tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS December 4, 2020 3:12am-3:43am PST
why pfizer had to reduce the number of doses it originally planned to distribute. and we get a look at the vaccine card americans will be given to track their doses. plus, three former presidents say they'll take the vaccine on camera to show just how safe it is. the new china threat: the director of national intelligence tells cbs news our adversary is targeting congress through bribery and blackmail. out of control: >> reporter: this fire is driven by dry vegetation and high wind. we're talking about gusts up to 70 miles per hour. >> o'donnell: we're on the grounds as a vicious wildfire tears through southern california. a story of inspiration: meet the 102-year-old who survived the 1918 flu, cancer, and the coronavirus twice. and the lesson of the day: commitment from a teacher who wouldn't stop teaching even with his house on fire.
>> this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening, and thank you for joining us. we are going to begin with breaking news tonight. america is now in covid hell. in just 24 hours, the u.s. has broken every record set since the pandemic began 10 months ago with more new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in a single day than ever. so many americans are now being killed by the virus, four people have died just since this broadcast began. that's a rate of one life lost every 30 seconds. as we come on the air tonight, more than 100,000 people are now in the hospital with coronavirus, pushing the country's healthcare system to the brink. california's governor says i.c.u. beds are filling up so fast there, he may soon have to shut down much of his state, ordering people to stay at home to try to stop the virus from spreading any faster. now, tonight, president-elect joe biden says he's going to ask all americans to wear a mask for
his first 100 days in office. mr. biden also says today he asked dr. anthony fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, to stay on in his administration and serve as his chief medical officer. well, tonight, dr. fauci is apologizing to the british government after telling cbs news today that the u.k. moved too quickly to approve the pfizer vaccine. we've got a lot of new reporting tonight for you and your family and our seep is standing by to cover it all. adriana diaz is leading off our coverage in chicago. >> reporter: good evening, norah. the country is red hot with covid cases with health officials from coast to coast sounding the alarm about hospitals nearly at capacity, and that is because of the weight of record-setting hospitalizations and why today, california's governor issued new restrictions, triggered by the number of i.c.u. beds they have left. the pandemic has the nation's healthcare system nearing a breaking point. hospitalizations more than tripled since october 1.
i.c.u. beds are nearly full, and frontline workers' energy levels nearly empty. >> it's overwhelming, and we're doing the best we can. >> reporter: it's worse in rural areas like cheyenne wells, colorado, where dr. kurt papenfus is the only full-time doctor for about 900 people. now he's hospitalized with covid. >> i guess it took five different doctors to cover me in one week. if all your healthcare docs are like me, then what the hell are you going to do? >> reporter: the daily record- breaking numbers can be hard to comprehend, but try this: just yesterday alone, the more than 2,800 deaths reported in the u.s. is nearly as high as the death toll on september 11. the 200,000 new cases tallied yesterday is how many people live in salt lake city. and the 100,000 people bedridden in hospitals with covid is nearly the size of green bay, wisconsin's population. that's one reason california governor gavin newsom is instituting stricter stay-at- home guidelines triggered when
i.c.u. capacity falls below 15% and requiring 100% mask wearing for businesses allowed to stay open. >> if we don't act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed. >> reporter: but resistance to restrictions remains. there was this mask-less indoor wedding in the chicago suburbs, which today health officials labeled a possible super- spreader event. and last night, hundreds protested shoulder to shoulder on staten island after a bar owner was arrested for refusing to stop indoor dining. meanwhile, the daily average of new cases in new york city is nearing april levels. >> we just need to do the math. >> reporter: on the cbs podcast "the takeout," dr. anthony fauci gave our major garrett a grim forecast. >> we don't want to scare people, but if you look at the numbers, we know that that will almost certainly is going to result in a surge super-imposed upon a surge. >> reporter: dr. fauci is now apologizing for saying this about the u.k.'s speedy approval of pfizer's vaccine: >> i love the brits. they're great, they're good scientists, but they just took
the data from the pfizer company, and instead of scrutinizing it really, really carefully, they said, "okay, let's approve it. that's it." >> reporter: today in an interview, president-elect joe biden said dr. fauci will be on his team, and he'll ask everyone in america to wear a mask. >> in the first day i'm inaugurated to say i'm going to ask the public for 100 days to mask, just 100 days. >> reporter: the f.d.a. is set to consider its approval of pfizer's two-dose vaccine next week. these registration cards will be used to keep track of people who receive them. and with confidence in taking the vaccine still shaky, three former presidents say they're willing to get the vaccine in public. we're also still seeing signs of resilience, like angelina friedman, who just turned 102. she lived through the 1918 spanish flu and reportedly two bouts of covid-19. her family calls her "invincible." and then there are emotional scenes like this: a chicago
nurse helped 85-year-old covid patient florence bolton connect with her grandchildren through facetime. >> we love you! >> reporter: that incredible >> pfizer has cut its vaccine supply dowto 100 million due to a manufacturing supply chain disruption. the company disputes that claim and says all 50 million doses will be delivered by the end of the year. norah. >> o'donnell: and the incredible nurses that care for them. adriana diaz, thank you. tonight, there are signs that president trump's support among key political allies may be slipping as the president hints that attorney general william barr could be next in his post- election purge of officials who won't back his claims of voter fraud. cbs' ben tracy reports from the white house. >> reporter: president trump tonight won't say if he still has confidence in his attorney general. >> ask me that in a number of weeks from now.
they should be looking at all of this fraud. >> reporter: cbs news has learned that mr. trump had a tense meeting with attorney general bill barr tuesday when barr was seen at the white house for more than two hours. president trump is angry that barr publicly contradicted his false claims of election fraud, saying the department of justice has seen no evidence that could overturn the election. >> they haven't looked very hard, which is a disappointment, to be honest with you. >> reporter: after president trump's 46-minute-long baseless video rant about election fraud wednesday... >> if we are right about the fraud, joe biden can't be president. >> reporter: ...even one of his most loyal allies, senator lindsey graham, seems fed up. >> to the trump legal team, you're making all these claims, you have to prove it. doing a video is not proof. >> reporter: but the trump campaign's claims have been dismissed by several courts for lacking evidence. today, the wisconsin supreme court rejected the campaign's latest efforts to overturn the election results in that state. >> this is a swindle. it's a con job.
>> reporter: in michigan, the president's personal attorney, rudy giuliani, trade to rein in his own witness as she made more baseless claims of fraud. >> what about the turnout rate? 120%? >> reporter: and ivanka trump was questioned for more than five hours tuesday by investigators looking into president trump's 2017 inaugural committee and allegations donor funds were used to enrich the trump family. today, ivanka called the investigation "another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness." and here at the white house tonight, president trump is starting to lose members of his inner circle. white house communications director alyssa feria resigned today. this is an acknowledgment that the trump administration is coming to an end. norah. >> o'donnell: ben tracy, thank you. tonight, the head of the intelligence community is weighing in on one of the most explosive claims made by the trump campaign's legal team, that a foreign government may have flipped votes and changed election results. director of national intelligence john ratcliffe
spoke exclusively with cbs' catherine herridge. >> reporter: does the intelligence show that any foreign adversary or criminal group had the ability to change the vote results? >> not that-- that we've been able to determine now. at this point in time, we're still analyzing all of the intelligence. >> reporter: so when the president gives a 42-minute video on voter fraud allegations, is that intelligence coming from you? >> so, well, i can't tell you the specific information that i give the president, but voter fraud is not an issue for the intelligence community, per se. >> reporter: we asked the director of national intelligence about president trump not approving mr. biden's intelligence briefings for almost three weeks. former vice president biden is getting the p.d.b., the president's daily brief. he's getting access to all the same intelligence that president trump is receiving. >> he's getting all of the same intelligence. he's getting full security briefings from my office, which briefs the president. >> reporter: ratcliffe has
shifted significant intelligence resources to focus on china, and for the first time, publicly accused the communist government of working to influence american lawmakers. you say china is targeting members of congress with six times the frequency of russia and 12 times the frequency of iran. what is behind beijing's aggressive approach? >> through blackmail, through bribery, through overt and convert influence, trying to make sure that only laws that favorable to china are passed. china intends to dominate the world economically, militarily, and technologically. >> reporter: and ratcliffe accuses of chinese communist party of lying to the world about the threat of covid-19 and then aggressively seeking to steal the vaccine research. norah. >> o'donnell: catherine herridge with that exclusive interview. thank you. cybersecurity experts at i.b.m. have uncovered a scheme targeting covid vaccine supply chains. they say that someone posing as a chinese business executive is using so-called "phishing"
emails to gain access to plans for refrigerated transport of vaccines. well, tonight, the department of homeland security is warning officials running "operation warp speed" to be on alert. now that that explosive new wildfire in southern california. it's being fueled by ferocious winds, including a gust of 95 miles an hour. tonight, it is ranging out of control, threatening homes and at least two firefighters are injured. cbs' jonathan vigliotti reports from the fire zone. >> reporter: sheer panic in silverado canyon, as people race to escape an out-of-control wildfire. >> we barely, barely could get out. >> reporter: powerful winds pushing the flames in all directions, scorching an area larger than 3,000 football fields overnight. >> we have watched over the past fw minutes as this entire canyon has gone up in flames. we're talking about flames as high as 50-60 feet. where we are a very remote canyon, but on the other side of it, a very heavily populated neighborhood. some who fled, taking their ranch animals with them.
by daybreak, the fire was still 0% contained. this fire is driven by dry vegetation and high winds. we're talking gusts up to 70 miles per hour. you can see firefighters here on the ground trying to stop this om spreadi spreading. police believe the blaze was sparked by a house fire. doug sweney has lived through many fires, but none like this. >> after being up here for 30 years, i've seen a little bit, but this is-- this is definitely the most it has come down the hill. >> reporter: firefighters are working to protect these homes from the flames in what has been a historic wildfire season for the state of california. more than four million acres have burned, and with every minute, that number grows. the red flag warnings continue through saturday. norah. >> reporter: all right, jonathan vigliotti, thank you. we want to bring in cbs' lonnie quinn. so, lonnie, what about that fire danger? is this letting up any time soon? >> reporter: no, i don't see this thing changing until about sunday. you just heard jonathan say the red flag warnings are in effect until saturday because we have a big high pressure system over
las vegas. that funnels in that santa ana wind, blowing 50, even 70 miles an hour and no changes right through sunday. by sunday, the change-- you have to look up around the pacific northwest. there will be a low pressure system that moves onshore. the problem is all the rain associated with it stays in the pacific northwest. but the winds change for southern california on sunday. number one, they come in off the water, but they'll be lighter as well. so, that's that change. on the other side of the country will change will take place on saturday because a nor'easter moves in, we're talking more rain than snow. i think it will end in some snow in portions of new england. it's what we call "heart attack snow," norah, where it's thick and heavy and it takes a lot of energy to get rid of it. you have to be careful when that comes around. that's for saturday for the northeast. norah. >> o'donnell: an important warning. lonnie quinn, thank you. tonight, southwest airlines is warning it may have to furlough nearly 7,000 workers. that comes as 702 americans applied for unemployment last week. and then there's this-- 17 million are behind on their rent
or mortgage and could lose their homes when a federal eviction moratorium expires. we get more now from cbs' mark strassmann. >> reporter: sally lee and robert cho would freeze inside their house without this space heater, and the warmth of their next-door neighbor. >> this is an extension cord. he plugged it through his outside line to run it through my house. >> reporter: your neighbor gives you more power than your landlord. >> yes, that's correct. >> reporter: the power line to their house was cut. their landlord has refused to fix it for five weeks. cho is disabled. lee lost her job managing a beauty supply store when covid first spiked back in march. they now owe nearly $9,000 in back rent. you think the landlord is trying to get rid of you? >> of course. definitely, 100% guaranteed. >> reporter: she's trying to freeze you out? >> yes. this is morally wrong. we are talking about lives,
human beings, our lives. >> shame! shame! >> reporter: there's a looming american housing crisis, and evictions are now underway in many states, like missouri and arizona. more than 5.5 million americans face eviction or foreclosure in the next two months. sally lee took this video of her thermostat last night. outside temperature, 28 degrees. inside temperature, 32 degrees. >> i'm the type of person that i do not like nobody to see my tears. i'm sorry. >> reporter: it's been hard. >> it's been very hard. what is going to happen if we lose our home or apartment? where are we going to go? >> reporter: it's a genuine worry. their lease expires next month. mark strassmann, cbs news, duluth, georgia. >> o'donnell: and there is still much more news ahead on
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>> o'donnell: a major hollywood studio says it's turning your living room into a movie theater. warner brothers says all of the films it releases next year, including "in the heights" will you to stream at home at the same time. and take a look at this. one of the world's largest telescopes crashing to the ground. the massive radio telescope at puerto rico's arceibo observatory collapsed on tuesday after its support cable snapped, ending 57 years of astronomical discoveries. the telescope was featured in the 1995 james bond movie "goldeneye." i remember that. coming up next, how a rookie teacher aced his biggest test.
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♪he's got a bag that's filled with toys♪ ♪for boys and girls again ♪so jump in bed, and cover your head, ♪ ♪'cause santa claus comes tonight♪ santa knows a gift when he sees one. ♪ ford. built for the holidays. >> o >> o'donnell: it's not easy teaching class from your dining room table. imagine trying to do it when the house is on fire. here's cbs' meg oliver with a lesson in dedication. >> i'm 22, fresh out of college. >> reporter: on monday, first- time teacher john little was in the middle of his remote social studies class outside chicago. >> and all of a sudden, my brother comes into my office, and says, "hey, we've got to leave" i'm like, "why?
what's going on?" i turn around, and there's just a ton of smoke. >> reporter: little kept his composure, shut his laptop and fled. what did you take? >> just my laptop. >> reporter: your laptop with all your students. >> yes. >> reporter: the teacher at st. mary's' left without shoes or a jacket, but managed to keep teaching outside in below- freezing temperatures using his neighbor's wifi. were your students alarmed? >> yeah. i told them, "hey, my house is on fire." i have to give them credit. they were emailing me throughout the day. they definitely showed a lot of concern, pretty much the whole community did, which was really touching to me. >> reporter: thankfully, damage from the front porch fire was minor, but the boost to his standing with his students was major. i'm sure you're considered the cool teacher right now. >> my cool factor went up with the fire. and then when i told them i was on the news, it went up again, and now with national news, they're really -- really-- >> reporter: you can turn the evening news watch party into a home work assignment. >> that's not a bad idea. >> reporter: meg oliver, cbs
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"cbs evening news." stay positive, test negative. i'm norah o'donnell in the ♪ ♪ this is the "cbs overnight news." >> the max is scheduled to return to service after a successful test flight earlier this week. the entire fleet was grounded following a pair of deadly crashes. after extensive updates the faa lifted its ban on the jet last month and american airlines invited media members on board to get a look at the changes. chris vancleeve took the flight.
>> reporter: two weeks after the faa made a number of design changes that made the plane safe to fly again. lift willed offfrom dallas, with about 100. we were among the mix of media. >> this is a demo flight, part of the effort to get people comfortable with being back on board the plane. this is the first time the public has been allowed to fly the plane since being grounded 20 months ago. how comfortable are you flying the 737 max today? >> i'm very comfortable. >> thank you, guys. >> captain peter gamble flu us to tulsa. he complete today the training that was required before the flight. they needed to hear from the line pilots and training. and we don't have are it. we have the computer base and we have the simulator training which is really what we should have had from the beginning. >> we are already starting to see people that want to book and
fly on the max. >> david s is -- sey moore will be ready. >> bringing it back online is odd. it's more financially related than customer related. >> the 24 max planes are unde o undergoing thousands of hours of work at the tulsa maintenance facility. we watched as they installed the software update to fix the flaws that led to two deadly crashes and led to the plane's grounding. is it safe? >> we would not let it safe if it was not ready to fly and satisfactory. >> at an event like this t, you typically expect