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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  March 2, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PST

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>> thanks so much for joining us today on this interactive show tonight, breaking news as we come on the air. president biden's major announcement just a short time ago. the new timeline for vaccinations for every adult here in the u.s. now two months earlier than first promised. president biden now saying enough vaccine for every adult by the end of may. the president invoking the defense production act. merck working with johnson & johnson to mass produce that one-shot vaccine. some of j&j's first shots going into arms already today. also what the president just revealed about vaccinating teachers and school workers. tonight, thousands of appointments already added in new york city alone for vaccinations. what you need to know. and with at least ten states easing restrictions and texas governor greg abbott lifting that state's mask mandate next
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week and opening businesses to 100% capacity, the president tonight and his new warning on this. and dr. jha here answering your questions with all of this unfolding late today. the other news this am highway. at least 13 people killed in a devastating collision in california. a semitruck into a investigatio deadly riots at the capitol and tonight, fbi director christopher wray grilled about whether the fbi did enough. what he said today about key intelligence and how soon it was shared. pierre thomas standing by. the investigation involving new york's governor andrew cuomo. tonight, a third accuser now coming forward with allegations. tonight, during a wedding reception, what she claims happened. and independent investigation already under way after two other accusers came forward with their own allegations of misconduct. newly released video tonight. the frightening close call for a
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heneaed on on six dr. seuss books and why they will no longer be published. the new video message just coming in tonight from dolly parton, getting a dose of her own medicine. news on her vaccination tonight. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on this tuesday night. and we begin tonight with the very encouraging words from president biden late today. the president revealing a new timeline for vaccinations in this country, after first saying there would be enough vaccine for every adult in the u.s. by the end of july. the president is now saying there will be enough by the end of may, two months earlier. and tonight, part of what's speeding up this timeline, president biden announcing a historic partnership between two drug companies. merck helping johnson & johns
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produce on faster anded. the first johnson and johnson shots given out today. this is the third vaccine in the u.s. and this is a one-shot vaccine. these images tonight from ohio state university in columbus. one woman got a caught at 10:00 this morning offering her a 2:00 appointment. she called it, quote, a miracle. but this does appear to be moving tonight. 51 million people have now had at least one dose. that's 20% of all adults. but amid the good news, the warning to remain vigilant. masking and social distancing because of the variants. three recent studies tonight finding covid patiences who recovered have been reinfrequented by the brazilian variant. and the number of states now easing restrictions despite the cdc director and dr. fauci urging caution. texas for one tonight announcing the statewide mask mandate ends next week, allowing businesses to open at 100% capacity.
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president biden making news tonight on vaccinating teachers and reopening schools. and so we have it all covered for you here. we begin with abc's eva pilgrim tonight leading us off right here in new york. >> reporter: tonight, president biden with this encouraging headline, that the u.s. is on track to have enough vaccine for every adult by the end of may. >> this country will have enough vaccine supply, i'll say it again, for every adult in america by the end of may. by the end of may. that's progress. >> reporter: johnson & johnson had said they would supply the country with 100 million doses by the end of june. but today, the president invoking the defense production act in an historic partnership between the company and pharmaceutical rival merck to ramp up production, enabling j&j to now have its 100 million doses ready by the end of may. the president also announcing that under the federal pharmacy program, pre-k through 12 teachers, staff and childcare workers will be prioritized for vaccinations. >> our goal is to do everything we can to help every educator
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receive a shot this month, the month of march. >> reporter: today, those much anticipated johnson & johnson single dose vaccines finally making their way into the arms of americans. >> reporter: the vaccine also 85% effective at preventing severe illness and 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths. nearly 4 million doses now headed to vaccination sites across the u.s. the cdc also expected to give the green light this week for fully vaccinated people to have small gatherings in their homes with others who've also been vaccinated. the cdc still asking vaccinated people to wear masks and social distance in public. after weeks of covid cases on the decline, the daily case average has increased 3.4% from a week ago. despite the uptick, at least 11 states have either recently loosened restrictions or plan to in the coming week. and in texas --
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>> it is now time to open texas 100%. you. >> reporter: the governor ending its statewide mask mandate and alouing all businesses to fully reopen starting next week. >> reporter: owners say they >> now, with the governor's announcement, some owners tell me they face a real dilemma. >> do we continue to stay open, put our community at risk or do we lose our life savings and, you know, the hundreds of thousands of dollars that we put into this restaurant? >> reporter: this, as three still unpublished studying found the brazilian variant not only more contagious, but in brazil, it appears it may be able to reinfect people who had previously had covid. the variant so far has been found in at least seven states. health experts doubling down that now is not the time to ease restrictions. >> if we do not completely suppress this, we will continue to be challenged by variants
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which have a way of coming back to bite us, as they say. >> so, let's get right to eva pilgrim. and eva, dr. fauci not alone there in his warning. the cdc director on the variants, as well, also saying that now is not the time to relax critical safeguards. she said when we've come this far, when we're this close to significant vaccinations in this country. and president biden echoing that just tonight. >> reporter: yeah, president biden repeating that same sentiment of his top health officials when he was making the announcement about the historic partnership between johnson & johnson and merck, telling the american public, now is not the time to let up, now is not the time to let our guard down. david? >> all right, eva pilgrim leading us off here tonight. eva, thank you. there is a lot to unpack here tonight on the virus. the new cdc guidance soon coming, if you've been vaccinated and of course this news tonight from president biden. so, let's bring in dr. ashish
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jha and dr. jha, great to have you. first this news before we came on tonight. president biden now saying that we're now on track to have vaccine supply for every adult in america by the end of may. that's two months earlier than he was initially promising. i want to give you some credit here, because you told me last week on the air here that given johnson & johnson, pfizer, moderna, that you look at the math and you said that this could very well move up the timeline to may and tonight, we're hearing this now from president biden. you think this is still very doable? >> very doable, and again, thank you for having me on. i think this is really good news. nice to hear the president confirm it. he obviously has better intelligence than the rest of us. i think most americans who want a vaccine will be able to get one in the month of may. >> the other news tonight, we've seen several states now ease restrictions, but the news from the governor of texas tonight really making headlines, soon lifting the mask mandate statewide, opening all businesses statewide. i know there's a lot of fatigue in this country, i feel it, too. but does this make sense to you,
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to open it up and to lift mask mandates completely? >> you know, david, it doesn't. i get the fatigue. feel like we're sort of rounding third base here heading towards home and we're losing our way a little bit, losing steam. we're so close. you know, we're so close to being able to vaccinate all our high risk people. this is not the time to relax, not with the variants out there circulating. once we get high risk people vaccinated, we can do this more safely. i wouldn't do it right now. >> you think the move is too soon? >> i do. i think it's risky and punts people's lives at risk. >> and the cdc is expected to release new guidance as soon as thursday, we'll wait for official word, but early readouts on this they might say, for vaccinated americans, if your loved ones are fully vaccinated, too, you might be able to have small gatherings in your home. i'm curious, does that sound right to you? and do you still mask up, social distance in public? >> yeah, so, i agree with both of those. when you are with other people who have vaccinated, i think
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it's safe to have small gatherings. vaccinated people can start getting together. in public, because there are a lot of people who still have not been vaccinated yet, masking, social distancing makes sense, until a much broader portion of the population is vaccinated. >> dr. jha, thank ou for joining us again here tonight. we're going to move on in the meantime to the other news this tuesday night, that horrific and deadly crash in california. an suv filled with 25 people including children colliding with a tractor trailer at a remote intersection. tonight, the staggering loss. at least 13 dead and abc's kaylee hartung from imperial county, california, tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the massive death toll after that horrific accident. that maroon ford expedition, the driver's side completely wrapped around a semihauling two gravel trailers. officials say the suv drove directly into the path of the big rig, just after 6:00 a.m. local time in southern california.
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>> we need as many ambulances as you can handle right now. >> reporter: officials say a driver and 24 passengers, including children, were crammed inside the suv. many without safety restraints. >> it seems unfathomable that many people would be in the car. >> reporter: first responders finding 12 people dead at the scene several passengers ejected one person dying after being rushed to the hospital. the driver of the big rig, also injured, but able to speak with investigators. the intersection, in imperial county, california, just north of interstate 8, a mostly agricultural area about ten miles north of the u.s./mexico border of. >> reporter: david, officials say the pop try yourty is identifying the victims. many of them didn't have i.d. on them. david? >> kaylee hartung, thank you. we're going to turn next to the investigation after the deadly riots at the capitol. fbi director christopher wray
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testifying on capitol hill today, saying the fbi views the attack as an act of domestic terrorism. he was grilled about key intelligence and how soon it was shared. and his bluntabthoas responsibl. here's our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas now. >> reporter: tonight, in his first appearance before congres since the p january 6th insurrection, the fbi director was specific and blunt about who was responsible. >> quite a number of what we would call militia violent extremists. the proud boys or the oath keepers. we've already identified individuals who advocate for what you would call white supremacy. >> reporter: a fact confirmed by the only capitol police officer who has publicly described in detail the horror of that day. in a television exclusive with abc news. >> it was a large number of people in that crowd that were racist. >> reporter: officer dunn said that mob fought viciously. >> i'm exhausted, my shirt's
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drenched in sweat, pepper spray. i got blood and cuts on my knuckles. >> reporter: and what of the conspiracies that it was really left wing radicals posing as trump supporters who attacked the capitol? >> do you have any evidence that the capitol attack was organized by, quote, fake trump protesters? >> we have not seen evidence of that. >> reporter: the fbi director was pressed on why a key piece of intelligence, warning that right wing radicals were coming to washington to attack the capitol, did not result in more robust security. >> why didn't the fbi sound the alarm? >> reporter: wray says the information obtained the day before the insurrection was put in the hands of d.c. officials. >> that information was quickly disseminated and communicated with our partners, including the u.s. capitol police, including met metro p.d. in three different ways. >> reporter: david, the fbi director says domestic terror cases have doubled since he took office, many involving radicals from the far right and white
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supremacists. 2,000 domestic terrorism cases under investigation right now. >> pierre, thank you. we should note that interview you just showed there with that officer, more in a groundbreaking abc news magazine. it debuts tonight, "soul of a nation." a six-part series putting black life in america front and center. the authentic realities of black life in this country amid this moment of racial reckoning. we hope you'll watch, tonight 10:00 p.m. eastern right here. in the meantime, the news continues here tonight and the investigation into new york governor andrew cuomo. tonight, a third accuser now coming forward. her allegations and the photograph from a wedding reception and what she claims happened. abc's stephanie ramos fromm alba albany. >> reporter: tonight, new york's attorney general now investigating claims by a third woman accusing governor andrew of inappropriate, unwanted advances. anna ruch, who didn't work with the governor, tells "the new york times" she met him at a wedding reception in 2019. according to the paper, ruch says cuomo "put his hand on her
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bare lower back. when she removed his hand with her own, the governor remarked that she seemed aggressive and placed his hands on her cheeks. he asked if he could kiss her." ruch provided "the times" with this photo she says was taken that night. today, top new york democrats pressed on whether the governor should resign. >> these women have to be listened to. i've always believed that sexual harassment is not acceptable. it must not be tolerated. the bottom line is, just let me say, on this issue, i have a great deal of faith in the attorney general's investigation. >> reporter: new york's other senator, kristen gilly grand, didn't want to talk about it. she was the first senator to call for al franken to resign when he was accused of sexual now, she's called for an investigation, but she has not called for cuomo to step down. >> do you think he should resign in light of the third allegation? >> reporter: but one new york congresswoman says this third allegation, on top of the two women accusing cuomo of sexual harassment, was the last straw.
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katleen rice tweeting, "the time has come. the governor must resign." cuomo is getting a measure of support from one new york democrat, the head of the state party, whom he installed. chairman jay jacobs releasing a statement calling it "both premature and unfair for anyone to opine on the outcome until the investigation is completed." governor cuomo himself has been out of sight for a week. when we asked his office for a reaction to the third accuser, we were referred back to his response to the second woman who accused him on impropriety where he said some of the things he said may have bin mbeen misinterpreted. david? >> stephanie, thank you. president biden announcing sanctions on russia for the poisoning of alexei navalny. let's get to martha raddatz tonight. >> reporter: david, the u.s. charge against russia is very specify iic, saying the russian government used a chemical weapon against its own citizens,
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referring, of course, to alexei navalny who nearly died after being poisoned by that nerve agent. these u.s. sanctions, the first against russia by president biden, do not target vladimir putin, but further restrict arms sales to moscow and restrict cooperation on space. despite these sanctions, navalny tonight is beginning a 2 1/2-year sentence in one of the harshest prisons in russia. david? >> martha, thank you. back here at home, and a passing to note tonight. vernon jordan, born in the segregated south, he became held of the urban league, a prominent laur and a force in poll sicks, giving counsel to presidents and generations of young black leaders. vernon jordan was 85. when we come back tonight, there is news coming in, the deadly crash involving multiple military vehicles here in the u.s. even with higher stroke risk due to... afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin,... i want that. eliquis.
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i'm on it. sounds like a plan. finally tonight, dolly parton, always america strong. tonight, dolly parton, you could say, getting a dose of her own medicine zblcht well, hey, it's me. i'm finally going to get my vaccine. i'm so excited. i've been waiting awhile. i'm old enough to get it and i'm smart enough to get it. >> it was last year, we reported dolly parton had donated $1 million to covid vaccine research. tonight, sharing this new video, getting the moderna shot, a vaccine that she helped fund. to gety to e appy that i'm going
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you should go out there and do it, too. i even changed one of my songs to fit the occasion. it goes -- ♪ vaccine vaccine ♪ ♪ i'm begging of you please ♪ ♪ don't hesitate ♪ >> saying she waited her turn. >> i've been waiting since december, i've been in line. >> here you go. >> getting her first dose. >> think you got it? >> i got it. >> okay. that didn't hurt. just stung a little bit. >> tonight, dolly getting the vaccine, encouraging everyone else to get one, too. can we have dolly on every night? always setting the example. good night. for a safe and secure future,
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this is abc7 news. >> this country will have enough vaccine supply for every adult in america by the end of may. >> if that happens, that would be two months earlier than anticipated. this as the white house looks to try to accelerate the nation's plans to try to reach herd immunity and restore some sense of normal it is. good afternoon. thanks for joining us. i'm larry beil. >> and i'm kristen sze. the state loosens restrictions on more counties today. three more counties have moved into the less restrictive red tier. san francisco finally made the move from purple. our region's biggest county by population, santa clara also now going to the red. in wine country, napa has made the move. this means more business disease reopen and the return of indoor dining with limited capacity. while san francisco has been this the red before, this time there is more optimism. abc7 news reporter lyanne melendez is live in the newsroom. lyanne, how much of that optimism has to do with the vaccine?
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>> oh, i would say a lot. the city says it has the tools to deliver the vaccine. they just need more of it. right now they are vaccine night teacher, muni drivers, restaurant workers, and as more people start getting shots in the arms, the city believes there is no turning back. >> we're here. we're in the red. >> reporter: a term which means retail and indoor malls can reopen in san francisco at 50% capacity. indoor dining, movie theater, museums, zoos and aquariums at 25% capacity, and gyms at 10. it also allows entertainment venue likes the ferris wheel in golden gate park to restart operations. the f market line streetcar will also begin taking passengers in may. >> now you know we're not san francisco without cable cars. just so you know, the cable cars are coming back, and they're coming back some time this year, date to be determined. >> reporter: this time the curfew for outdoor dining has been lifted, and up to three househol c

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