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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 25, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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supreme court blocked it and on the front lines of ems workers. the burnout they're facing heading into year three of the pandemic also tonight, with u.s. troops on heightened alert, president biden warning russia will face enormous consequences if it invades ukraine. and what he said about sanctioning vladimir putin personally new images, u.s. weapons arriving in ukraine as russia makes a major show of force. days after that shooting ambush in new york, a second nypd officer dying after his rookie partner was killed. the new supply chain warning. the shortage on one critical item that could drive prices up even further the last shot at baseball immortality for several superstars as the hall of fame class of 2022 is announced just ten days until the winter olympics kick off the extreme measures beijing is taking to crack down on covid for the games. and the big changes coming to the s.a.t
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>> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening in the constant chase to get ahead of covid-19, a new omicron-specific vaccine is about to enter testing but in a measure of just how quickly this pandemic is evolving, the question being asked, will we need it by the time it's ready? the modified vaccine by pfizer perhaps months away as new covid cases continue to drop, still leaving overwhelmed hospitals, which are now finding some antibody treatments against omicron are not working. also today, the biden administration is pulling its rule that employees at large companies either be vaccinated or regularly tested as now two years into the pandemic, mask rules continue to generate heat. miguel almaguer starts our coverage >> reporter: announcing the start of their new clinical trial today, pfizer says it's testing if their new reformulated covid vaccine will
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specifically target the omicron variant and to see how effective that new formula would be. with the vaccinated and boosted already highly protected against hospitalization, the fda would then have to consider if the formula is even needed. in a trial expected to take months, it comes as pockets of the nation emerge beyond omicron's peak how difficult is it to get ahead of a new variant with a vaccine? >> if a new variant emerges, we can always build vaccines, but they can take several months to build and test vaccines always play a really important role, but often not fast enough to deal with a new variant. >> reporter: with omicron still fueling a pandemic record of e.r. visits, today the cdc confirmed the disease severity appears to be lower than previous peaks but medical centers remain overwhelmed with the sheer volume of those sick, and now the fda says two monoclonal antibodies by regeneron and eli
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lilly can no longer be used after proving to be ineffective against omicron, which accounts for 99.9% of infections. >> where the virus changes, we have to change our tools some of the old tools will work. sometimes you have to build new ones. >> reporter: as new infections this month alone total nearly half as many cases as all of last year, the virus is still evolving faster than our tools against it >> i don't think there's a chance that we're going to eradicate this we've only done that with one virus, and that's been smallpox. >> reporter: tonight a nation exhausted of covid still paying the pandemic's price >> miguel, circling back to the biden administration, why are they reversing course on the vaccine or test mandate for large employers? >> reporter: well, lester, the change followed the supreme court's decision to block the rule earlier this month. many large businesses including starbucks for example, also dropped their vaccine mandate after the supreme court
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decision meanwhile the debate over masks in several states continues to play out in courtrooms across the country. lester. >> miguel almaguer starting us off, thank you this latest covid wave is putting enormous stress on frontline health workers jacob soboroff rode along today with one ems team in northern california that is facing constant calls, delays, and burnout. [ siren >> reporter: in california's capital, the first responders citizens turn to for help are now saying they need it too. we're with sacramento metro fire, and we're on our way to a call for a 34-year-old that's supposedly coughing up blood once these emts get there, they're able to treat this patient and there's no guarantee that patient is going to be able to get into a hospital we pulled up to find a patient having a medical episode that wasn't life-threatening. captain parker wilbourn is with sacramento metro fire. >> what would seem to be an
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emergency for them is obviously not an emergency to us essentially all we're going to be doing is giving him a ride to the hospital. >> and you think he's going to get in right away when he shows up >> absolutely not. >> no? >> no. we're going to be -- this ambulance will then be out of service for at least one hour >> reporter: hospital delays aren't new, but the omicron wave, crippling staff shortages, and an extremely high volume of non-emergency 911 calls has made it worse wilbourn says in the county, ambulance turnaround times that should be 15 minutes averaged over an hour last month. >> they're sitting inside the hallway of the hospital. we call it wall time because they're sitting on the wall, waiting for a bed. >> reporter: soon another call comes through. >> we've got a rollover vehicle accident.
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>> reporter: we head out to meet a team from another station. >> this is horrific. she doesn't look like she has life-threatening injuries. is there any guarantee she's going to be seen right away if she goes to the hospital >> there's no guarantee she's going to be seen right away. >> how much of it is covid >> covid has brought a light to an issue that was already here. >> reporter: for emts, stress exacerbated by a pandemic may now outlive it how much longer can you all keep going like this? >> i'm really unsure people are overworked. we're working as much as we can. i don't know how much longer we can do it. >> reporter: under pressure and unsure when relief will come jacob soboroff, nbc news, sacramento >> you can see much more of jacob's report tonight on top story on news now. with weapons and words, the united states and nato allies
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are sending russia a powerful new message tonight to stay out of ukraine president biden warning of enormous consequences if russia invades. richard engel is in ukraine tonight. >> reporter: with diplomacy failing, nato and russia are both mobilizing for a potential war. tonight more american weapons, part of a $200 million, 90-ton package, arrived in ukraine to help defend against a possible russian invasion president biden saying he's close to deciding whether to mobilize additional u.s. troops already on high alert to eastern europe although not inside ukraine. >> what would lead to that is what's going to happen, what putin does or doesn't do and i may be moving some of those troops in the near term just because it takes time. >> reporter: and saying he might sanction president putin himself if he invades.
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>> if he were to move in with all those forces, it would be the largest invasion since world war ii it would change the world. >> reporter: nato allies big and small are also moving east spain deploying fighter jets to bulgaria and warships to the black sea. denmark sending jets to lithuania. and france vowing to defend romania. all of eastern europe is a potential front. while russia denies it will invade, with new military drills today, it keeps the world guessing ukraine's president is telling people to remain calm and that he's seeking a diplomatic solution but here in the east, some volunteers are already signing up in case they need to fight. lester. >> richard engel in ukraine, thank you. back home, a second nypd officer has died days after a shooting left him with critical injuries 27-year-old wilbert mora was wounded on friday when a gunman opened fire during a domestic
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call mora's 22-year-old rookie partner jason rivera was also killed the suspected gunman was wounded at the scene and died on monday. a new warning from the government tonight that the global shortage of computer chips is slowing the economy and could force some factories to close. so the supply chain crisis, shortages, and inflation could get worse. here's tom costello. >> reporter: it's not just cell phones and computers microchips today are critical components in an endless list of products tvs, refrigerators, power and communications systems, aviation, toys, cars, trucks the list goes on but the commerce department reports many u.s. companies had just a five-day supply of chips on hand late last year, down from a typical 40-day supply and 80% of computer chips are
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made in asia >> today our semiconductor supply chain is far too dependent on conditions and countries halfway around the world. >> reporter: but tonight critical chinese manufacturing hubs and ports are slowed, shut down, or gridlocked as china tries to contain omicron and that means higher prices in the u.s. new cars already up 15%, expected to climb even more. clothing expected to jump 3% to 10%. furniture by 10% electronics by 10% or more in new jersey, pish posh baby is struggling to get everything from strollers to high chairs. >> we're really concerned that inventory is not going to get out quick enough before chinese new year so it will slow down production that we desperately need for spring >> reporter: china alone is responsible for a third of the world's manufacturing. it used to take ships 50 days to reach the u.s. now it's taking 110 days >> we don't see any signs of things getting better. if anything, it's getting a bit worse. we haven't had any letup in americans' preference for consuming goods. >> reporter: experts say the world's manufacturers are still struggling to keep up with u.s. demand, sending prices soaring until that consumer demand slows, prices are unlikely to come back down lester. >> tom costello, thank you also this evening, the scandal rocking the united kingdom. a highly anticipated report expected soon on allegations that government employees threw parties at 10 downing street while the rest of the country
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was on covid lockdown. keir simmons is in london for us >> reporter: tonight, british prime minister boris johnson's inner circle facing a police investigation into parties at his office in downing street while strict lockdowns were in force. >> i welcome the met's decision to conduct its own investigation. >> reporter: back in 2020, british police were raiding gatherings around the country. but in a recently released photo from back then, the prime minister is seen outdoors drinking wine with colleagues, his wife, and apparently their newborn son. government officials say that was a work party, and the prime minister defending another event he said was also for work. >> nobody said that this was something that was against the rules. >> reporter: at the time, this was his message to the public. >> i urge everyone to continue to show restraint and respect the rules, which are designed to keep us all safe >> reporter: but an avalanche of accusations now include a birthday party, a christmas party, and even a party the night before prince philip's funeral. the prime minister apologizing to the queen, bowing his head. >> i deeply and bitterly regret that that happened >> reporter: authorities are now removing covid restrictions here, ending vaccine and mask mandates, but the accusations of hypocrisy have put the prime minister's job on the line. tonight, the prime minister still insisting some of the alleged parties didn't happen.
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meanwhile, police now accused of turning a blind eye to what was going on behind this famous door lester. >> keir simmons, thank you in just 60 seconds, the big news about the s.a.t.s what students and parents need to know. and baseball's newest hall of famer and why some of the biggest names were left out.
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just moments ago, the results of the 2022 baseball hall of fame vote were revealed, and this year some of the game's biggest stars missed their last chance to punch their ticket to on the math section, calculators will be allowed. why do this now? >> there are a set of changes,
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benefits and improvements, that we've been hearing from students and educators that we can only deliver if we're a digital test. >> reporter: nearly 80% of u.s. colleges and universities will not require a.c.t. or s.a.t. scores for admission in fall of 2022 and during the pandemic, fewer students have been taking the s.a.t. do you worry that time may be outpacing the need for the s.a.t. >> data shows that students still really want to take the s.a.t. and see how they do that gives colleges another data point and one that they want to make sure we keep making available to students. >> reporter: while many schools were moving away from the s.a.t.s before covid, even more have taken that turn now. >> the shift in the s.a.t. doesn't mean the s.a.t. goes away it just means the s.a.t. becomes a part of a more robust picture of who a young person is, and we should all be thankful for that. >> reporter: natalia took part in a pilot program for the digital s.a.t. >> i prefer the digital s.a.t. version compared with the
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written s.a.t. version because it was a lot more clear and concise. >> reporter: a standard test changing for the times rehema ellis, nbc news up next for us tonight, the severe covid restrictions in china just ten days before the start of the olympics.
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although the chinese government is reporting just a small number of new covid cases, the country is taking drastic measures as thousands of athletes begin to arrive for the olympics
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janis mackey frayer is in beijing. >> reporter: tonight, china's government going to more extreme lengths to contain covid cases ten days before the winter olympics abruptly sealing off neighborhoods in beijing, officials say they'll mass-test 2 million people "there's nothing we can do to get rid of it," he says. the entire city caught in a dragnet over a handful of reported cases and ramped-up fear anyone buying cold medication recently ordered to take a test to prove they aren't infected. as more people are being told they have to get tested, sites like this are popping up around the city beijing's first cases of the omicron variant testing china's rigid zero tolerance for covid as world attention turns to china for the olympics, chinese leaders had hoped to showcase success in managing the virus. >> beijing faces a dilemma that may explain so far why they've refrained from imposing a citywide lockdown. >> reporter: with beijing under restrictions, athletes and
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officials are confined to a closed loop of walled-off hotels and venues accessible only to them already games officials report 93 covid cases inside the bubble while outside, chinese fans can no longer buy olympics tickets "it's a pity, but there's no way," he says. chinese officials are so fearful of crossover, drivers were warned to avoid olympics vehicles, even if there's an accident the city now in full emergency mode days before the games begin. janis mackey frayer, nbc news, beijing. up next for us, we'll show you what can happen when someone finds that message in a bottle
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finally, with all that's going on in the world, consider the simple message that started in ocean city, maryland, and was discovered in a bottle across the atlantic here's kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: there is nothing more magical than a message in a bottle so when sasha yonyak and his beloved neighbor and fishing partner mr. wayne found one three years ago, they decided to pay it forward, repacking the
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bottle with their own note. >> we went one mile offshore off ocean city, maryland, and we threw it in, and it just started sailing. >> reporter: the now 14-year-old didn't give it much thought until this month more than three years later and half a world away, rita simmonds and ciaran marron were walking on this irish beach when they noticed something in the sand. >> you could see a tag was tied up to something in the bottle, and so we sort of knew right away there was a message in the bottle it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. it's something you sort of dream of as a kid. >> reporter: so they reached out to the boy who wrote the note, finding sasha's father through facebook. >> i'm excited i'm surprised it actually made it somewhere. >> reporter: they connected online and have now forged a friendship >> it brought us together. we found out a little bit more
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each day >> reporter: new friends, a good reminder of an old one mr. wayne died three months ago. >> that bottle just reflects the happy time that they had together >> we found it at exactly the right time in sasha's life hopefully it will bring some good into his life. >> reporter: there's already talk of a visit to ireland thanks to a bottle, the sea, and the magic of friendship. kristen dahlgren, nbc news >> how about that? 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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ask your doctor about ibrance. next on nbc bay area news tonight, here we go again. a new covid variant detected in the south bay. how does it stack up against delta or omicron? we'll tell you what we know so far. we asked one of our covid experts to put this discovery in perspective for us. plus -- >> jessica, i am so ready to open the city and just open the gates and have a good time. >> san francisco mayor london breed unplugged and with us tonight talking about a slew of issues. could covid restrictions ease up anytime soon? skyrocketing crime against the aapi community. how to change the city's image and even jimmy g. and then why are so many olympic ice skaters from the bay area? we've uncovered one thing many


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