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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  December 30, 2020 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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is next. >> we will be back here with the kpix 5 news at 7 pm. have a good night. captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ >> brennan: breaking news. california says that a new and more contagious strain of coronavirus is spreading there, as the u.s. suffers its deadliest day of the pandemic. the growing fear tonight that this new mutation of the virus is spreading across the country and could push overwhelmed hospitals to the breaking point. why scientists say it is so easy to catch. plus, a dire new prediction of deaths expected in the coming days. distribution delays. seniors and health care workers wait to be vaccinated, as the leaders of operation warp speed admit the vaccine program isn't living up to its name. with more than 12 million doses delivered, why haven't more americans gotten them? third shot approved. england okays the oxford- astrazeneca vaccine, calling it
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a game-changer. the new plan tonight to space out the shots and get more people vaccinated. so, why could it still take months before it's approved here? raising an objection-- a republican senator says he will object to joe biden's electoral college win next week. plus, the deepening divide in congress over those $2,000 stimulus checks-- what it means for your pocketbook. winter storm alerts. from heavy snow to a rare december tornado, millions of americans getting pummeled by a powerful winter storm. why things are expected to get worse in time for the new year. ignored warnings? police tipped off by the girlfriend of the nashville bomber-- tonight, what she told investigators last year. and the question, why wasn't he stopped? brazen attack-- explosions and gunfire ring out, just as the new leaders of yemen touch down at the airport. the latest on the deadly ambush. and, reunited. after a nine-month battle with covid-19, a holiday wish is granted.
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this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> brennan: good evening to our viewers in the west, and thank you for joining us. norah is off. i'm margaret brennan. we're going to begin with breaking news. that highly contagious new strain of coronavirus appears to be spreading across the u.s. a dangerous new development at what may now be the worst moment of the pandemic. tonight, california's governor says the mutation of the virus has been found in southern california, and colorado says it's now investigating a second case there. and, while scientists say the new variant is not more deadly, it is much easier to catch, further fueling a crisis already out of control. as we come on the air, the u.s. has again shattered a gruesome record for lives lost. on tuesday, the u.s. reported more than 3,700 americans were killed by the virus, the most in one day since the pandemic began.
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and tonight, the c.d.c. is projecting things will only get even more dire, saying nearly 100,000 americans could be killed by covid-19 just next month. with the situation across the country now so desperate, there is increasing frustration tonight that the pro deliver millions of doses of vaccines to americans just isn't moving fast enough, especially after england approved a third vaccine today and rolled out plans to deliver millions of additional shots there starting on monday. there are a lot of headlines tonight, and our team is standing by with new reporting for you and your family. cbs's meg oliver is going to lead off our coverage from lead off new york's times square. good evening, meg. >> reporter: margaret, good evening. this new strain of the virus is 50% more infectious than the highly contagious virus we've already been dealing with this year. already been dealing wit tonight, there is evidence this strain has already been spreading across the country. tonight, concern turns to reality.
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>> we were informed that this new variant, that we have identified obviously from the united kingdom, has been identified here in the state of california. >> reporter: that word from governor newsom, in a talk with dr. anthony fauci. >> well, governor, first of all i'm not surprised that you have a case, and likely more cases, in california. and we likely will be seeing reports from other states. >> reporter: two cases have also shown up in colorado. >> both of these cases are colorado national guard personnel who were deployed to support staffing at the good samaritan society nursing home. >> reporter: tonight, the c.d.c. saying there's no evidence that the new strain is deadlier or resistant to the vaccine, and that current guidance like mask- wearing and social distancing should still be followed. though scientists in england believe it does spread much faster, and may contain mutations making it easier for children to be infected. in louisiana, shock over the congressman elesman-elect luke
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letlow, who was just 41 and had no known underlying conditions. he was due to be sworn in on sunday. he died last night, leaving behind a wife and two children. >> let us extend deepest sympathy to those little babies who have lost their daddy. >> reporter: as bad as it is around the country, it's already worse in hard-hit california. the state setting yet another record for covid deaths, and this chart shows the meteoric rise in hospitalizations. >> we're on the brink of really a catastrophic moment. >> reporter: dr. tirso del junco says southern california hospitals are now facing the grim prospect of rationing care. >> and when you have multiple patients that are going into cardiac arrest or code blues, not everyone can respond to those. so they are having to make a choice, who do i respond to, who do i not respond to? not respond to. >> reporter: with each covid death comes unimaginable loss, including zelene blancas... >> we want kindness to go around.
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>> reporter: ...a first grade teacher in el paso, texas. blancas made a video two years rso that went viral. ago that went viral. >> >> a lot of positive comments, like "if i had this when i was a child, i would be so much happier." >> reporter: blancas died this week, after two months in the i.c.u. tomorrow, for the first time in decades, new york's times square will be closed to the public. they're only letting in a small, socially distanced group to watch the ball drop, including some front line workers and their families. margaret? >> brennan: meg oliver, thank you. tonight, the c.d.c. says more than 12.4 million doses have e beenelivered to states, but delivered to the states but at least 11 states have administered fewer than 20% of the doses available to them. cbs's manuel bojorquez has more on this slow roll-out. >> reporter: today, the chief advisor for operation warp speed acknowledged the government will not come close to its goal of giving first doses of the
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vaccine to 20 million americans by year's end. >> we agreed that that number is lower than what we hoped for. >> reporter: in fact, the c.d.c. puts it at only 2.6 million vaccinated so far, a lag officials blame in part on the complicated logistics of getting the shots to residents at long-term care facilities. there are other challenges for distributors. >> it's been just 12 days, there's two holidays, and then they work through three major snow storms in the last two weeks. and still, really a remarkable job. >> reporter: florida's governor bypassed c.d.c. guidelines and opened vaccination to anyone over 65, citing concern for the state's seniors. it's lead to long lines at some vaccination sites and s andhelmed appointment systems. in broward county, 66-year-old don kitten got through on a call after several hang-ups. he got the shot today. persistence paid off? >> yes, it did. it's not happening for a lot of other people. >> reporter: dr. aldo calvo told
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us this site is booked into february. >> we have had 100,000 calls in less than 24 hours requesting appointments for vaccination. 30,000 email requests. >> reporter: meanwhile in texas, several shipments of moderna's vaccine were unusable due to temperature control issues during shipping, and delays in the roll-out have state officials pushing providers there to get those first shots off the shelves and into people's arms. both approved vaccines require two doses, and today, operation warp speed said pfizer's second dose has started to ship. in the meantime, colorado announced it will begin to vaccinate seniors over 70 years old. connecticut is expected to announce its vaccination plan next week. margaret? >> brennan: and we'll be following those details. thank you, manny. health officials in this country will be watching closely as britain rolls out the vaccine developed by oxford and astrazeneca. the u.k. has devised a new plan to get more people vaccinated
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quickly. cbs's charlie d'agata reports from london. >> reporter: it's a bold strategy to put the vaccination program here into overdrive. >> today i want to begin with the good news-- the approval of the oxford-astrazeneca vaccine. >> reporter: the plan? to delay the time between administering the first dose and the follow-up jab by up to three months. that effectively doubles the number of people who can be vaccinated in the short term, to provide more people a level of virus protection. already-licensed vaccines need two shots within a four-week window. professor sarah gilbert led the team in oxford. >> nobody in the trials who had the first dose of the vaccine, from three weeks after that, was admitted to hospital with covid. not one of them. so it's potentially going to have a huge impact on people going into hospital with covid. >> reporter: the need here couldn't be greater. ambulances carrying covid patients are stacking up outside hospitals, as a mutant
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strain of the virus pushes hospitalizations to levels not seen since the pandemic began. the oxford vaccine may have stumbled along the way, with a dosing error, complaints of inconclusive data and an f.d.a. pause on u.s. trials after a u.k. participant suffered a possible serious side effect, but the u.s. has backed it to a 2une of $1.2 billion, with a promise of at least 300 million doses. now, because it only needs basic refrigeration, it is easier to distribute than pfizer and moderna. now, the chief advisor to operation warp speed said the oxford vaccine may be granted emergency use in the u.s. in early april. margaret? >> brennan: the third vaccine available. thank you very much, charlie d'agata. one week from today, congress meets to certify joe biden's election as president. that's usually a mere formality, but not this time. cbs's paula reid reports tonight
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from west palm beach, florida. >> reporter: president trump now has missouri republican josh hawley on board to help him insert a bit of chaos into next week's congressional certification of president-elect t biden's victo. senator hawley, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, says he "will object to highlight the failure of some states to follow their own election laws." evidence ofot claim evidence of fraud, as mr. trump has without any legal success. though hawley's objection won't change the outcome, as noted today by the president-elect's spokeswoman. >> regardless of whatever antics anyone is up to on january 6, president-elect biden will be sworn in on the 20th. >> reporter: but hawley's move will force both the house and the senate to vote on whether to accept mr. biden's victory, putting republicans in the awkward position of siding with the president or the will of voters. meanwhile, democrats kept up meanwhile democrats kept up
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their pressure on senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to allow a vote on larger stimulus checks, also favored by the president. >> let's send $2,000 a.s.a.p. to working americans who are facing the hardest and darkest days of the pandemic. >> reporter: but mcconnell remains unmoved. >> the senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of democrat's rich friends who don't need the help. >> reporter: those $2,000 checks are supported by both of georgia's republican senators. they're both facing tight runoffs next tuesday that will determine control of the u.s. senate. now president trump and president-elect biden will both campaign in the peach state on monday. margaret? >> brennan: paula reid, thank you. 2020 is not leaving quietly. a powerful storm system is expected to bring severe weather from the nation's midsection to the south and east for new years. in corsicana, texas, a tornado
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touched down briefly today. several homes were damaged and trees were knocked down. and heavy snow just south of oklahoma city made driving there dangerous. more snow is on the way. cbs's lonnie quinn joins us now. so lonnie, how bad will it get? >> i think it can get pretty bad for your new year's eve around louisiana. i will show you what i'm talking about. we have a 2,000 mile run of precipitation anywhere from burlington, vermont all the way into texas. you know, most of that is rain. northern new england, you are seeing some snow. a little bit of snow mixed in here and there. but the big snow out on the pacific northwest. we're talking the cascades picking up, you know, a foot of snow. the sawtooth could be seeing two feet of snow. but the severe weather risk is for louisiana, this area shaded in orange. about two-thirds of louisiana tomorrow running a three out of five chance to see a tornado. so that is pretty high for this time of the year. question is, where is that going to go once you get to new year's day? we thought maybe the carolinas, we are downplaying that now. it just doesn't look like the elements are in place. i will say, it's a wet weather day for the carolinas, some icing around pennsylvania maybe into new york.
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and then for your weekend, still wet around portions of the carolinas. and then you look around the midwest from st. louis to chicago, a little bit of a snow chance there. but there is a big snow chance by the time we get to the weekend for the pacific northwest. we are talking now some of the big mountains like bachelor and mount hood could be seeing up to three feet of snow, so even if you're not a skier, you need that for your reservoirs out there. margaret, that is a look at the weather situation from coast to coast. >> brennan: all right, thank you, lonnie quinn. tonight we are learning that police and federal agents were tipped off more than a year ago that anthony warner had been making explosives. warner detonated a powerful bomb in nashville christmas morning, killing himself and injuring several others. here is cbs's jeff pegues. >> reporter: nearly a year and a half before the christmas day bombing, police went to anthony warner's home after getting a tip from his distraught girlfriend and her attorney. according to this august 2019 police incident report, she told them her boyfriend was building
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bombs in the r.v. trailer at his residence. the attorney called 911 backing up her allegations about warner. ner.ho has also some mental and >> who has also some mental and emotional problems. he was allegedly building bombs in his house. >> reporter: attorney raymond throckmorton. >> i did all i know i could do. >> reporter: that same day nashville police went to warner's home. today, they defended investigators' actions. >> it was fenced off, and they could not see inside the r.v. officers tried several times to get a response at the door. they knocked and knocked and knocked, but never made contact with anthony warner. >> reporter: police asked the f.b.i. to check its database, and it found no records about warner at all. over the weekend, cbs news asked law enforcement if warner had ever been on their radar. >> no, he was not. >> reporter: but, as it turns out, he was. jeff pegues, cbs news,
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washington. >> brennan: there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." an explosion kills more than two dozen people in a troubled middle eastern city. and, among the castaways, she played the sweet girl next door. remembering mary ann from one of tv's most popular shows. t popular shows. we're related to them? we're portuguese? i thought we were hungarian? grandpa, can you tell me the story again? behind every question is a story waiting to be discovered. nicoreyou get advice like: smoking is hard. behind every question just stop. get a hobby. you should meditate.
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>> brennan: dramatic video tonight of a brazen attack in yemen. explosions rocked the airport in aden, just as members of a new unity government arrived there. at least 25 people were killed; more than 100 were hurt. no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. today, covid took the life of actress dawn wells. she played mary ann, the wholesome kansas farmgirl on the 1960s sitcom "gilligan's island." (♪ "gilligan's island" theme ♪) >> brennan: dawn wells was 82 years old. and we want to note the passing of joe clark, who was also 82 years old. clark was the disciplinarian principal who restored order to a troubled paterson, new jersey high school, and became the inspiration for the 1989 movie
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"lean on me." >> and since none of them could graduate anyway, you are all expurgated. you are dismissed. >> brennan: morgan freeman portrayed clark, who once expelled 300 students in a single day. he used a bullhorn and wielded a bat to underscore his unwavering message to students, "you can do better." up next, a homecoming to mark a up next, a homecoming to mark a with the virus. us. >> if
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>> brennan: you'd be hard- pressed to find anyone more excited to put 2020 behind them than this connecticut family. here's cbs's jim axelrod. >> i don't need anything else for christmas, this is great. >> reporter: just being able to sit together is making this kathleen and gorge aiello's best holiday season ever. >> they wanted to pull the plug on me, on the vent. >> reporter: a 77-year-old x-ray tech, george got covid in the early days last march. kathleen took him straight to the emergency room. >> i had no idea that it would be nine months before we would be sitting together again. >> can you wake up, dad?
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dad, do you want to wake up? >> reporter: with george unconscious and isolated, his two sons rigged up a way to stay in touch, mounting a phone to his bed. >> dad? >> reporter: they asked the nurses to put in his ear buds. >> it has been over 30 days. you kicked this virus' ass, dad. us' ass have to do is wake up. >> reporter: was he responding? >> he would make movements here and there. >> reporter: he regained consciousness, and after 37 days he got off the ventilator and transferred to a rehab center... >> nine-- one more time. >> reporter: ...where he stayed seven months... ( cheers and applause ) before walking out in time for christmas. >> i said i was walking out of that place-- i went in by an ambulance, but i'm walking out. >> reporter: tell me the sweetest part of everything you are feeling right now. >> i can hug people. i can hug my grandchildren. i can kiss my wife. >> reporter: and against all odds, toast a happier and
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healthier new year. jim axelrod, cbs news. >> brennan: we'll be right back. news. >> brennan: we'll be right back. [grunting noise] i'll take that. woohoo! 30 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar. ensure max protein. with nutrients to support immune health. ...little things... ...can become your big moment. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines, and if you're pregnant or planning to be.
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a new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus enters california and tonight, a lengthy prediction about when things can be normal again. >> you will get some bumps in the roads and hiccups. what's behind the states pricey new plan to get kids back into the classroom. showers are moving through the bay area tonight, and as we had outside and have a look, the stage is set for more rain moving into the bay area for the first weekend of 2021. details coming up. heartbreaking freak accident, the bay


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