It’s Wednesday, July 21st – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Another potential setback for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine — a new study suggests the one-dose shot may be less effective at battling the delta variant than other vaccines, the New York Times reported.
The highly contagious delta variant now accounts for 83% of new cases in the United States. The study — first published in the Times — found that the antibody levels in those who received the Johnson & Johnson shot may be low enough to be less protective. Dr. Joshua Lenchus of Broward Health emphasized that the study has not yet been peer-reviewed. Click here for what else he had to say in a story from NBC 6 reporter Alyssa Hyman.
No. 2 - Officials in Miami-Dade County are encouraging residents to get vaccinated against coronavirus as infection rates once again spike in the state.
County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and other government, public safety and health officials released a statement Tuesday urging people to take the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Miami-Dade has already achieved a vaccination rate of over 75%, according to the Florida Department of Health. Dr. Lilian Abbo, head of the hospital’s infectious disease prevention program, said in a statement that believes most of the new patients infected with the delta variant as they are becoming sicker faster and 10 times more infectious. She said even people in their 20s and 30s with no risk factors are becoming extremely sick. Though no official mask mandate is in place, officials are also urging residents to wear masks around large crowds including this weekend’s Rolling Loud music festival.
No. 3 - Everyone who lives at the Regent Palace condominium saw the destruction at Champlain Towers, less than six blocks away, and they don’t need to be forced out.
They’re leaving or they’ve already left, voluntarily. The building was constructed 70 years ago on the beach at 93rd and Collins. The residents hired their own engineering firm to inspect the property, before the Champlain Towers collapse, and the report came back a couple of weeks ago showing severe issues. The Town of Surfside’s building department sent the Regent Palace condominium association a letter saying immediate action was needed. To hear why some residents say they are afraid, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Ari Odzer.
No. 4 - Wild new dashcam footage shows a stolen SUV flipping over during a high-speed police chase on busy Interstate 95 in Broward County back in May.
The footage released Tuesday shows the May 19 pursuit from the viewpoint of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. In the video, the SUV is seen sideswiping two other vehicles before flipping over in the southbound lanes of I-95 near the exit to Pembroke Road. Officials said the teens had been involved in an earlier burglary attempt at a Fort Lauderdale home and had fled in the SUV, which was reported stolen out of Miami-Dade. Officials said at least eight people were hospitalized as a result of the crash and others were treated at the scene. To see the wild video, click here for the story from NBC 6 anchor Carlos Suarez.
No. 5 - The call for freedom for Cuba is at the center of a new song and video produced by Emilio Estefan in collaboration with a human rights group.
"Libertad" was released Tuesday on the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba's YouTube channel. The day before this premiere, Estefan participated in a listening session with senior advisors at the White House and about 30 other Cuban American leaders. But some Cuban Americans do not agree on the approach or next move out of Washington regarding the island nation. To see the video and hear both sides of the issue, click here for the story from NBC 6 News.
No. 6 - Michael Phelps is often associated with USA Swimming, but now Caeleb Dressel is leading the way for the team as they prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.
The freestyle and butterfly swimmer won two Olympic gold medals in Rio in 2016. He currently holds the world records in the 100-meter butterfly (short and long course), 50-meter freestyle (short course), and 100-meter individual medley (short course). Before he started swimming in Olympic-size pools, Dressel began in community pools in Florida. He grew up in Orange Park and Green Cove Springs and competed for the Gators at the University of Florida. As he prepares for his second Olympics after a pandemic delay and without fans, Dressel is focused on speed and continuing the 400 medley winning streak for the U.S. Click here for more on his journey from NBC 6 reporter Amanda Plasencia.