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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  July 20, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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i want to thank you for joining us today on this show we answer why tonight, history in space. millions watching. tonight, the images from inside that capsule. also, the accounting for 83% of cases in the u.s. could the johnson & johnson vaccine be less effective? what we know so far. first, jeff bezos and three private citizens blasting off, 66 miles up. the images from inside. on board with bezos, his brother, and the oldest and youngest astronauts to ever fly
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in space. all weightless above the earth. for 82-year-old wally funk, finally making the trip. tonight, the pioneer in her own words. what she said after the flight that moved so many. also tonight, the growing concern over the delta variant. 3,000 new patients hospitalized every day in this country. we're inside a memphis hospital forced to reopen its covid unit. the majority of patients unvaccinated. is it affecting the vaccinated, too? dr. fauci says mild breakthrough cases are to be expected. and fully vaccinated staffers in the white house to nancy pelosi's office, testing positive. and mitch mcconnell saying do not listen to the misinformation. urging the unvaccinated in this country to get the shot.
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new concern with just three days until the tokyo olympics. at least 71 people in the olympic bubble testing positive. what the olympics chief acknowledged today. is there any chance they would consider calling the games off? james longman is there. back here at home, in new york, the deadly house explosion. seven other homes damaged. what we've learned so far. the wildfires exploding across 13 states tonight. and the noaa satellite image, showing the smoke from the west reaching all the way to the east. affecting air quality across the country. and the joke tom brady cracked at the white house today, drawing laughter. and how the president responded. > 's to haveou wh us rian cases in the u.s.
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the new headline, on the one-shot vaccine. could it be less effective against this variant? what we know. and important context just ahead. but we'll begin tonight with the history in space. jeff bezos' private rocketship taking an all-civilian crew to the edge of space. fulfilling his boyhood dream, and hoping to blaze a path for others. with him, his brother and the oldest and youngest people to become astronauts. the capsule reaching 66 miles above the earth. the entire flight just under 11 minutes. and the images from inside the capsule. the passengers weightless inside the spacecraft. playing catch, and gazing at the earth below. minutes later, touching down softly back in the desert. the crew emerging moments later to hugs and cheers.
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tonight, the passengers refle reflecting on their experience. bezos saying we're building a road to space so our kids can build a road to the future. and wally funk finally making it to space. gio benitez leading us off from the launch site in texas. >> reporter: just before 9:00 a.m., the walk that would make history. jeff bezos and his brother mark, 82-year-old wally funk, ringing that bell, the oldest woman going to space. and 18-year-old oliver daemen, the youngest ever, and the first paying customer. the first human passengers aboard blue origin's new shepard. >> godspeed first crew of new shepard. >> reporter: the countdown. >> command start, 2, 1. >> and new shepard has cleared the tower on our way to space with our first human crew. go jeff! go mark! go wally! go oliver!
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you are going to space. >> reporter: the crew traveling at up to 2,200 miles per hour, and 3 1/2 minutes, in the capsule separating from its booster. >> and there we go, our astronauts have passed the carmine line, at about 328,000 feet. continuing their ascent. >> reporter: traveling 66 miles above the earth's surface, farther than virgin galactic's flight nine days ago. and inside that capsule -- >> oh, wow. that's incredible. >> whoo! >> reporter: the passengers experiencing zero gravity for four minutes. >> is this everything you thought it would be? >> fantastic! >> here, look. see if you can catch this. >> yeah! well done! >> reporter: and looking down at earth. >> this is incredible. >> oh, i love it. i love it. >> oh wow, just take a moment to look outside. >> reporter: the re-usable
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booster, making a precise landing. moments later -- >> and there it is, our crew capsule with our four crew members on board. >> we have a very happy crew out here, i want you to know. >> reporter: parachutes deploying, slowing the capsule's descent to a smooth 16 miles an hour. >> here comes the crew capsule back from space. >> reporter: a blast of air, cushioning that landing in the texas desert. >> and touchdown. welcome back, new shepard's first human crew. >> reporter: family and friends waiting outside as the capsule door opens. jeff bezos out first, oliver daemen with a high five. and wally funk, triumphant. she trained to be an astronaut and has been waiting to go to space. >> i loved every minute of it. i just wish it was longer. it was great. i loved it. i can hardly wait to go again.
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>> reporter: and then it was our turn on the launch pad. and this is the rocket that took them up to space, landing right here on the pad, upright, entirely on its own. blue origin, ready to use it again. our michael strahan, right there with jeff bezos and brother mark, after landing. how does it feel? >> greatest day ever. dsha just t >> it was really amazing. the views were breathtaking. i've never seen anything so beautiful. >> we need to get good at going to space so that we can save the earth. we can work on the problems we have here and we need to look to the future. that's always been the way and that's the only way. >> it was extraordinary to watch. right there with you this morning. gio benitez live from texas. gio, what comes next? plans for more missions? >> reporter: that's right. they have two more missions scheduled this year. we're talking about $250,000 per
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seat on virgin galactic. it's a very expensive space race. >> moving forward indeed. gio, excellent coverage all day. history made today. and a momentary break from reality. but the surge in coronavirus cases, 83% of new cases are from the delta variant. sweeping through the unvaccinated, and now affecting the vaccinated, too, with the so-called breakthrough cases. dr. fauci saying mild breakthrough cases are now to be expected. dr. rochelle walensky talking about the highly transmissible variant behind 4 of 5 new cases in this country. tonight, we're inside a memphis hospital with large numbers of
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unvaccinated americans. and new questions after a new study that suggests the johnson & johnson one-shot vaccine may not be as effective as the other vaccines against this variant. not peer reviewed, more study is needed. but here's trevor ault. >> reporter: tonight, the delta variant spreading furiously among the unvaccinated, now estimated to account for 4 out of every 5 cases of coronavirus. >> the delta variant now represents 83% of sequenced cases. this is a dramatic increase up from 50% for the week of july 3rd. >> reporter: and tonight, adding to the concern, the new headline involving the johnson & johnson one-shot vaccine. a new study raising questions about whether it's less effective against the delta variant than the original virus. halth experts caution, though, these findings are from blood samples in a lab, and other studies found the j&j vaccine seemed to work well against the delta variant.
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but it does fuel the debate over whether those who got the one shot at some point might be encouraged to get a second of one of the other vaccines. the new study has not been peer reviewed. and it comes as the number of new cases skyrockets in the u.s. in tennessee, only 38% of the state is fully vaccinated. frustrating health care workers like memphis nurse matt robinson, who took us inside methodist le bonheur hospital. >> now we're seeing someone that's my age coming through the door, and it's sad because we have that vaccine to help reduce this, and a majority of the patients are coming through the door unvaccinated. >> reporter: this new surge forced them to re-open and re-expand their covid unit, because right now it's already full. how long do you and your team think you can keep this up?
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>> not too much longer. >> reporter: missouri mother melanie hall sent her 12-year-old daughter jillian to summer camp unvaccinated, thinking she could wait to get her the shot. but within days of coming home with a stuffy nose, she was seriously sick with covid. >> i've never seen my daughter gasp for air. she was literally panting to keep air in her lungs. >> reporter: jillian was rushed to the hospital and is now recovering, but her mom is urging parents to take covid seriously. >> why play russian roulette with it? why? i wouldn't wait another minute to get my children vaccinated. >> reporter: and today on capitol hill, dr. anthony fauci acknowledging the virus can break through, but insisting the vaccines still protect against serious illness. >> when you hear about a breakthrough infection, that doesn't necessarily mean the vaccine is failing. >> reporter: and in a heated exchange, senator rand paul accusing dr. fauci of lying to congress. >> senator paul, you do not know
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what you are talking about, quite frankly, and i want to say that officially. >> reporter: dr. fauci flatly denying allegations the nih funded so-called gain of function research in wuhan, which includes experiments to make a virus more transmissible. >> all the evidence is that it came from the lab and there will be responsibility for those who funded the lab, including yourself. >> i totally resent the lie that you are now propagating, senator. and you are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals. i totally resent that. >> but it could have been. it could have been. >> and if anybody's lying here, senator, it is you. >> trevor, dr. fauci was also asked today about the notion whether millions of americans may one day need a booster shot, an additional shot. he seemed to aoffer a new
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threshold that may trigger the need for a booster? >> reporter: he did. the pfizer and moderna vaccines are more than 90% effective. he said if it dropped to the 80s or 70s, they would need a booster. but he said it's too soon right now. and some fully vaccinated staffers from the white house to speaker pelosi's office have tested positive. and the urgent plea, mitch mcconnell saying do not listen to the misinformation, urging the unvaccinated to get the shot. rachel scott is at the white house. >> reporter: tonight, with the delta variant on the rise, president biden imploring americans not to let their guard down. >> we have to stay vigilant, especially with the delta variant that's out there. >> reporter: it comes as the white house acknowledges that a fullly vaccinated staffer has tested positive for covid-19, and that there have been other positive tests too. i asked just how many we're talking about.
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would the administration ever provide the number of breakthrough cases that have happened within the administration thus far, should we not expect to receive a number on that? >> i said i'd be happy to check on the status of that, sure. >> reporter: on capitol hill, a fully vaccinated spokesperson for house speaker nancy pelosi also tested positive. republicans have been less likely than democrats to get vaccinated. former president trump quietly got his shot before he left office, but rarely urged supporters to get theirs. but the number two republican in the house, congressman steve scalise, finally getting his first pfizer dose, saying, "especially with the delta variant becoming a lot more aggressive and seeing another spike, it was a good time to do it." senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, pleading with americans not to believe all the anti-vaccine misinformation. >> the way to defeat getting back into the position we were in last year is to get vaccinated. this is not complicated. i want to encourage everybody to do that and to ignore all of
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these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice. >> reporter: and even on fox news, where hosts have downplayed the threat of covid, sean hannity now urging his viewers to get their shots, saying, "i believe in the science of vaccination." and despite the covid positive cases, the white house is not making any changes to its proper protocol tonight. the president gets tested every two weeks, and we've asked the white house that same question tonight. but no word on just how many fully vaccinated staffers have tested positive. >> rachel, thank you. and new concern with just three days until the tokyo olympics. the number of cases inside the bubble growing tonight, and what the olympic chief acknowledged tonight. once again, james longman in
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tokyo. >> reporter: at least ten more positive tests in the last 24 hours. bringing the total to at71 tokyo 2020 ceo, toshiro muto, pressed by reporters on whether the games should be canceled, just days before the opening ceremony. muto not ruling out the possibility of the olympics. saying talks will resume if there is a spike in cases. ioc officials today, reassuring the public that the olympics will be safe. >> i think we can give them a level of satisfaction that everything is being done by us to try and ensure that there will be safe and secure games. >> reporter: the games will be in trouble if what is called the five party meeting is convened. the ioc, the government of japan, and local leaders. >> james, thank you. back here at home, news of a high profile arrest. tom barrack, the chairman of
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former president trump's inaugural committee, has been arrested and charged for illegally lobbying for a foreign country, and of lying to the fbi about it. here's terry moran. >> reporter: tom barrack is a billionaire businessman and one of donald trump's best friends. >> and i'm here because donald trump is one of my closest friends for 40 years. >> reporter: trump chose barrack to chair his 2017 inaugural committee, which raised a record $107 million. >> welcome to the 58th inauguration of the president of the united states. >> reporter: today, barrack was arrested in california on federal charges. failing to register as a foreign agent, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators. prosecutors say barrack used his connection to trump to act as an agent for the united arab emirates, even working with uae officials to insert a line into one of then-candidate trump's 2016 campaign speeches. >> we'll work with our gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship. >> reporter: afterwards, an emirati official emailed
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barrack, "congrats on the great job today. everybody here are happy with the results." barrack becomes the seventh person associated with the 2016 trump campaign to be charged. he says he's not guilty. >> terry, thank you. we stay on the wildfires exploding in the west. more than 80 fires burning across 13 states. two fires in oregon alone. look at this tonight. the noaa satellite image showing smoke from the west reaching all the way to the east. affecting air quality across the country. and a live look from wabc. smoke blanketing the skies in new york city and much of the northeast. similar skies in philadelphia and boston, showing the power of the fires in the west across this country. when we come back here
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tonight, in new york, the deadly house explosion. several homes damaged. and later, tom brady's joke at the white house. with less moderate-to-severe eczema why hide your skin if you can help heal your skin from within. with dupixent adults saw long-lasting, clearer skin and significantly less itch. don't use if you're allergic to dupixent. serious allergic reactions can occur including anaphylaxis, which is severe. tell your doctor about new or worsening eye problems, such as eye pain or vision changes, or a parasitic infection. if you take asthma medicines don't change or stop them
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wally funk trained to be an astronaut in the '60s and she finally made it to space. >> i've been waiting a long time to finally get it up there. and i've done a lot of astronaut training through the world, russia, america, and i can always beat the guys on what they were doing because i was always stronger, and i've always done everything on my own. and i didn't do dolls. i did outside stuff. and i flew airplanes. 19,000-some hours. i loved it. >> she loved it.
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building a tter bay area. moving forward. finding solutions. this is abc7 news. i want to say to the a's, this is a good deal. >> i feel like we are voting on something the a's will turn down. >> it is hard to understand how that is a path forward. >> a vote today on the term sheet. >> but will it be enough to keep the a's in oakland? good afternoon, i am dan ashley. >> you are watching here on abc7 news, hulu live, and wherever you string. as the first pitch was thrown today, the vote on the future of the oakland a's was happening. >> the council voted apove a nonbinding term sheet and now it is up to the a's to decide if they want to move forward. >> six members voted to accept
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the term sheet. one voted no and one abstained. >> we have been following the story and have a look at what happened in today's meeting. >> i want to say for the a's, this is a good deal. we have been negotiating in good faith. >> reporter: the oakland city council put their best foot forward as six members voted yes to a nonbinding term sheet that outlines plans for a new ballpark at howard terminal. oakland made a major concession, in that the city offered to take responsibility for $352 million in off-site transportation infrastructure, but the a's were blunt. they did not like it. >> the current term sheet as it is constructed and with its current language, is not a business partnership that works for us. >> if the a's are not happy with what was produced today and are still talking about leaving after the city has bent
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over backwards, i don't know where we go from here after doing somersaults.


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