tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC January 28, 2021 3:30pm-3:58pm PST
answers." today we got answers on covid tonight, the coronavirus and the new variant. this time, from south africa. now detected here in the u.s. this is the variant dr.au hasa a it? ces of that var discovered in south carolina. neither patient had traveled nor do they have any connection to each other. dr. fauci and dr. jha, we hear from them both tonight. what you need to know. and on thehots going unused? the cdc tonight now reporting 13 states have used less than half of the amid the pandemic, president biden signing a new executive action today, reopening the enrollment period for obamacare, to help struggling americans. mary bruce standing by on that.
the arrest at the capitol. police say a man with a gun in his car and paperwork on eal." eal claims about the saying members of congress want to bring guns onto the floor and have threatened other members. and the newly sworn in congresswoman and the videos. what she said to a survivor of eai abohe las vegas massacre. tonight, the deadly leak at a plant. at least six workers killed. workers say there were clouds of chemicals. employees immediately falling unconscious. the major storm system slamming the west. racing across the country. and now it could potentially become a significant nor'easter. up to a half foot of snow possible in some places in the east. and rob marciano with the new track tonight. general motors with a major announcement. gm will stop making gas-powered cars an suvs, and when they plan to do it by. and america strong tonight.
the u.s. service member and the time sensitive mission. would he get there in tim d w begin tonight with that y troubling news on the coronavirus here in the u.s. the south african variant of the virus that we knew dr. anthony fauci has said he was concerned about, has now been found in two people in south carolina. neither had traveled and they had no connection to one another. tonight, scientists believe this strain is highly contagious and the other concern is that it would appear that the vaccines aren't as effective in fighting it. moderna, for one, already announcing they're developing a booster to make their shot more effective against this variant, though that will take time. pfizer says it's hard at work on this, too. tonight, the virus has now taken more than 431,000 lives. this january has been the deadliest month yet.
with news of that south african variant here, the cdc tonight is now urging people not to travel. and this evening, all of this comes amid eortsoorecis nobeg that new note from the cdc, saying at least 13 states have used less than half of the vaccine doses sent to them. abc's whit johnson leading us off tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the first known cases of that highly infectious covid variant from south africa now confirmed in the u.s. two people from south carolina with no travel history or connection to one another. what is your biggest fear? >> my biggest fear at this moment is that these variants are going to take hold and really take off across the united states. and if that happens, we're going to see a huge spike in cases. lots of infections, lots of deaths. >> reporter: the cdc now urging all americans to avoid travel. haexpes worried about, since early tests showed the south african variant may chip away at the
effectiveness of the pfizer and moderna vaccines. >> the one in south africa troubles me. >> reporter: dr. anthony fauci tells us work is already under way to update those vaccines with a booster shot. >> we'll already be on the road to being able to give people a boost that directs against the south african isolate. that's what we're doing right now. so we're just -- yeah, we're not taking any chances. >> reporter: there is no evidence the south african variant is more deadly, but it does spread morelye mutant strains from brazil and one from the uk, already in 28 states. our will carr is in california. where they are on alert, looking for the south african variant, too.nt, inuding here at stanfor on the hunt for the variant from south africa. they haven't found it yet, but they say it's only a matter of time. >> i think we should assume it's in other places, as well. it may still be still be low in total number of cases, but i do believe it's probably much more widespread than just south carolina. >> reporter: with new variants threatening a fresh surge in cases and more deaths, growing
pressure to vaccinate with limited supply. some states like washington cracking down, telling nonresidents there's no vaccine for them. this man drove from oklahoma to get one. >> i set my mileage at zero miles when i left. i drove almost 1,800 miles in two and a half days. >> reporter: in oregon, county health workers stuck in a snow storm managed to save six doses that were about to expire, setting up an impromptu clinic, going car to car, administering shots to thankful drivers stranded on the side of the road. >> it wouldn't have mattered if it was six doses or one or 200. we would have been out going door to door until we couldn't give them anymore. >> that's really something. whit johnson with us tonight from ma mass vaccination center in new york. you've been reporting here over the past several days the long lines across the country, families trying to make appointments, they can't get them. and then today we learned this from the cdc, they're reporting that 13 states have used less than half of the doses
distributed to them. how is this even possible? >> reporter: well, david, there are a variety of problems. one complicating factor is many health care facilities are holding onto those second doses until they know that more is on the way. a senior white house adviser is now promising that fixes are in the works, including plans to ship out 10 million doses per week over the next three weeks. david? >> all right, whit johnson leading us off tonight. whit, thank you. and we have heard from dr. fauci there for days to keep an eye on this variantm. africa. ha it's he, what more to we know and what are they sighing in south africa right now, where more than 90% of the new cases there are this new variant. here's our foreign correspondent james longman tonight. >> reporter: south africa was already overwhelmed by coronavirus and now it's the epicenter for that new, seemingly more contagious b.1.351 variant taking over the country. >> it is quite horrible. all the icu, all the hospitals are full. >> reporter: with two cases now
detected in the u.s., at least 31 countries are now facing this strain, too. by some estimates, it could be up to 50% more infectious. scientists caution they're still studying it. in south africa, a ventilator shortage. hospitals stretched thin. morgues unable to keep up. has it ever been as bad as it is in south africa? >> this is the worst. the number of patients is just overwhelming. we've allowed patients to die because we could not ventilate them. >> reporter: south african researchers saying the variant now makes up more than 90% of cases there, despite a strict loukdown. the w.h.o. warning today it's also fueling a second covid wave across the continent. >> and james longman with us tonight from london. james, we heard from dr. fauci said about the pfizer and moderna vaccines, they work against most of these variants whentomoth he uk variant, but african variant, it sll fight the virus, but likely won't be as effective. >> reporter: yeah, david.
there are some worrying signs that this south african variant may be chipping away at the efficacy of the vaccines. but this is important. the vaccinemakers are saying they are working hard at updating their shots. david? >> james longman with us to james. amid this pandemic, president biden taking executive action today to expand health care access, reopening the enrollment period for obamacare to help struggling americans. here's abc's senior white house correspondent mary bruce tonight. >> reporter: president biden today signing an executive order allowing millions of americans to sign up for obamacare in the middle of the pandemic. >> to undo the damage trump has done. >> reporter: the order opening a special insurance enrollment peri fm february 15 to may sell nearly $2 trillion covid relief bill, which includes $160 billion for vaccinations test anding, support for small businesses and $1,400 direct payments to most americans.
biden't wants to pass the bill with return support, but gop lawmakers say the price tag is just too high. >> if our republican colleagues decide to oppose this urgent and necessary legislation, we will have to move forward without them. >> reporter: the white house today asked whether they would be willing to break the bill into pieces to allow votes on the parts withsan support. their answer -- no. in the oval office, we asked the president directly. do you think getting covid relief passed will require you to break it up into chunks, mr. president? >> no one requires me to do anything. >> saying it's not required of him. mary bruce live at the white house tonight. and mary, president biden says this is a national emergency, that it can't wait. but as you report here tonight, republicans and democrats still seem far apart. so, what's the bottom line? >> reporter: well, david, the talks continue. i asked the white house today, what's more important, getting this done quickly or getting republicans onboard? and they still insist they can do both. but this is part of negotiating process. but the big picture here, david, they make too many concessions
to republicans, they could risk losing support from democrats. and they don't have a lot of wiggle room here. >> millions of americans are watching. it mary, thank you. and now to what authorities say is the continuing threat at the u.s. capitol. new arrests reported on capitol hill tonight. 71-year-old dennis westover of west virginia in court in washington, d.c., alyavin a ghethorits hnaon they recovered a gun from his car along with "stop the steal" documents, those false election claims and a list o tonight, authorities also arresting a man accused of attacking a police officer while trying to force his way through a capitol checkpoint. and on the threat, house speaker nancy pelosi tonight saying the enemy is within. saying members of congress want to bring guns onto the floor and have threatened other members. and the newly sworn in congresswoman and the videos now. what she said to a survivor of the parkland shootings and what she said about the las vegas massacre.
>> reporter: tonight, three weeks after the storming of the capitol, house speaker nancy pelosi calling for greater protection for members of congress, insisting they now face an enemy within. >> we will probably need a supplemental for more security for members when the enemy is within the house of representatives. >> reporter: when asked who she was talking about, pelosi sayin who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of congress. >> reporter: she didn't mention names, but pelosi's words likely a veiled reference to newly-elected congresswoman marjorie taylor greene of georgia. in a widely shared video from 2019, greene declaring pelosi a traitor, implying she should be executed. >> it's a crime punishable by death is what treason is. nancy pelosi is guilty of treason. r:t'nothon video coming back to haunt the congresswoman. she also posted this one,
questioning whether the mass shooting at a country music festival in las vegas was a setup by liberals to rally support for gun control. >> so, i am really wondering if there is a -- there's a bigger motive there and does it have to do with the second amendment. >> reporter: that, of course, is not true. authorities determined the alona tive w ner determined. greene also shown on this 2019 video chasing david hogg, a teenage survivor of the parkland school shooting. hogg was on capitol hill lobbying for tougher gun laws. >> you're attacking our second amendment. >> reporter: now, congresswoman greene sits on the house education committee, installed by the republican leader, kevin mccarthy. >> what could they be thinking? or is thinking too generous of a word for what they might be doing? it's absolutely appalling. >> rachel scott with us live from washington again tonight. and rachel, house republican leader kevin mccarthy has been under increasing pressure to try to stop the infighting among
house republicans since these deadly riots at the capitol. he said that former president trump should, quote, accept his share of responsibility, but today, mccarthy was in florida, trying to mend fences with the former president? >> reporter: yeah, that's exactly right,evin mccth requested this meeting. the two meeting today in florida. weunhapp with mccarthy's criticism of his words at that rally. tonight, trump's team calling the meeting cord yag, david. >> rachel scott, who covers congress for us every night. rachel, thank you. we turn now to the deadly chemical leak at a food processing plant, this was north of atlanta. workers say they were overcome by clouds of chemicals. hazmat teams responding. and tonight, at least six workers have died. here's abc's steve osunsami now. >> reporter: workers at this georgia poultry plant tonight say that the fog of chemicals in the air was so thick that anyone who walked into the area lost consciousness. >> i couldn't but see nothing
but foam at the bottom of the steps. so it was too thick. i probly -- everybody that went down there, i fell out. >> employees evacuated, along with multiple victims that were in that crowd that were experiencing medical emergencies. >> reporter: more than 100 were put on buses to a nearby church where they were medically evaluated. >> the folks came into work today did not have any idea of what would happen, nor did their families. >> reporter: taking no chances, authorities put a school nearby on lockdown, frightening the school's parents, who were told that they shouldn't come get their kids. four firefighters were also hospitalized and one of them is still being treated tonight. authorities believe that the leak was in a line of surehat caused it. david? >> all right, steve osunsami, thank you. we're going to turn now to this headline getting a lot of
attention onders at home on inexpensive apps taking on giant wall street hedge funds who have bet against struggling companies. many of those investors at home investing in those struggling companies, forcing the hedge funds to pay up for shorting the companies. here's abc's chief business correspondent rebecca jarvis tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the new vegheube on wall street burst. it all started as a raging tug of war between a group of young stock enthusiasts who bought shares in struggling companies like game stop. but the biggest hedge funds in the country were betting game stop would crash. also known as shorting. by buying the stock, they cost the hedge funds more than $5 billion. but today, several online brokerages decided to restrict trading in companies like game stop, effectively shutting out the little guys.
but tonight, many say they're not giving up. >> the stock is going to go up a lot. >> reporter: you did not sell today? >> no, not a single share. >> reporter: 19-year-old j.p. is one of many newcomers, stuck at home in the pandemic, swapping trading steps on reddit. until today, he was using the free online platform robinhood to buy and sell stocks. that is, in fact they told their users they couldn't buy anymore game stop in light of recent volatility. what did you think of robinhood's move? >> i thought it was pretty unfair and unjust. >> reporter: and now, late tonight, an aboutface. robinhood announcing it will reopen limiting trading tomorrow, calling it a risk management decision. >> so, let's get right to rebecca tonight. as you reported, new york's attorney general tonight saying she's reviewing concerns about trading on the robinhood app. we know those at-home investors say they deserve that right to do it. but you're learning tonight that several members of congress are now looking into this, as well? >> reporter: that's right, david. we've heard many calls from congress to look into this new
territory, these new trading devices. it's important to keep in mind here, the s.e.c. says they are not commenting to abc news at this time, but the bottom line, this is not saving for retirement. if you are even considering doing this kind of trading, proceed with caution, david. >> all right, rebecca jarvis, thank you. when we come back here, the major storm system slamming the west, racing across the country and it could potentially become a significant nor'easter, up to a half foot of snow in parts of the east. so rob is going to time this out so rob is going to time this out right afte. with less asthma. thanks to dupixent. the add-on treatment for specific types of moderate-to-severe asthma. dupixent isn't for sudden breathing problems. it can improve lung function for better breathing in as little as 2 weeks and help prevent severe asthma attacks. it's not a steroid but can help reduce or eliminate oral steroids. including anaphylaxis.
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pouring in right now and that sets the stage for that and mou. this will wind down tomorrow, but much more a possibility. wind chills in boston 10 below, 20 below in albany, and that nor'easter developing sunday night, monday into tuesday, could see significant snows especially inland. >> we're going to need that hood you have there, rob, with the temperatures on the ray. rob, thank you. when we come back here on the news, the major announcement from gm tonight. tment in a different direction. talk to your doctor about xeljanz, a pill, not an injection or infusion, for adults with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis when a certain medicine did not help enough. xeljanz is the first and only fda-approved pill for moderate to severe uc. it can reduce symptoms in as early as two weeks, improve the appearance of the intestinal lining, remis it can reduce symptoms in as early as two weeks, xeljanz can lower your ability to fight infections. before and during treatment,
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finally tonight here, america strong. the service member getting the call on the most important mission of all. it was a time sensitive mission for u.s. army private second class tyrell hicks, training on a base several states away. the team at university of maryland st. joseph medical center were waiting. private hicks were granted leave to be there for his son's birth. his wife had no idea her husband was there. >> congratulations! . >> private hicks running to her room. alana surprised and about to give birth. >> ready? >> baby cannon would soon
arrive. >> hey, david. >> tonight, mom and little cannon with us. dad back on the base. >> just here introducing you to baby cannon and let you guys know we've been overwhelmed with love. to have my husband by my side, it was totally not expected for me. >> and this new mom with a thank you. >> shoutout to his p toos and everyone that has been supporting us. we feel loved and honored and it was a perfect way to welcome our new baby boy cannon to the world. >> i'll say. congrats to mom and dad, back at the base, thank you for your service. i hope to see you tomorrow. good night. building a better bay area
for a safe and secure future, this is abc7 news. >> rain is still coming down all across the bay area, and more is still green? that shows where it's raining right now. good afternoon. thanks for joining us. i'm larry beil. >> and i'm kristen sze. let'sea of aptos in santa cruz area. long-time resident rich ralston posted this video on facebook today, showing several inches of standing water, flooded streets and yards. man, this isn't an uncommon problem in this area, which is near rio del mar state beach, but residents say they haven't seen it this bad in a few years. now closer to home, you can see what it looks like right now in walnut creek. san jose in the middle and san francisco on the right. spencer christian is here now with a first look at the forecast. spencer? >> okay, kristen and larry, as you can see, a flash flood watch is still in effect, even as the storm begins to wind down up in the north bay and some other regions of the bay area. the main reason is in the burn
debris flows and flash h rain i scattered in other regions, the most concentrated is in the south bay in the santa cruz mountains over into the mt. ham to believe area and into the diablo range. so this storm, although its overall intensity is winding down, still ranks 2 on the abc7 news storm impact, because the impact still merits a level 2 ranking. night. isolated thunder is possible, and of course there is that burn scar flood threat. here is a look at our forecast animation taking us into the nighttime hours and the overnight hours. we'll see the storm winding down and the showers becoming far more widely scattered and more isolated. we'll start the day tomorrow with some drying. i'll have theec le latery? >> tnkyou, e you i a few local