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tv   CBS Overnight News  CBS  December 20, 2021 3:30am-4:00am PST

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this is the "cbs overnight news." good evening, and thank you for joining us. tonight, top government officials are warning that the united states is likely to see record numbers of new covid cases and hospitalizations as the highly contagious omicron variant rips across the country. the delta variant still accounts for most new infections, but omicron is now in at least 46 states, plus the district of columbia. fueling the spread, some 38% of americans who still are not fully vaccinated. marcy gonzales leads us off tonight from los angeles international airport where there is a crush of travelers
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already on the move for the holidays. marcy? >> reporter: jericka, good evening. this is on track to be one of the busiest days at airports across the country as concerns about omicron intensify. as americans prepare for holiday gatherings, already-stressed hospitals are bracing for a new wave of covid fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant. the new threat prompti t government to get ready to, once again, deploy medical surge teams. >> with omicron that we're dealing with, it is gonna be a tough few weeks to months as we get deeper into the winter. >> reporter: covid cases are climbing across the country with 90% of americans in high or substantial risk areas. driven by delta, new cases are tpping 125,000 a day. hospitalizations are 50% higher than last month and nearly 1,300
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people are dying of covid every day. >> patients are just by themselves gasping for their last breath. >> reporter: in new york city, a record today for the number of new infections prompting people to rush to testing sites where they wait in line for hours. cbs's tom hanson is in times square. >> reporter: as you can see, the scramble continues for tests as people rush to get peace of mind ahead of their holiday get-togethers. how long have you been waiting to get a covid test? >> this line? >> yeah. >> probably going to be at least an hour. >> and here in times square, organizers say new year's eve festivities will go forward among sfully-vaccinated attendees. >> reporter: right now, new york is one of eight states with indoor mask mandates. tomorrow, rohode island becomes nine. today on face the nation, the head of the nih, dr. francis collins, said the greatest threat is to americans still not fully vaccinated and boosted, especially as millions head home for the holidays. >> if you are not vaccinated, i would say travel is really not a great idea 'cause you are in a
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very vulnerable place now with omicron. >> reporter: and that concern is for more than just people who are flying for the holiday. royal caribbean is now reporting 48 positive cases on one of its ships now docked in miami. jericka? >> marcy gonzales for us with the big picture on the covid crisis. thank you. president biden will address the nation on tuesday about the threat posed by the latest covid wave. cbs's christina ruffini is at the white house where, today, though, the administration was reeling from a big hit to the president's agenda from a fellow democrat. christina? >> reporter: that's right, jericka. if you remember, back in november, progressive house democrats only agreed to support that bipartisan infrastructure bill because they were promised the white house and senator manchin from west virginia could reach a deal on a larger social spending measure. now, their leverage is gone and so, it seems, is that deal. >> this is a no on this legislation. i have tried everything i know
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to do. >> reporter: after months of negotiations with the white house and other democrats on the president's nearly $2 trillion build back better bill, west virginia senator joe manchin says he's out. >> if i can't go home and explain it to the people of west virginia, i can't vote for it. >> reporter: but today, it's the white house demanding an explanation. saying manchin's comments this morning, quote, are at odds with his discussions this week with the president, with white house staff, and with his own public utterances. with a razor-thin majority in the senate and no republican support, manchin's defection means democrats won't be able to pass the bill. >> he has continued to move the goalpost. he has never negotiated in good faith, and he is obstructing the president's agenda. >> reporter: but vermont senator bernie sanders says they should put it to a vote, anyway. >> we have been dealing with mr. manchin for month after month after month but if he doesn't have the courage to do the right
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thing for the working families of west virginia and america, let him vote no in front of the whole world. >> reporter: now, the bill might not be completely dead -- only mostly dead -- because senator manchin says he is willing to talk about some of those individual elements. the white house, for its part, says it will continue to press the senator to try to change his mind back. jericka? >> christina, circling back to the president's upcoming speech on covid tuesday, what are we expecting the president to say at this point? >> the president's going to lay out the federal government's response to this new varnts variant and the surge in cases. we are told he will also paint a stark picture of what the next few months will look like for the unvaccinated. jericka. >> lot of people looking for guidance and we'll be watching, christina, thank you. so far, the omicron variant has been detected in 89 countries and spreading fast. so, too, are tempers. we get more now from imtiaz tyab in london. >> reporter: angry protests in as police and anti-vaxxers clash outside of parliament,
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demonstrators are demanding an end to vaccine mandates and other covid measures. the unrest comes, as worrying new government figures show england has recorded the highest number of children admitted to hospital with covid since the pandemic began. 65 under 18s were hospitalized on december the 12th with more than half just 5 years old and under. >> they are a lot younger than the patients that we're used to -- um, we had in the first and second surge. >> reporter: as record numbers of new infections threaten to strain the uk's already-struggling national health system, britain's booster shot program is being turbo charged. every minute, 100 people are being boosted in london, alone. >> the waiting time is two and a half a to three hours. >> reporter: despite the long lines in places, few were complaining. why do you think so many people just think i need to get this? >> peace of mind really, if anything else. >> reporter: across europe, omicron concerns have led to a wave of new covid restrictions, including in the netherlands, which has become the first country in europe to reenter
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lockdown. streets normally packed ahead of the christmas holidays, are now largely empty with strict measures expected to last until mid-january. but there is a glimmer of hope. the first at-home treatment for covid has been given to patients in the uk as part of a major study. a move and a medication being described as a game changer. now, it's beginning to feel a lot like christmas plans are, once again, being thrown into disarray here in britain. with people up and down the country cancelling holiday plans because of omicron, including the queen. jericka. >> imtiaz tyab, thank you. a bombshell reversal today from tie nez tennis star peng shuai. in a new video released by singapore state controlled media, she denies she ever accused anyone of sexual assault. in a social media post last month, shuai accused a high-ranking chinese ger assaul her. she then disappeared from public
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view for nearly three weeks sparking international concern. there is a lot more news ahead on this "cbs overnight news." new vicks convenience pack. dayquil severe for you... and daily vicks super c for me. vicks super c is a daily supplement with vitamin c and b vitamins to help energize and replenish. dayquil severe is a max strength daytime, coughing, power through your day, medicine. new from vicks. do you struggle with occasional nerve aches in your hands or feet? try nervivenerve relief from the world's #1 selling nerve care company. nervive contains alpha lipoic acid to relieve occasional nerve aches, weakness and discomfort. try nervivenerve relief. facing expensive vitamin c creams with dull results? olay brightens it up with new olay vitamin c. gives you two times brighter skin. hydrates better than the 100, 200, even $400 cream. see, my skin looks more even, and way brighter. dullness? so done. turn up your results with new olay vitamin c
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this is the "cbs overnight news." i'm jericka duncan in new york. thanks so much for staying with us. the united states has passed a grim milestone in the nearly two year battle against the coronavirus. 800,000 americans have died of covid-19. health officials are now warning of a dangerous spike in infections linked to the new omicron variant. through all of this, frontline healthcare workers have been seen as the warriors in the fight against the virus. but much of the work is also being done behind the scenes, and this morning, the nation is about to lose one of its leaders in the fight. francis collins, president of the national institutes of
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health. rita braver has his story. >> reporter: so this building on the left is our clinical center. >> see nih like i have never seen it before. >> reporter: for dr. frances collins, the adventure of owning a harley is nothing compared with the challenge of running the sprawling national institutes of health. >> so we have 27 institutes and centers. they range everything from institutes that are focused on a disease. the national cancer institute. to some that are focused on organ systems. the national eye institute or infectious disease, heart, lung, and blood. i had a pretty good time getting the best people in the world to come and lead those institutes. >> reporter: but after 12 years on the job, one of the longest runs in history, dr. collins will step down today. >> i have loved this role. but 12-plus years is a long time
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to have a single leader of this largest support ever of biomedical research in the world. it's good to have new vision. >> reporter: it was collins's own vision as one of the foremost genetic researchers in the country that inspired then-president barack obama to ipoint him to league nih in 2009. collins helped push through major increases in the nih budget now expected to hit $50.4 billion a year. >> i have done everything i can to stay out of any kind of political partisan debates because it really is not a place where medical research belongs. >> reporter: that may be why both presidents trump and biden ask him to stay on. but collins revealed that once the covid pandemic began, he found himself facing off with mr. trump over collins's refusal to endorse scientifically-disproven remedies, like hydroxychloroquine and blood
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plasma from recovered covid pashtd patients. >> and i got into a difficult place and got a bit of a talking to by the president of the united states about this. but i stuck my ground. >> reporter: would you have resigned if -- if it had come to the white house trying to get you to do something you didn't want to do? >> yeah, i was not going to compromise scientific principles to just hold onto the job. >> reporter: and collins has resisted demands from the right for him to fire one of his key team members -- dr. anthony fauci. >> can you imagine a circumstance where the director of the nih -- somebody who believes in science -- would submit to political pressures and fire the greatest expert in infectious disease that the world has known just to satisfy political concerns? >> reporter: collins is proud of work by nih scientists that helped lead to the development of covid vaccines. but still, are there any things
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that you wish that you and nih had done differently vis-a-vis covid? >> i wish we had studied more carefully the problem of hesitancy. i did not imagine that there would be 60 million people who, faced with compelling evidence of the lifesaving nature of covid vaccines, would still say no, not for me. >> reporter: frances cellars collins, one of four boys, grew up in stanton, virginia, home schooled until 6th grade. . >> my mother and my father had this ability to inspire you about the joy of learning new things. >> reporter: he got a ph.d. from yale and an md from the university of north carolina. in 1989, he helped discover a gene that causes cystic fibrosis. then in '93, collins was recruited to join nih where he would head up the government's effort in the race with a
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private company, led by craig venter, to map the human genome. all the genetic information in our dna. >> all this got into the people magazine version of science that i am not sure was all that helpful. but ultimately, it had a good tend ending. >> reporter: in 2000, president bill clinton declared it a tie. >> today, we celebrate the revelation of the first draft of the human book of life. >> reporter: in 2007, president george w. bush presented collins with the medal of freedom. in large part, because of strides that mapping the human genome made in treating diseases like cancer. >> what particular genes are mutated that is causing this problem to happen? and how could we look at the menu of all the kinds of interventions we have -- drugs, immunotherapy, and pick the right match for your cancer? the genome project made that possible. >> reporter: and even after he became director of nih, collins
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continued to do research. >> yeah. this is the special part of it for mechlt. >> reporter: here in the lab, where he plans to return when he steps down as director. focusing on diabetes and a new gen gene-editing technique to help kids with a rare disease called projeeria that causes premature aging. >> we are now trying to figure out how in the next months or maybe a year to do all the necessary work to start a clinical trial on kids with that condition to see what we can do. >> reporter: collins's partner is in all of this is his wife, diane baker, a pioneering genetic counselor. >> so do you just like sit around the dinner table and discuss the latest genetic developments? >> actually, we do. >> reporter: in fact, baker has become deeply involved in charities that support patient care at nih. >> we both care so much about healthcare and access to healthcare and biomedical research and we know it's all
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intertwined and necessary. >> what do you think about qualities that define your husband? >> that is an important question. the qualities that come to mind are he is totally himself. um, he is totally who he is and he brings everything he has to his work. his humor, his sintellect, his music, his concern for people. he brings it all. >> okay, i'm going to cry. >> reporter: the music his wife mentioned is, indeed, a key to understanding dr. frances collins. whether it's playing a concert with a young sickle cell anemia patient or performing with other nih experts. >> so, why do a bunch of very hardworking doctors and scientists want to have a rock and roll band? >> because it's good for your soul.
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>> reporter: but dr. francis collins will never stop searching for the next medical breakthrough. ♪ 'cause i'm not giving up, i'm not giving up no not yet ♪ ♪ even when i'm down to my last breath ♪ clerk: hello, how can i? sore throat pain? ♪honey lemon♪ try vicks vapocool drops. in honey lemon chill. for fast-acting sore throat relief. wooo vaporize sore throat pain with vicks vapocool drops.
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and try vicks sinex children's saline. safe and gentle relief for children's noses. if you are like me and you hven't finished your holiday shopping, time is running out. well, david pogue has some last-minute gift for the dget lovers on your list. >> reporter: another year older, another year gone and dang this pandemic is still going on? but here's a distraction that might just succeed. a visit from techno clause, just what you need. i come bearing many a gifting idea for those on your list who love technical gear. i hate waking up. i just keep hitting snooze. a habit i share with a number of yous.
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the alarm clock lies here on the floor, shuts off when you stand for three seconds or more. at that point, you're up. what a marvelous mat? now, that is an invention that doesn't fall flat. it's hard to believe people and i'm supposed to copy your numbers in? please. now, this card. you hold against somebody's phone and, boom, info transferred and, boom, minds are blown. no setup required, no app to install. it's time to retire paper business cards, y'all. 'twas the night after christmas. the guests and the stress. the time to clean up all the post-christmas mess. you pick up your broom and begin the attack but dustpans are stupid. instead, feed the vac.
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turns on by itself and it empties out thus and this model filters the air, that's a plus. whenever i pack for the big christmas eve, there's so many chargers, you wouldn't believe. the laptop, the smartphone, the headphones, and ugh. would it kill 'em to settle on one common plug? and that is the reason why this cable tends to thrill the giftees. it's got five different ends. like lightning for iphones, and here usb. and micro for cameras and usb-c. gardening's great if you got expertise and you don't mind the bugs and the dirt and your knees. but these are for indoors, for crops or your lawn.
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an app guides your growing, so you can't go wrong. it's called hydroponics. no dirt is involved. and if you ask me, it's called gardening solved. i miss mrs. claus when i'm far from the pole. long-distance relationships do take a toll. but these little lamps come in paired sets of two. you touch one to say, dear, i'm thinking of you. so, her lamp lights up in my colors, like this. and the same in reverse. like a long-distance kiss. the sleighs are all loaded. its runners are waxed. the reindeer are ready and i'm triple vaxed. good luck with your shopping. get out there and browse. whatever the broken supply chain allows.
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as americans from coast to coast get ready for the christmas holiday, there are house thousands of families in the midwest el still reeling from the devastating tornado strikes. in western kentucky, lilia luciano found one elementary school teacher going door to door making sure her young students have the help that they need. >> there's diapers, there's wipes. shoes. >> reporter: cammy king's preschool classroom in dawson springs is now an overflow storage space for donations. >> my initial thought was how many students and families are we going to lose? >> how did you find dawson springs? >> it was devastating. >> reporter: since the tornados hit, king who has been teaching pre-k for nearly two decades has reached out to every family to account for all of her littles, as she calls them.
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>> hello, it's pmiss cammy from cool. >> reporter: but just the call didn't quite cut it. >> i need to know their connection to this school is that they are walking around. >> reporter: walking around and offering hugs. >> they're difrent. ttles a you lerally fl aen ba. squeg into your >> reporter: with nowhere to go, the clark family is living at a shelter. >> went from a five-bedroom house to just one little room. >> and it's a -- it's been difficult. >> reporter: whether their current students like zoe or older ones like her mom, georgia. >> so, everybody here has been her student? >> yes. >> reporter: miss cammy doesn't let go. >> i let them know i love them and it is just a feeling that i am doing the right thing. >> reporter: lilia luciano, cbs news dawson springs. >> and that is the overnight news for this monday. for some of you, the news continues. and make sure you check back later for cbs mornings. and of course, follow us online
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anytime at reporting from the broadcast center in new york city, i'm jericka duncan. this is cbs news flash. i'm elise preston in new york. senators k c eth waenave teed foifbzor covid. both sats say they are experiencing mild symptoms. the two democratic lawmakers were on the senate floor last week for several votes. closing arguments are expected in the kim potter trial. the former minnesota officer is facing manslaughter charges in the april 2020 shooting death of daunte wright. potter claim claims she believe grabbed her taser instead of her gun. prosecutors say her actions were reckless. and despite fears of omicron, spider-man no way home smashed pandemic box office records bringing in more than $587 million in global taste sales. the film had the best third
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opening of all time. for more new, download the cbs news app on your cell phone or connected tv. i'm elise preston, cbs news new it's monday, december 20th, 2021. this is the "cbs morning news." covid grips the u.s. the virus is rapidly spreading as millions prepare to travel for christmas. the two high-profile lawmakers who tested positive in the past 24 hours. i cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. i just can't. >> senator joe manchin says he's out. the west virginia democrat deals a fatal blow to the "build back better" plan. why one colleague still wants to vote on the issue. stories of survival. the incredible footage of search teams finding two babies alive amid the tornado damage in kentucky.


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