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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  December 23, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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have a happy and safe holiday. cannot wait to see you again. >> best wishes. thank you fo captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ ♪ ♪ >> yuccas: tonight, the omicron spread and the alarming new study that predicts up to 140 million new covid infections in the next few months. a mad scramble as crowds overwhelm testing sites ahead of the holidays. >> reporter: it will be a tough few weeks, but it will only be a few weeks. >> yuccas: the f.d.a. authorizes a second anti-viral pill to treat covid at home. last-minute rush-- winter storms could bring a white christmas but also headaches on the busiest travel day of the season. covid precautions: what you can do to protect your family during holiday gatherings. >> the rule is, that we all have a test. >> yuccas: guilty of manslaughter: the jury finds a former minnesota police officer guilty in the shooting death of duante wright.
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the war on cancer: a new treatment that can help prevent one of the devastating side effects of chemotherapy. royal baby's first photo. baby lilibet makes her debut in the family's christmas card. a t.s.a. agent turns super hero to save a baby's life. and bringing christmas cheer and light to a nation's military family. ♪ ♪ ♪ this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> yuccas: good evening, to our viewers in the west, and thank you for joining us. i'm jamie yuccas in for norah. we begin tonight with this year's holiday season looking like a disappointing repeat of last year, all thanks to the omicron variant. case numbers are racing up, more people are entering the hospital, healthcare workers are overwhelmed. average daily cases fueled by the highly transmissible variant have now exceeded the delta peak from the summer.
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meanwhile, americans are shattering records at pop-up testing sites with long lines stretching around blocks from new york to los angeles. and if you're looking for an at- home covid test, that's going to be tough. demand is so high that more retailers, including cvs and walgreens, are limiting the number of kits customers can buy. cbs' nancy chen has the latest from new york city. good evening, nancy. >> reporter: jamie, good evening to you. omicron is spreading so quickly here in new york right now, daily infections are up 34% in just one day. the nearly 40,000 new cases is the highest one-day total since the pandemic started. in the last-minute scramble to get home safely for the holidays, the most popular gift may be the toughest to find. hundreds of people waited today at this site in new york city for test kits to take home. how hard is it to get a test these days? >> really hard. i've tried a couple of times, and i came on wednesday, and after putting my name down, it
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was a 6.5-hour wait. >> reporter: it's not just getting the test. labs are overwhelmed and frustration is growing. > took a p.c.r. test with guaranteed results supposedly in 24 hours. it took five days to get those results which at this point are meaningless. >> reporter: this as new covid caes keep exploding, more than doubling in six states, and more quadrupling in florida, hawaii, and washington, d.c., just in the past week. according to one projection from researchers, at the university of washington, nearly three million americans could be infected each day by the end of january. the model estimates total infections beyond the number confirmed from tests. advice from one scientist: >> if somebody has been vaccinated a long time go, he or she needs to go get a booster as soon as possible. somebody has been infected a long time ago has waning immunity from infection and vaccine. >> reporter: at some of the nation's top universities, fears of large covid outbreaks are causing many to start the new
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year remote only, at least the first couple of weeks. there's also some positive news. a second at-home covid treatment was approved today. the f.d.a. authorizing merck's antiviral pill for high-risk adults. the drug is less effective than pfizer's, but the f.d.a. believes both will work against omicron. still, a note of caution. >> i'm on oxygen at night. i have chronic ringing in my ears. i lost at least a half of my hair. >> reporter: alix atwel was infected early in the pandemic but experiences symptoms to this day. early research shows omicron is less severe than delta, but the chicago-area nurse offers this warning: >> if that many more people are getting it, that means that many more people perhaps might be getting long haulers. >> reporter: we're also learning the iconic new year's eve celebration in times square will be scaled back. only a quarter of the usual number of people will be allowed to attend, and everyone has to be vaccinated and wear a mask,
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jamie. >> yuccas: good idea. nancy, thank you. well, all of this is making for tough choices for many families to get together or not this holiday. joining us now is cbs' dr. jon lapook. jon, i know a lot of people out there saying you know what, just not worth it. others, though, haven't seen their loved ones in two years. is there any way to get together safely? >> reporter: you know, nothing is 100%, jamie. but you can. and it starts with a clear covid protocol. that means being upfront, absolutely honest about people's vaccination status, potential exposure to the virus over the previous week or so. and then you can decide, are you comfortable with the risk? >> yuccas: you talk about a covid protocol. does that start before you even get together? >> reporter: absolutely. at least a week before you get together, people should be especially careful about any potential exposure. and then, of course, vaccination and getting boosted. and, jamie, the c.d.c. told me
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that the booster starts to give you protection against this virus within 48 hours of getting the shot. and then we have to up our mask game. yeah, the better the mask, the better the protection. you want to have a good fight. you want to have a good fit. you don't want to have that mask slipping down under your nose or billowing out at the cheeks. >> yuccas: i know, i put the cute once away. it's all about the n95 and k95. what about when you get to your family's or friend's house for the holidays? >> reporter: the rapid test, if you can find one, can be very helpful picking up if you have enough virus in your system. if you have symptoms, stay home, even if it seems to be just a cold or allergies. it could be covid. and then there's ventilation and filtration. you have to remember, the virus travels through the air, so open a window, crack a door, and use an air filter, if you have one. and finally, keep it small. dr. fauci told me this morning he'd like people to avoid large gatherings, for example, christmas parties with 20 or more people. >> yuccas: all good ideas. i do have to ask you, i've seen
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this on social media-- unvaccinated people are seeing vaccinated people and boosted people testing positive, they're saying what's the point? dr. lapook, what is the point? >> rporter: the point is you still may get infected if you're vaxed and boosted, but you are much less likely to get seriously ill. that's the point. >> yuccas: it's a good point. dr. jon lapook, thank you. breaking news this afternoon. a minneapolis jury has found former police officer kim potter guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of duante wright. the verdict came after nearly 30 hours of deliberations. david schuman from our minneapolis station wcco was inside the courtroom when that verdict was read. >> we, the jury, on the charge of manslaughter in the first degree, find the defendant guilty. >> reporter: kim potter stood silently as the jury found her guilty of first- and second- degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old duante wright. potter was immediately taken into custody. >> accountability is not
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justice. but accountability is an important step. >> reporter: the former minnesota police officer claimed she mistakenly fired her gun... >> i shot him. >> reporter: ...thinking it was her taser during a traffic stop in april. >> i shot him! oh, my god! i'm going to go to prison! >> reporter: the prosecution argued potter, a 26-year veteran, acted recklessly and with culpable negligence in drawing the wrong weapon, killing duante wright. during her testimony last week, potter said the shooting was an accident and broke down on the stand. >> you didn't run down the street and try to save duante wright's life, did you? >> no. >> you were focused on what you had done because you had just killed somebody. >> i'm sorry it happened. >> i mean, what decent person wouldn't be brokenhearted and sad if they were involved in something like this? >> reporter: the death sparked unrest in the minneapolis suburb
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of brooklyn center. today, a different reaction outside the courthouse in minneapolis. >> we've been fighting for a long time. it's bye-bye a long nine months. >> reporter: wright's mother, katie bryally testified during the trial, thanked the community for their support. >> today minnesota has shown that police officers are not going to continue to pull their gun instead of their taser, and we made this happen. >> reporter: potter will be sentenced in february. she faces up to 15 years in prison for the most serious charge, but could end up serving half of that because she has no prior convictions. jamie. >> yuccas: and she is behind bars tonight. david, thank you. former president donald trump is asking the supreme court to block the relief of hundreds of pages of documents from congress and its investigation into the deadly attack on the u.s. capitol. his attorneys argue that the constitution and the
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presidential records act give former presidents a right to protect their confidential records. a federal appeals court unanimously ruled against mr. trump two weeks ago. with just two days before christmas, a.a.a. predicts today will be the busiest travel day of the season. meanwhile, a storm system across the west will deliver a white christmas to some. but it could also bring some delays. cbs' carter evans takes a look. >> reporter: americans are refusing to let covid kill christmas this year. airports across the country are bracing for millions to fly today, many making up for missed hugs with moms. it's the first time jessica bedewi has seen her parents in two years. she and her boyfriend were stuck in australia during the pandemic. >> as soon as the borders opened, we were very quick to organize everything before things changed. >> reporter: how much busier is this year going to be thn last year? >> so we're going to have more
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than double the amount of passengers. >> reporter: in los angeles, airport c.e.o. justin erbacci says omicron is not scaring away passengers. >> i think a huge difference is the amount of people who are vaccinated, and boosted. people are much more comfortable traveling. >> reporter: another 100 million will be hitting the road over the next week and a half, approaching pre-pandemic levels. and that's with the cost of gasoline up more than $1 over last year. >> the gas prices haven't affected my decision to travel, but i've definitely felt the impact of them. >> reporter: a december dip in prices is providing some help for drivers, but the weather is not. on icy i-94, in northwest wisconsin overnight, a fiery 100-vehicle pileup left more than a dozen injured. and out west, an at moss fearing
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and out west, an atmospheric river of rain is causing flooding and dumping snow in the sierra nevada, just in time for christmas. but it's not just storm clouds hanging over the holiday. >> you do what they tell you to do, you should be all right. >> reporter: at l.a.x., travelers tested the airport, some getting a booster before they board. >> make sure you're good to go and safety for everybody. >> yuccas: carter evans joins us now from los angeles international airport. carter, there are new calls tonight to change the rules for isolating if you're fully vaccinated. >> reporter: yes, and these calls come from airlines and flight attendants. they're asking the c.d.c. to cut that isolation period in half for breakthrough cases from 10 days to five. with omicron spreading so rapidly, they're concerned about staff shortages that could impact operations. by the way, the c.d.c. just reduced the isolation time for healthcare workers to seven days, as long as they meet certain conditions. jamie. >> yuccas: wow. carter, thank you. tonight we continue our special series on "the war on cancer: 50 years." i took a look at the emotional
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impact hair loss can are have on both women and men during their cancer treatment and the procedure that helps prevent it from happening in most patients. ♪ ♪ ♪ when alana's doctor discovered a lump in her breast, she was seven months pregnant with her third child. >> i felt something in the shower one day and, you know, i panicked, as one does. >> yuccas: within days, a biopsy had confirmed breast cancer. you were two months away from giving birth, so did you have to delay treatment? >> i had a mastectomy, which was at 34 weeks pregnant. having the surgery when you're pregnant, that was-- that was pretty scary. i wanted to see my kids grow up, and i felt a little bit like i was in survival mode. >> yuccas: hair loss is often seen as inevitable but emotionally devastating side effect of chemotherapy. alana also worried how her two small sons, five and eight years old, might react.
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her oncology, dr. philomena mcandrew, said she could possibly save some of her hair by freezing her head. >> we want to allow the patient to have their dignity and quality of life throughout the treatment. >> yuccas: patients cover their head in a tight frozen cap before, during, and for 30 minutes after chemo, freezing the scalp in an attempt to stop the chemofrom traveling to the hair follicle and potentially causing baldness. >> it's a bit of a shock when you first put it on. >> yuccas: but saving your hair takes effort. the cap must be changed every 20 minutes with a sometimes-painful brain freeze at the beginning and it's costly. >> $500 for the cap rental and $1,000 on top of that for having somebody to do the cap for you. >> yuccas: many insurance policies have begun to help pay for the ice caps. would you feel comfortable removing-- >> yeah, yeah.
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>> yuccas: well, you definitely still have hair. >> yeah, i still have hair. >> yuccas: it looks cute. ( laughs ) >> it really is one of the most distressing parts of treatment. >> yuccas: is it because your hair is part of your identity? >> yes. femininity and feeling lovely and beautiful, and it is part of your identity, and with the breast cancer treatment, like, s much of that has already been stripped from you. >> yuccas: thank you to alana. if you were wondering, studies show about 65% of patients who use ice caps do keep most of their hair. we learned today of the death of one of america's great writers. joan didion bridged the world of literature, hollywood, and journalism, chronicling contemporary american society. she also wrote about the depths of her own grief following the death of her husband and daughter. her publisher says didion died at home in new york due to complications from parkinson's disease. joan didion was 87. still ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news," an overnight explosion rocks a texas
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vazalore... is the first liquid-filled aspirin capsule clinically shown to cause fewer ulcers than plain aspirin. try new vazalore. aspirin made amazing! on my travels across the country i came across this house with water dripping from the ceiling. you never know when something like this will happen. so let the geico insurance agency help you with homeowners insurance and protect yourself from things like fire, theft, or in this case, water damage. now if i had to guess i'd say somewhere upstairs there's a broken pipe. geico. save even more when you bundle home and car insurance at geico.com. >> yuccas: four people were >> yuccas: four people were injured following an explosion and large fire that broke out overnight at an exxonmobile refinery outside houston. authorities described it as a major industrial accident but were able to bring the fire
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under control by morning. the four injured are stable. the cause of the fire, though, is not yet known. take a look at this, a t.s.a. agent at newark liberty international airport sprung into action to save a choking two-month-old baby. you see her there crawling over. officer cecelia morales, who is a trained e.m.t., says it was the first time she had performed the heimlich maneuver on an infant. no doubt she gave the family the best christmas gift imaginable there. what a hero. prince harry and wife meghan markle shared the first photo of daughter lilibet diana in their family's 2021 christmas card. the six-month-old is the second child of the duke and duchess of sussex. their first child, archie, was born in 2019. those are two cute kids. wow. in their message they expressed wow. in support for organizations that help families, including afghan refugees and americans in need of paid family leave. up next, brightening the lives of military families around the holidays.
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>> yuccas: the holidays are a time for giving and who better to be on the receiving end than a military family? cbs' janet shamlian reports. >> reporter: it's been years of hard knocks for geisha alvarez, so she never expects good news. >> you were nominated by multiple friends and family, and we're here to decorate your house. >> are you serious? >> yes. >> reporter: yards of garland, hundreds of lights, thousands of dollars in decorations. >> goooo, team! >> reporter: the transformation is under way. are you ever a little worried when you knock on somebody's door sort of unannounced? >> especially someone you don't know if they know you're coming. >> reporter: the christmas decor cmpany sells the trimmings, but every year they do 200 homes for free, often as a surprise for first responders and military families. >> we have three girls, five boys. >> reporter: how do you do it? >> i don't know.
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>> reporter: beyond eight children, geisha is her husband's caregiver. angel has brain injuries after surviving an i.e.d. blast in iraq. hours later, geisha and angel upper the first to see if. as the kids came home from school and the sun set, the full glory of the gift revealed. >> three, two, one. >> so awesome. >> not used to receiving anything, especially people donated their time to come here and do this for us. so it's pretty amazing. >> reporter: a jolt of joy for a special family, the holidays illuminated. janet shamlian, cbs news, cullowhee, north carolina. >> yuccas: love and light, what's better than that? we'll be right back. t? we'll be right back. my zone... lowering my a1c, cv risk, and losing some weight... now, back to the game!
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vazalore... is the first liquid-filled aspirin capsule clinically shown to cause fewer ulcers than plain aspirin. try new vazalore. aspirin made amazing! >> yuccas: on tomorrow's "cbs evening news," steve hartman's "on the road" with an update of a florida man whose bench therapy sessions have expanded to a nationwide audience. and remember, if you can't watch live, don't forget to set your dvr, so you can watch us later. that's tonight's "cbs evening news." for norah o'donnell, i'm jamie yuccas. have a great night.
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captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org right now at 7:00 -- is omicron takes over, a bay area researcher says the virus is slowly revealing the secrets that could defeat it. >> could we get a few steps ahead of it is the question. it's almost hard to fathom that you saw this guy yesterday, and his wife, and they are gone today. the storm takes a deadly turn as fast rising floodwaters force rescuers to retreat. marshall ray more rain on the way tonight, and then a bit of a break for christmas eve. a california toddler headed home for the holidays for the first time thanks to a life- saving gift from his mother. >> you can change your mind if you want to. there is no
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changing my mind, i am doing this. there's nothing that will stop me from doing it. >> the death rates are 1/10 what they were a few months ago. is omicron takes over, bay area health experts say it's not all bad news tonight. good evening. andria borba spoke with local health experts about the silver linings of the covid cloud hanging over the holidays. >> reporter: with another surge of virus on the rise, or we savor this holiday season than last holiday season? doctors and scientists we spoke with say resoundingly yes but with more hope on the horizon. selfies at the big tree in union square and rapid tests, the hallmarks of a second covid christmas. with the omicron. spreading like wildfire, folks say they are not changing plans, but taking extra precautions. >> i nc and when i get back as well.

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