy in bringing it up ahead of the defense?
>> the prosecution is always better off with bringing up bad evidence ahead of the defense, if they know the defense is going to bring it up, because then the prosecution becomes the giver of truth-- it's not trying to hide anything. >> reporter: martin says floyd bought a pack of cigarettes with what appeared to be a >> i noticed it had a blue >> i noticed that it had a blue pigment to it, kind of how a $100 bill would have, and i found that odd. so i assumed that it was fake. >> reporter: martin and hiss coworkers tried twice to get coworkers tried twice to get floyd to speak with their manager, but he remained in his s.u.v. a store employee then called police. >> what was going on in your mind during that time period? >> disbelief, and guilt. >> why guilt? >> if i would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided. >> reporter: rodney floyd, george floyd's brother, sat in court today. when prosecutors played the disturbing police body cam videos, one after another, a pool reporter in the courtroom
said it was excruciating to watch his reaction. prosecutors are now starting to question investigators on technical parts of this case. norah. >> o'donnell: jamie yuccas, thank you. we're going to turn now to that breaking news tonight in the fight against covid.s tonight ie johnson & johnson is reportedly halting future shipments of its vaccine. this comes after a production mix-up ruined millions of doses. now, the setback comes as cases are spiking again across the country. for more on this all this, we go now to cbs' meg oliver. >> reporter: tonight, the nation bracing for a fourth wave, as cases continue to climb. new data from the c.d.c. showing the highest number of cases per capita concentrated in michigan and the northeast, including rhode island. >> i have never been through a year as difficult as this one. >> reporter: dr. megan ranney treats covid patients at rhode island hospital. >> i'm seeing lots of folks who are around my age coming in with covid. >> reporter: why are we seeing an increase in the younger
patients? >> they have not been vaccinated yet. and the second is, they're now going out and about. >> reporter: are states opening too soon? >> i wish to god that states would hold on just a little bit longer. >> reporter: at least 18 states have lifted capacity limits on most or all businesses, and 19 currently have no mask mandate. two more, alabama and utah, will discontinue theirs in the next two weeks. today, the biden administration pleading. >> we need a simple thing of eery governor, mayor, and local leader, simply to maintain or to reinstate mask mandates. >> reporter: and tonight, michigan signaling where the nation could be headed. new covid cases exploding from about 1,100 a day to more than 5,000 a day in just over a month. the largest increase-- newborns to 19-year-olds. today, pfizer reporting its vaccine is 100% effective at preventing symptomatic cases in children between the ages of 12 and 15.
and, a sign that vaccines are having an impact-- yale new haven health in connecticut seeing a nearly 70% reduction in patients over the age of 55. >> but what that means is we're seeing a lot more 30- and 40- year-olds coming in. >> reporter: patients like 32-year-old louis carleglio, who had a harrowing battle with covid. >> i didn't even know i was close to intubation at anytion y point, but, apparently, i was. >> i think the message is, nobody is completely safe, unless you're vaccinated and the ones around you are vaccinated. >> o'donnell: and meg joins us now. so, meg, what are we learning about those spoiled johnson & johnson doses? >> reporter: norah, 50 million doses of the johnson & johnson vaccine were reportedly ruined by human error at one of their manufacturing partner plants. all future shipments have been stopped. now, this could impact mass vaccination sites like this one in newark, new jersey, that just opened up today. they're expecting a johnson &
johnson shipment in six weeks. norah. >> o'donnell: all right, that is the big news tonight. meg oliver, thank you. and, it's been a pipe dream for more than one president, but today, president biden used pittsburgh as his background to launch a sprawling plan to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. cbs' nancy cordes is traveling with the president and has the details. >> now it's time to rebuild. >> reporter: president biden said the scope of his new infrastructure plan rivals the space race and the construction of the interstate highway system. >> it's not a plan that tinkers around the edges. it's a once-in-a-generation investment in america. >> reporter: $620 billion would be used to fix traditional infrastructure, including 20,000 miles of highways and roads, and more than 10,000 bridges. $650 billion more would go towards installing universal broadband, replacing lead pipes and service lines, strengthening the electrical grid, and building affordable housing. >> it will create millions of
jobs, good-paying jobs. >> reporter: the u.s. lags behind 12 other nations when it comes to infrastructure quality. >> that bridge was kind of really in bad, bad shape. >> reporter: rich fitzgerald is allegheny county executive. for a decade, he has been hoping to extend this bus-way to towns outside pittsburgh. >> 30, 40 years ago, when those mills shut down, those communities still have not recovered. so, to be able to connect those communities to the job centers provides opportunities. >> reporter: does your county have the money to fund these projects on its own? >> no. not even close. >> reporter: the white house wants to raise those funds by increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, and by hiking taxes on overseas earnings. >> if it's a trojan horse for a massive tax increase, put me down as highly skeptical. >> reporter: democrats and republicans broadly agree about the need for more infrastructure
spending, they just part ways over how to pay for it. so president biden may have to try to go it alone with this package, the way he did with his covid relief bill. all this could take months to sort out, norah. >> o'donnell: all right, nancy cordes, thank you. and tonight, we want to show you some troubling new images from the southern border. surveillance video captured by the border patrol in new mexico shows migrant smugglers on top of a 14-foot-high barrier dropping a child into the u.s. and then moments later, you see another. the smugglers can be seen then running away. u.s. authorities rescued the children. it turns out they are sisters from ecuador, just three and five years old, and the girls are now safely in u.s. custody. one of former president trump's top allies, florida congressman matt gaetz, is confirming that he's under federal investigation for sex trafficking. in a series of shifting statements, the 38-year-old republican denies he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. instead, he says he's being
extorted. here's cbs' major garrett. >> reporer: matt gaetz under fire tonight and on the defensive, as the department of justice investigates his conduct with a 17-year-old girl. >> it is a horrible allegation and it is a lie. >> reporter: gaetz, 38, has not been charged, but investigators are scrutinizing whether he paid for the girl's travel over state lines or provided anything of value in exchange for sex, potential violations of federal sex trafficking laws. >> the person doesn't exist. i have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. that is totally false. >> reporter: gaetz said allegations of impropriety were an attempt to criminalize his "generosity to ex-girlfriends." he also claims the accusations are part of a multi-million- dollar extortion scheme. >> matt gaetz is a great man, a great gentleman, and what a future he has. >> reporter: gaetz is among former president trump's most vocal and visible defenders,
echoing baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, and defending him after the january 6 capitol riot. >> president trump explicitly called for demonstrations and protests to be peaceful. >> reporter: gaetz is also linked to joel greenberg, seen here, along with trump ally roger stone. greenberg was indicted last summer for sex trafficking. today, house minority leader kevin mccarthy said gaetz could lose his position on the judiciary committee if the allegations prove true. >> mr. gaetz denies the story. i look forward to talking to mr. gaetz. i haven't heard anything from the d.o.j. or others, but i will deal with it, if any of it comes to be true. >> he is in a world of hurt. >> reporter: harry litman is a former federal prosecutor. >> he clearly is under investigation for a serious crime with a ten-year mandatory minimum. >> reporter: the f.b.i. and justice department have refused to comment on any of the gaetz matters. curiously, gaetz was the only
member of the house in 2017 to vote against beefing up federal efforts to combat human trafficking. norah. >> o'donnell: the only member? >> reporter: he said the federal government had all the authorities it needed. >> o'donnell: major garrett, thank you. and on this final day of women's history month, we want to introduce you to the women leading the effort to vaccinate the world. the three vaccines being used here in the u.s. have female researchers at the forefront. in our series "women and the pandemic," we'll introduce you to those on the front lines of ending the covid crisis. nita patel is trying to help end the pandemic. >> we are making antibodies. >> o'donnell: she's one of the lead vaccine scientists at novavax, a maryland biotech company currently in the final trials of its covid vaccine. her team isn't just led by a woman-- it's almost all women. do you see a difference in the way a team of female scientists work together? >> they communicate. they get along very well. i never see them stress out. >> reporter: patel isn't alone. women are leading the effort at pfizer, johnson & johnson, and oxford-astrazeneca.
and at n.i.h., kizzmekia corbett helped design the moderna shot. >> actually, i was told i was one of the first people to open a vial of the vaccine. >> reporter: patel has a theory as to why women are at the forefront. >> we have a power inside us. we are very goal-oriented, very persistent in achieving that goal. >> o'donnell: why do you think science is such a good field for women? >> oh, science is fun. you know, there is no boundary. it's all unlimited space. >> o'donnell: before the pandemic, the number of women in science and engineering was rising, up 36% over the past decade. but a new study says women in the field aren't immune to the pressures of the pandemic. the crisis is affecting their productivity and mental well- being. have you personally witnessed, amongst other female scientists, this stress? >> yes. the stress and the work-life balance that women really faced a lot in this pandemic, and that
made some women leave the work. >> o'donnell: but patel hopes there's a silver lining-- a new generation inspired to get into science. >> women often don't recognize you have incredible strength inside you. it just needs the right moment to come out. and i think in science, you can do this. >> o'donnell: and that moment is happening now. and there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." millions of americans face the threat of floods, record cold, and, yes, even a foot of snow. also this: investigators say they know what caused tiger woods' car to fly off the side of a california road. and, a dramatic rescue caught on camera-- pulling a man from a burning car was only half the battle. thatat's all ahehead. i'i' buburning carr was only half the battttle. that's a all ahead. the e way i was s made to, it n nourishes a and strengtgs my j joints for r the long t . osteteo bi-flex,x, plus vitatad
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