tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC August 4, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
drink ready and sit down. not telling you what to drink. just saying. >> some popcorn maybe. >> and a little wine and a little cheese. >> all these suggestions. >> lester holt is next. >> we'll be back at 4:00. hope to see you then. bye. tonight, the fda fast tracking full approval of pfizer's covid vaccine as the delta variant surges across the u.s. the fda moving up its timeline with full approval potentially in a matter of weeks. will it convince the unvaccinated to get the shot? it comes as a rising number of children are filling hospitals. and breaking news from the white house. the plan to require foreign nationals to be vaccinated to enter the u.s. also tonight, new york governor andrew cuomo defined growing calls to resign. the democrat facing new inquiries after a state attorney general report found he
sexually harassed 11 women. if cuomo will not step down, will he become the first new york governor in more than a century to be impeached? the fourth day of troubles for spirit airlines. over half of its flights canceled. what is causing the chaos? the migrant surge hitting a 20-year high in july with a record number of unaccompanied children. we're at the border. and here in tokyo, my conversation with the two american rivals who both shattered records in the hurdles, but only one can win gold. and simone biles speaking out to nbc news about her future. will she compete in 2024? >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from tokyo. lots of news to report from the olympics coming up, but we start with news on covid vaccines. tonight, as daily infection numbers continue to mount across the u.s., the fda may be moving more
quickly to give final approval to pfizer's vaccine. it was the first to receive emergency use authorization back in december. signoff for final approval could happen in just weeks and make it easier for institutions to mandate vaccinations. the urgency to increase vaccination rates underscored by daily new infections on the rise, according to an nbc news count now exceeding 146,000 deaths, now at 660 a day. our miguel almaguer has more. >> reporter: instead of some time this fall, the fda could give pfizer's vaccine final approval by early next month. nbc news learning federal authorities are moving forward as rapidly as possible as the delta variant proliferates across the nation. the transition from emergency use authorization could help more public and private institutions mandate the vaccine and offer a shot of confidence for the 90
million americans eligible but not yet vaccinated. >> moving towards full approval will dramatically increase vaccine rates amongst the unvaccine naltd. >> reporter: while the fda just reaffirmed their position on boosters, saying americans don't need one for now, tonight the w.h.o. is calling for a moratorium on the extra dose, arguing vaccine-rich countries should help the rest of the world. amid the push to vaccinate in los angeles, the city council could soon hear an ordinance that would require customers to have at least one dose of a vaccine before they enter public spaces like restaurants, shopping centers, and gyms. in september, new york city will start enforcing similar guidelines, but doctors say requiring just a single dose won't offer the public much protection. >> it country make sense that new york city would only mandate one dose proof. they should mandate two dose proof and leave it at that so there is clarity and consistency.
>> reporter: with dr. fauci reaffirming our nation's covid cases could double by fall, there is also growing concern a new variant could elude current vaccines. in florida, where a spike in cases pushed one hospital system to turn conference rooms and a cafeteria into patient care center, covid is coming with a cost. >> very difficult to have someone, a family member die and you're not there with them. >> reporter: tonight the evolving toll of this pandemic and the price no family should pay. miguel almaguer, nbc news. i'm morgan chesky in new orleans, where tonight as the delta variant packs hospitals, doctors are seeing a new type of patient. >> we're concerned because we're seeing some very sick kids. >> reporter: at children's hospital in new orleans, dr. mark klein says patients under 10 years old make up one in five new cases and are especially vulnerable, since many don't qualify for the vaccine. 16-year-old riley brode did qualify.
>> there is my girl. >> reporter: but her family held off. she has now spent the last three days on oxygen. >> that is the absolute scary part is how fast it happens. >> reporter: we met the family after doctors cleared riley to go home. is it still a little tough to breathe right now? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: mom casey saying what started with a fever soon led to pneumonia. >> so it's hard as parents to see your child in the hospital possibly, you know, you don't know what's going to happen next. >> reporter: nationwide, youth covid cases are on the rise. the american academy of pediatrics reporting more than 70,000 new infections just last week. >> we can see very clearly that children can be severely infected and affected, and i hope that that will motive more parents to obtain vaccines. >> reporter: theine shots soon. >> seeing what she went through, i'm taking it.
>> reporter: that was enough? >> that was enough to change my mind. >> reporter: a lesson they hope others listen to. morgan chesky, nbc news, new orleans. there is breaking news from the white house tonight on new vaccine rules for travelers. the biden administration planning to mandate foreign nationals be vaccinated to enter the u.s. once international travel restrictions are lifted. there is no timeline set yet. new york's governor andrew cuomo is digging in, ignoring calls to resign, and now faces possible impeachment after an independent inquiry found he sexually harassed 11 women. cuomo says it didn't happen. gabe gutierrez has more. >> governor cuomo's got to go -- >> reporter: from new york state to albany, today the calls for governor andrew cuomo to resign grew even louder. >> you've got to go. >> reporter: in a remarkable joint statement, democratic governors of neighboring states are urging cuomo to step down following president biden's earlier call for him to resign. independent investigators say
cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, including nine state employees and a state trooper assigned to his security detail that he first met at this event in 2017. another accuser, charlotte bennett. >> we should impeach the governor. >> reporter: bennett was cuomo's assistant. in a clip released by the attorney general's office, cuomo banters with her over the phone and briefly sings to her. ♪ do you love me, do you really love me, do you care ♪ >> reporter: bennett told nbc's kate snow cuomo would go further. >> he started asking questions about, you know, my sex life. >> reporter: what did you think his intent was? >> he said he was looking for a girlfriend. he was propositions me for sex. >> reporter: in that prerecorded statement tuesday, cuomo forcibly denied all of the allegations, including bennett. >> i have heard charlotte and her lawyer. simply put, they heard things that i just didn't say. >> reporter: he argues
the investigation was politically biased, even though his own office called for it. in your view, is there any way he avoids impeachment? >> no, i don't believe he does. >> reporter: andrea stewart cousins is the top democrat in the state senate. >> there are 11 credible women who have come forward courageously, told their stories, and those stories we corroborated by others. >> reporter: at least three local d.a.'s have announced they're now looking into possible
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lines, at newark, ft. lauderdale and las vegas. the cancellations have grown all week. 19% of flights on sunday. 40% monday. 61% tuesday. another 60% today. spirit is blaming this meltdown on the surge on airline travel this summer followed by weather, staffing shortages, and computer problems. the airline says it is rebooting its systems to start fresh. the time cog not be worse, right at the peak of the summer vacation season. lester? >> all right, tom costello, thanks. new record numbers at the southern border revealing the historic scope of the migrant surge. top border patrol officials tell our julia ainsley it's like nothing they've seen before. >> reporter: despite scorching summer heat, tonight the record migrant surge is growing. 210,000 apprehensions by border patrol in july. a more than 20-year high. and 19,000 unaccompanied children were picked up, the largest number ever recorded. here in the del rio sector, officials say
hundreds of migrants have been under this bridge and worried about the threat of covid. i.c.e. is stepping in to provide tests and even offer vaccines. and in the rio grande valley, we saw a massive group of migrants kept tucked under a bridge by those trees is this a breakdown of the system? >> this is not seasonal. i think that we're dealing with is much different than in the past. >> reporter: deputy border chief ruhle ortiz telling us the biden administration is now deporting more families who don't qualify for asylum. >> friday we had our first flight, central americans, northern triangle countries back to central america. these are family units. >> reporter: we met 1-year-old angel who slept under the bridge with his parents. they brought him here from nicaragua in hopes of a better life. >> translator: we didn't have anywhere to sleep. we had to sleep on the dirt itself. we put down a sweater and laid him down so he could sleep. >> reporter: now they're heading to miami, allowed to stay
while they're applying for asylum. but tonight the biden administration is facing growing backlash over its border policies, including the recent unprecedented step of releasing 50,000 migrants into the u.s. without court dates. dead by guierra is the hidalgo county sheriff. >> it just doesn't seem that our officials in washington are listening to us, and we all feel abandoned. we have a crisis down here. >> reporter: mcallen mayor javier villalobos filing a disaster declaration. >> last night we had up to 1800 immigrants come in and catholic charities can't handle it anymore. >> reporter: meanwhile, advocates are taking the administration to court for covid policies that sent some families back. >> sending families with small children back to danger is not authorized by the law. >> reporter: and the numbers continue to rise. border patrol now stopping more than 5,000 immigrants crossing the southern border each day. julia ainsley, nbc news, del rio, texas.
we're taking a deeper look at the cdc's new eviction moratorium. welcome relief for millions of renters. stephanie ruhle explains. >> reporter: nikaya hodges appeared in court this morning to fight eviction over an alleged violation. >> my home situation is not good. me and my son have been washing up with cold water for over a month now. >> reporter: she says her landlord shut off her utilities and wants her out. the single mother lost her job during the pandemic and is among the estimated 6.9 million households behind on rent. she hopes the cdc's new moratorium on evictions which extends until october 3rd helps keep her in her home. >> if i do get locked out, i wouldn't have nowhere to go. >> reporter: she applied for rental assistance, but so far has not received any, and she is far from alone. according to an nbc news investigation, of the billions of dollars provided by congress for emergency rental assistance, as of mid-july, 26 states had distributed less than 10% of the money
allocated to them. landlords like stacey johnson cosby in kansas city need the money too. are you not getting that money? >> well, it's coming slowly. so there are some people, if you can find where to apply, how to apply, because the process is really cumbersome, and then once it is applied, it's the four to six-week turnaround to find out if a caseworker has been assigned. >> reporter: the cdc's moratorium is designed in part to allow more time for that distribution. and the biden administration is pushing for states to simplify their application process. this latest move by the cdc is likely going to face legal challenges right away. in june, the supreme court indicated without an act of congress, it was unlikely to uphold an eviction moratorium. lester? >> stephanie ruhle, thank you. president biden is pledging $100 million in humanitarian aid to lebanon as the country marks one year since more than 200 people died in a catastrophic explosion. our molly hunter is in
beirut tonight. >> reporter: one year after the devastating beirut port explosion, the lebanese are fighting back. >> justice has to be served. this regime has to go down. >> reporter: there has been no investigation, no accountability, and for the victims, no justice. you see the president is going back. they're going towards the parliament. they are begging. they are throwing stones. they are trying to get in because that is who they blame for the beirut blast. >> reporter: protests today turning violent. at least six injured. the explosion last year struck st. george's hospital. nurse pamela grabbed three preemie babies out of their incubators. this picture going viral, she ran three miles to the next hospital. a year later, all three are thriving. >> i see the pain every day, but i have to be strong for these babies, because i rescued them. i've become more strong.
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moments. >> reporter: tonight, u.s. track stars blowing by the competition and meeting in the same place, the podium. >> now she is going to make her move. >> reporter: in the 400 meter hurdles, a clash of the titans. 21-year-old sydney mclaughlin taking on defending rio gold medalist muhammad. >> muhammad on the inside to the line. it's going to be sydney mclaughlin's time again, and it's a world record again! >> the americans going one, two, both breaking world records, but the race belonged to mclaughlin. two members of team usa also making the podium in the 200 meter, kenny ben rik. >>. >> reporter: and athing mu picked up a medal, winning gold is it cool you get to share the victory with a teammate from team usa? >> it's not just about you. just being with someone else and knowing they've worked just as hard as you have.
>> final in part competition is now set to go. >> reporter: while on a sweltering day at the skate park, young stars continue to dominate in skateboarding's olympic debut, all cheering each other. >> classic form on that 13-year-old sky brown n bronze. how does it feel to win that bronze? >> this is insane. it's unreal. i'm so happy. >> reporter: simone biles says despite everything, she is happy as well, telling our hoda kotb we may not have seen the last of her. >> was that beam routine the last time we're going see you compete at the olympic games? >> i think i have to relish and take this olympics in and kind of recognize what i've done with my career, because after 2016, i didn't get to do that. >> so you're keeping the door open? >> yeah, keeping the door open. >> reporter: tom llamas, nbc news, tokyo. this week, the tokyo olympics coincides with the 76th anniversary of the hiroshima bombing. keir simmons on the lasting impact being felt there.
>> reporter: black, and everything completely destroyed. >> reporter: she vividly describes the horror of hiroshima. >> ash falling from the gray only, no color. >> r in hiroshima 1953. and my parents are survivors. >> reporter: in 1945, desperate victims sought refuge in the shukien, about a mile from where the u.s. dropped the first bomb. >> many, many people came to this garden and drink water and die. >> reporter: even the trees here were incinerated. but she says miraculously, some survived. >> hope and peace and the living together in harmony. >> reporter: the inferno in 1945 seemed
to extinguish life itself. you'd never know it now. to be here is to truly know oldoung trees from hiroshima around the world to the truman library and to fukushima after its nuclear disaster. this summer, the olympic torch passed through fukushima and hiroshima. what were you trying to say to the people in fukushima? >> fukushima people, you have a hope. >> reporter: hope and the capacity for all of us everywhere like the trees of hiroshima to recover. >> these trees teach us. listen to them, the voice of the trees. the tree is right. >> and keir joining me now. this was your first time at hiroshima? >> that's right, lester. hiroshima inevitably brings to mind all
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mclaughlin. it was billed one of the best showdowns at these olympics, and boy did they deliver. >> it is sydney's time again, and it's a world record again. >> reporter: i caught up with both of them right after the race. silver and gold for the united states. i know you would like gold in your favor. but you have to be feeling pretty good about what happened here. >> i am feeling good. it's remarkable what i've been able to accomplish this year, especially battling covid. i think we kind of lose perspective on how fast this race actually was and how amazing that really is. >> reporter: what were you feeling out there? >> just in my natural state. i really think i was born to run, to inspire people and to represent my country. >> reporter: the two have traded world records back and forth for years now. there has been a lot said about the rivalry between you and sydney. has it been healthy? >> i think at times, no, honestly. i think that pressure that you put on yourself could make things uncomfortable. >> reporter: does she make you better? >> absolutely. we push each other
every single time we step on the track. >> reporter: they'll meet again to be sure. but for now, it's time to celebrate. ♪♪ not going to let you go until you show me that silver medal. >> there we go. >> reporter: what's next for you? >> eat some food. call my parents. go to sleep. >> reporter: in any order? >> all of it, at once. >> lots of joy here. that's "nightly news " right now at 4:00, come inside and bowl if you want. the bay area business not sticking to the county's mask mandate. >> i think it's his choice and it's my choice whether or not to go in. >> and the potential punishment
the owner and customers could face for not wearing masks indoors. plus, she's america's newest golden girl and she's right from here in the bay area. >> i love everything on university av. i could spend all my time on that street. >>d medalist val arie allman. >> we'll go live to tokyo as we're heading down the final stretch of these summer games. the news at 4 starts right now. thanks so much for joining us on this special olympics edition of nbc bay area news. i'm janell wang. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. we're going to take you live to tokyo in just a few minutes. but let's start with this. they are aware of it, but they won't follow it. danville bowl in contra costa county says it will not enforce the new indoor mask mandate saying that customers can make their own choice. is it a business prerogative or a tone-deaf decision in a county where covid cas