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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  February 17, 2021 5:30pm-5:59pm PST

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your financial situation has changed, we may be able to help. tonight, the major winter storm hitting at this hour and into the morning, right up into the northeast. as the humanitarian crisis worsens in the south. at least 25 states on alert tonight. already slamming texas again, now heavy snow, ice and possible tornadoes from the south right up into the northeast. washington, d.c., philadelphia, new york and boston. more than a half a foot of snow possible here in new york city. and tonight, the devastating situation in texas. nearly 3 million without power, without heat and many without water. 7 million told to boil their water. families huddling to stay warm. the mayor of houston losing power during a live interview. and the texas power grid pushed to the brink tonight. and what the texas governor is now saying about what's to blame for that.
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critics saying that's just not true. and now the mainions. our team across the country. and rob marciano timing out this newest storm. the coronavirus here in the u.s. concern growing about the variants in this country. what the cdc director said just today about the variants more transmissible and some data showing more deadly. as president biden's own timeline for when all americans could get the vaccine shifts. and what the president is now saying about when this country could get back to normal. and dr. jha is here tonight answering your questions. the crackdown on counterfeit masks tonight. the government seizing about 10 million counterfeit 3m n-95 masks from warehouses. what you nee nsvave radio host rush limbaugh has batt with lu he lncd an industr champion tervatives. but drawing outrage over many years with his comments on women, race and politics. overseas tonight, prince
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philip hospitalized at the age of 99. we have news on his condition. the flu season here in the u.s. what they're now seeing and why. and america strong tonight. with millions struggling in the south, how you can help. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on this wednesday night. we are just halfway through this week and tonight another major storm now bearing down from the south, right up into the northeast tomorrow. snow, ice, freezing rain, dangerous conditions and this storm has already slammed texas yet again. another night there with millions without power, without heat, without water. and authorities acknowledging dnot know when the power will be back on. grocery stores with empty shelves today, bottled water sold out. at least 30 people have now died in this week's storms alone and this new one now hitting
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tonight. the images again this evening, this 15-mile traffic jam near hazen, arkansas. multiple accidents in the snow on an icy interstate 40. freezing rain in austin, texas, adding a coat of ice to the snow. a car out of control, sliding down an icy hill. millions without power. families left to wear multiple layers and huddle with one another just to get through these nights. this neighborhood in the dark in houston. frozen pipes bursting inside homes. and one image seen in so many places today, this one right here, icicles hanging from a fan in a dallas apartment building. a long line for propane tanks in houston today. people waiting in freezing rain. also waiting in line for hours for groceries. these images from austin, texas, tonight. some families showing up at what they're calling warming centers. this one open 24 hours a day in richardson, texas, that's ocoe vaccinations across this country. at least 34 states canceling or delaying vaccinations. and in texas tonight, authorities are now facing tough questions about the power grid there. and the texas governor and what
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he's now blaming for the outages. critics say that's just not true. we have it all covered, beginning with abc's marcus moore, leading us off from dallas tonight. >> reporter: tonight, with the nation focused on the next se humaanrsin pipes bursting in austin, water cascading out of buildings. icy roads sending vehicles sliding down the street. in houston, authorities responding to more calls for possible carbon monoxide poisoning. freezing rain and no power making travel dangerous in darkened neighborhoods. some people are even sleeping in their cars. broken pipes causing ceilings to cave in. >> this is a very bad situation. a one-two punch here with this second ice storm. >> reporter: by midday, significantly more customers in texas without power as there were during hurricane harvey. us >> who can we boil water? we don't even have power. >> reporter: our team met alexandra quinones in line to
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buy firewood. >> we got three kids at home, 4, 6 and 9. we're trying to keep the babies warm. >> reporter: and in galveston -- >> the most crowded aisle is the water aisle, but there's not any left. >> reporter: many without power and water. >> everything in the refrigerator now has gone bad and supplies are dwindling, and most people out here, the biggest deal is water. >> people have made some life and death choices. >> reporter: back in houston, the lights going dark during an interview with mayor sylvester turner. >> we've been talking about power being restored. now, in real-time, you have seen power being turned off. >> reporter: the state's energy production and independence has always been a point of pride, and as the crisis persists, the governor placing blame squarely on officials at ercot, the ivate compy >> ercot stands for electric reliability council of texas and they showed that they were not reliable.
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>> do you think ercot leadership needs to resign? >> yes. >> reporter: governor abbott facing criticism for appearing to place some of the blame for the outages on frozen wind turbines. >> our wind and our solar got shut down, ands por tede basis. >> reporter: but abbott's own energy department reports most of the state's energy losses come from failures to winterize systems, including oil and natural gas pipelines. and now, at least two federal agencies are investigating why the system failed so badly. >> major questions tonight. and those images from dallas are still really something to see. marcus back with us again tonight. all of this, of course, playing out in the middle of this pandemic, marcus, having a profound impact, as you know, you've been reporting this on vaccinations, major hubs where they've been getting these vaccines out, now affected, causing real delays? >> reporter: david, not only are the vaccination sites in 34 states shutting down because of the weather, but the main distribution hub for fedex and memphis along with u.p.s. in louisville, they are both being
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hit by this storm and that could have a ripple effect across the country. the cdc also saying it expects widespread delays over the next several days as this system sweeps across the country, david. >> all right, marcus moore leading us off again tonight here. marcus, thank you. and you saw him report there the storm slamming texas yet again. that system is now on the move from the south right up into tho tomorrow. let's get to senior meteorologist rob marciano tracking it all for us. hey, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. this extreme cold so far south just has the atmosphere in chaos. very complex push of additional snow, ice and severe weather going on, so, let's get right to it. winter storm warnings posted for the new york metro all the way back through the rio grande as the gulf lev thrs more moisture into that super cold air. shreveport, little rock, you get additional ice and snow tonight. severe weather across the gulf coast. potentially in through atlanta, as well. tomorrow morning, st. louis, cincinnati. d.c., you'll start to see some heavy snow. look at that big pink area, that's the icy conditions.
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i-95, philly, new york,afrnoon through tomorrow night. significant accumulations ealy could see anhere from 5 toinchei erg contis could be s d? >> all rit, we're all watching it with you, rob. be careful on the roadways to everyone out there tomorrow. rob, thank you. in the meantime, we are going to turn to the coronavirus tonight and president biden making news with a shifting timeline on when most americans can expect to have access to a vaccine. and when this country could be back to some sense of normal. a test for the new president, as this pandemic, these new variants and the fight to get this vaccine supply up and running forced a bit of reality check for this administration and for the american people. here's our senior white house correspondent mary bruce tonight. >> reporter: with the country itching to get back to some sense of normal, president biden tonight finds himself facing reality and revising some optimistic predictions. just last month, he said all americans would be able to get a vaccine by spring. buw?n ery american who
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gbeet a e? >> by the end of july of this year. >> reporter: the white house has secured 200 million more doses, but they won't all be delivered until the end of july, and dr. anthony fauci has said they won't be getting a substantial amount of doses from johnson & johnson until later than expected. tonight, the president is also pushing to fulfill his promise to reopen the majority of schools in his first 100 days, after his press secretary caused some confusion last week. >> that means some teaching in classrooms. at least one day a week, hopefully it's more. >> reporter: biden overnight pressed to clarify. >> that's not true. ha. that's not true. it was a mistake in the communication. >> do you think that would be five days a week or just a couple? >> i think many of them five days a week. the goal will be five days a week. >> reporter: but what about teachers? some unions want them vaccinated before they go back to class. the cdc says that's not necessary. the white house agrees, though e
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the administration and top health experts had said by fall, but now -- >> by next christmas, i think we'll be in a very different circumstance, god willing, than we are today. >> reporter: dr. fauci now predicts some "degree of normality" by the beginning of 2022. what's going on here? when do we think we will get back to some taste of normalcy? >> i think the president wants things to return to normal, as we all do. but we don't know at this point what that timeline is going to look like. >> mary bruce back with us live from the white house tonight. mary, americans are exhausted, really, we all are, and it seems president biden and this administration facing a real test here on how to set tis en tse timelines n month, people areea a nd news th c >>r: welid, the white house wants to give americans hope and they are making headway, but the reality
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is that there are very real challenges here, like some people being hesitant to take the vaccine. and there have been some unforeseen challenges. david? >> mary bruce with us again tonight. mary, thank you. we continue on the pandemic and with cases falling after the holiday surge, concern growing tonight about the variants seen right here in the u.s. in fact, the cdc renewing its warning today, urging people not to travel because of variants brought back to the u.s. and with so many people trying to stay safe, federal authorities reporting they've seized 10 million counterfeit n-95 masks. tonight, more than 40,286,000 americans have had at least one shot. that's still about 12% of the population. abc's stephanie ramos here in new york tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the cdc now warning those new, across the u.s. could easily cause another surge in covid cases. >> i know these variants are concerning. i'm talking about them today because i am concerned, too. >> reporter: they believe the uk variant will be the dominant strain and soon.
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it is more transmissible and new uk data showing it's likely more deadly. tonight, the cdc is also tracking the south african variant, now found in at least nine states and washington, d.c. a new cdc report now shows the south african variant caused a 16-fold increase in cases in one month in zambia. there is concern over what could happen here in the u.s. and when it comes to masks, tonight, federal authorities have revealed they seized close to 10 million counterfeit 3m n-95 masks in recent weeks. hundreds of thousands in fake masks found at a warehouse in western maryland. >> individuals, criminals exploit our vulnerability for a quick buck is something that we will continue to aggressively pursue. >> all right, so, let's get right to stephanie, because that was concerning. how do you know if you have one of these masks, steph, and what about the ones that might have made it past those warehouses? >> reporter: well, david, that's the challenge, being able to tell the difference between an authentic 3m n-59 mask.
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or a fake one. you'll want to look for the niosh stamp, which test byhe national institute for occupational safety and health. and a legit n-95 mask won't have any misspellings and it won't have ear loops. make sure it has a head strap. authorities say they've reached out to hospitals, medical facilities and possible victims who may have purchased the fake masks in at least 12 states. david? >> wow, we have enough to worry about. now we have to worry about the masks, too. stephanie, thank you. as you heard stephanie report there, the cdc warning again today about the more contagious variants here in the u.s., that they could easily cause a rapid rise in cases and many believe that the uk variant still could become the main variant in the coming weeks here in the u.s. so, let's bring in dr. ashish jha. and dr. jha, great to have you back with us tonight. and i'm curious, what do you expect we'll be seeing here in the coming weeks? how concerned should we be about that uk variant and the other variants already detected here in the u.s.? >> david, thanks for having me
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back. i do expect that they will become dominant by the latter half of march. they are more contagious and what we're all worried about is they're going to cause a big spike in cases. i think we can head that off by vaccinating as many people as possible and bringing our case numbers down, but it is a concern. >> a concern and if we're not careful, you could see another surge in this country? >> that's what i'm worried about, that's what i think we're all worried about. that's the experience in every country where this variant has taken off. we can head that off, but it is certainly a concern. >> and real quick here, dr. fauci making news today, citin ny reduce virus transmission. that was encouraging. explain what he meant there. >> yeah, i'm very encouraged by this and i think this has been my expectation, as well. look, these vaccines seem to prevent infections, if you are less likely to be infected, you're obviously less likely to spread it. they also seem to lower the amount of virus you have, that reduces your likelihood of
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spreading it. so, all the data isn't in yet, but the data so far suggests these vaccines really do reduce transmission. >> all right, dr. ashish jha back with us again tonight. thank you, doctor. we do move on with the other news this evening and now to the passing of conservative radio host rush limbaugh, losing his battle with lung cancer. he launched an industry of voices on radio and cable. a champion to conservatives, but drawing outrage over many years over his comments on women, race and politics. here's our chief washington correspondent jonathan karl tonight. >> here we are in new york city, it's the rush limbaugh radio program. >> reporter: as wildly successful and influential as he was divisive and controversial, rush limbaugh was the godfather of the offend anyone, apologize to no one politics that got donald trump elected president. limbaugh had been suffering from lung cancer. his wife announced his death at the start of his radio show today. >> i, like you, very much wish
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t-wing talk radio, spawning an army of bombastic imitators. he boasted of fighting liberals with half his brain tied behind his back. and built a massive audience -- 20 million at the peak of his popularity. he derided feminists as feminazis. and when law student sandra fluke testified that health coverage should include contraception, limbaugh's attack on her was as savage as it was sexist. >> she must be paid to have sex. what does that make her? it makes her a slut, right? it makes her a prostitute. >> reporter: he said nfl quarterback donovan mcnabb was overrated because he was black. >> the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. >> reporter: and when barack obama became a national political figure, limbaugh promoted the racist birther myth. in 2001, he almost entirely lost his hearing, but he learned how to read lips and had special implants placed in his head allowing him to hear again. a couple years later, limbaugh acknowledged he was addicted to
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painkillers. >> i am addicted to prescription pain medication. >> reporter: limbaugh was no fan of donald trump in 2016, saying he wasn't a true conservative, even after he eventually endorsed him. >> can somebody point to me the conservative on the ballot? "what do you mean, rush? are you admitting trump is not a conservative?" damn right i am! folks, when did i ever say that he was? >> reporter: but limbaugh became a staunch trump supporter and last year, trump gave him the presidential medal of freedom, awarding it during his state of the union address. >> rush limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country. >> reporter: like limbaugh himself, news of his death divided the political world. donald trump remembered him as a patriot, a defender of liberty and a guiding light. over at the white house, joe biden issued no statement at all. his press secretary, david, simply offering condolences to the limbaugh family. >> all right, jon karl, our chief washington correspondent. jon, thank you.
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when we come back on the news tonight, the new headline about the flu season here in the u.s. what they're now seeing and why. and overseas tonight, news on prince philip, hospitalized at the age of 99. of 99. f 99. get access to their food? we needed to make sure that, if they couldn't get to the food, the food would come to them. we can deliver for food banks and schools. amazon knows how to do that. i helped deliver 12 million meals to families in need. that's the power of having a company like amazon behind me.
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go! go! we may be ab (glass un-breaking) (electricity arcing) (rocket boosting) (gears shifting) (tires screeching) to the index tonight and prince philip is in the hospital in london. the 99-year-old admitted, quote, as a precautionary measure today. his condition, we're told, not . ilip wasasseen ipuic in when we come back, with millions struggling in the south, how to help.
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and discovery+ on us. yes! buy samsung galaxy s21+ 5g. get one on us. only on verizon. finally tonight here, with so much need in the south, so many answering the call. in houston, the gallery furniture store opening their doors to families and feeding them. also in houston, the nonprofit texas relief warriors, up early orak.idote hav0 meal >>or ill, a recying nter offering free amil. christine kilburns says she's had no power since sunday.
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and at the genesis women's shelter and support in dallas, they're now asking for blankets, flashlights and warm clothes. >> hi david. >> reporter: vanessa willmore is the founder of feed the people dallas mutual aid. >> right now we are working on getting more people in hotels. >> reporter: and in bell county, texas tonight, husband and wife victoria and bobbie dill and their friends buying hundreds of sandwiches and giving them away. >> i know we come back to a warm house with food. so it was my duty, and my mission to get somebody with something. >> millions heading into another night without power. we'll stay on this. so many trying to help and we'll put those groups at abcnews.com for you. good night good night. building a better bay area for a safe and secure future.
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this is abc7 news. >> when it comes to the bay area, the haves and have-nots could be called high-tech and hospitality. between the two, there has always been a gap. because of the pandemic, it's now a gulf. and it will be up to one to help the other. good evening and thank you for joining us. i'm ama daetz. >> and i'm dan ashley. one month from today, believe it or not, it's exactly one year since most of the bay area started to shelter in place. remember how shocking it was the first time we saw the city empty like this, when traffic disappeared, school, salons and shops all shut down? now evidence that it will take time and determination to get through this and to build a better bay area. >> abc7 news reporter david louie looks at this state of the enter of tech aha i aderseeat year-long pandemic has hammered silicon valley, creating new problems and making exists ones worse. analysis contained in the
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silicon valley index points out that unemployment brushed close to 12%, worse than during the 2008 recession and the dot com bust. jobless claims were two times higher for black and hispanic workers hand for white workers. >> without a job or an income, these workers faced even greater risks of being evicted and pushed into homelessness. this is huge. >> reporter: silicon valley has always had two economies. but during the pandemic, income inequality grew as high-tech workers continued to work remotely while service workers couldn't. >> we actually have the case of the rich getting richer and the poor dying. that's the bleak set of, which is now face. >> reporter: renters especially are piling up debt. they owe months of back rent. food needs are being supplemented by pantries, and statistics show minorities behind others getting vaccinated, leading to additional vulnerability.

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