tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC July 28, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight, the delta variant sweeping across the u.s. new covid cases soaring 400% in the u.s. in just five weeks. president biden set to announce mandatory vaccinations or face weekly testing for nearly 2 million federal employees. new york now requiring all state employees to be vaccinated or tested. and tonight, new york city now paying people $100 to get their first shot. all of this comes amid that new evidence that fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections can potentially spread the delta variant. this was not seen before. dr. fauci tonight and how much of the virus a vaccinated person carries if they're a breakthrough case.
parts of the u.s. pushing back against the cdc's revised mask recommendation. st. louis, for one, voting to end its new mask mandate one day after taking effect. and the mask battle reaching all the way to capitol hill. house minority leader kevin mccarthy saying this is not based on science. speaker nancy pelosi calling him a moron. the other major story developing as we come on tonight, president biden and key senators now say they have an agreement on an infrastructure deal, after the president campaigned on bringing back bipartisanship, tonight, the key vote. and what we've just learned involving the republican minority leader mitch mcconnell on this vote. he's now a yes. rachel scott on what this means and where this goes from here. team usa and gymnastics star simone biles withdrawing from competition for the second time. what biles says is behind this. her teammates rallying behind her. support from all over the world. and american swimmer katie ledecky's gold medal win in the pool. no one else even coming close. and what was historic about this
particular win. james longman in tokyo. back here at home, dozens of fires in the west forcing authorities to issue new air quality alerts in six states from washington to wyoming to arizona. the alerts all the way east to boston this week. and we're tracking severe storms moving into the northeast tomorrow. washington, d.c., philadelphia, new york included. the tragic death, the high school football player collapsing on the first day of practice. in new york, shark sightings fo a third day in a row. authorities closing beaches outside new york city. on long island, where they're tracking the sharks tonight. and made in america is back tonight. the clue -- we're sailing into a new idea. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. and we begin tonight with the coronavirus and the highly
contagious delta variant racing across the country. we're now seeing nearly 57,000 new cases a day in this country, that's up 400% in just five weeks. and the new evidence that fully vaccinated people with those breakthrough infections of the delta variant can potentially spread the disease to others. that new cdc guidance urging americans in areas with a surge in cases to wear masks indoors, even if you're vaccinated. and for schoolchildren, teachers and staff to do the same, regardless of vaccination status. and tonight here, dr. fauci pointing to new data showing the level of virus in vaccinated americans in these so-called breakthrough cases involving the delta variant. it's 1,000 times higher than the original alpha variant, leading to the ability to give this to others and dr. fauci says that's what's driving all of this new guidance. president biden meanwhile expected to be on the verge of mandating vaccines or weekly testing for nearly 2 million federal workers.
that could come tomorrow. new york also doing the same for all state employees and even stricter rules for state-run hospitals, saying all patient-facing health care workers must be vaccinated with no testing option. tonight, new york city now offering $100 for new yorkers to get their first shot. and the battle over masks after that new cdc guidance. the st. louis city council, for one, overturning that city's new mask mandate just one day after it went into effect. tonight, seven states already have laws banning mandates. tonight, pfizer's ceo is calling for booster shots, saying they have found a drop in protection for some people about six months after their second dose of the vaccine. the best protection, they say, though, as always, to get vaccinated. more than 189 million people have received at least one dose. 66% of people 12 years and older in this country. an udy showing what a booster shot could potentially do. how many more antibodies that would bring to your body to fight this virus.
more study is needed, but it is making headlines, as well. and abc's trevor ault leading us off in florida. >> reporter: tonight, the delta variant tearing through much of the country. spreading furiously among the unvaccinated with covid cases soaring nearly 400% in the last five weeks. >> if you're not getting vaccinated, i feel like it's kind of unethical or irresponsible at this point, because it's so dangerous. >> reporter: president biden expected to mandate vaccines or testing for nearly 2 million federal workers. and today, new york requiring the vaccine or weekly testing for all state workers. with the original epicenter of the virus once again facing substantial spread, averaging 1,000 infections a day, new york city will now pay you to get vaccinated. >> $100 for any new yorker who goes to a city-run site to get vaccinated. >> reporter: and adding to the urgency, new evidence fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections can potentially spread the delta variant, something that was highly unlikely with the earlier alpha variant.
>> when a person gets infected who has been vaccinated, namely a breakthrough infection, and they get infected with the delta variant, that the level of virus in their nasopharynx is about 1,000 times higher than with the alpha variant. >> reporter: the cdc pointing to unreleased data showing an infected vaccinated person carries the same viral load as an infected unvaccinated person. a major reason the agency is now recommending masks indoors for everyone in areas with high transmission. but in many of those hot zones, resistance. seven states already have laws banning mask mandates. arkansas's ban taking effect today. and overnight, st. louis voting to end a local indoor mask mandate a day after it went into effect. but the county executive insisting it remained in effect and blamed the push-back on politics. on capitol hill, house minority
leader kevin mccarthy slamming a new mask rule in the house of representatives, tweeting -- "the threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science." asked about mccarthy's comments, speaker nancy pelosi saying this -- >> he's such a moron. >> is kevin mccarthy a moron? and if so, why? >> i said earlier, in my comments, science, science, science and science. to say that wearing a mask is not based on science, i think, is not wise and that was my comment. and that's all i'm going to say about that. >> reporter: and tonight, pfizer's ceo pushing for a booster shot, pointing to new research showing the vaccine after six months goes from 96% effective to 84% effective against symptomatic covid. and another new study showing a booster shot can boost antibodies five-fold in younger people. pfizer could ask for emergency authorization for a booster within weeks. >> we can see that there is a drop in protection of infections
and there is a drop in the protection against hospitalizations, but only for people, or mainly for people, that they are six months -- that they did six months ago their second dose. >> reporter: today at tampa general hospital, we saw a toll on the unvaccinated and the teams caring for them. >> this is heartbreaking, because all this could have been avoided. this is unnecessary human suffering. >> reporter: they're treating nearly seven times as many covid patients as they were just weeks ago, nearly all of them unvaccinated. gerard was not vaccinated and got covid. he was intubated for nine days. >> i'm used to being strong and stuff like that. and not being afraid of stuff. but this scared the heck out of me. >> reporter: and 37-year-old amanda spencer from ohio now wants the shot. she got covid while on vacation in florida. spending 11 days in a medically induced coma. >> the side effects are nothing
compared to what can happen to you. i mean, it's very, very real, i mean, my pictures prove it. >> and trevor is with us now live from tampa tonight. and trevor, there's been so much talk about when the fda could give full approval for these vaccines. authorities hoping that that, too, will help with vaccine hesitancy across this country. and we're now learning tonight that full approval for the pfizer vaccine could, and i emphasize could, come as early as september? >> reporter: that's right, david. sources are telling us that that full fda approval could come around september. which is only about three or four months after pfizer's application, and that's a lot faster than what's usually a year-long process. but the fda is trying to speed up that time frame without cutting any corners. david? >> trevor ault leading us off from florida tonight. trevor, thank you. and the other developing headline as we're on the air this evening, news that president biden and key senators, republicans and democrats, now say they have an agreement on infrastructure, after the president campaigned
on his ability to bring bipartisanship back, tonight, the key vote as we're on the air. and what we've just learned involving the republican minority leader mitch mcconnell on this vote. he's now a yes. rachel scott on what this means and where this goes from here. >> reporter: tonight, the president, who campaigned on a promise to work with republicans, declaring the new bipartisan infrastructure deal shows the world our democracy can function and deliver. >> while there's a lot we don't agree on, i believe that we should be able to work together on the few things we do agree on. i think it's important. >> reporter: the $1.1 trillion package negotiated by the white
house and five senators from each party. the president working the phones to get it across the finish line. >> america needs to see us be able to tackle an important issue that will effect the lives of americans. >> reporter: the plan includes $550 billion in new spending, $110 billion for hihways, $65 billion to expand broadband internet and $73 billion to modernize the electric grid. b one estimate, it would create roughly 50,000 new manufacturing jobs by 2024. >> if you're stuck in bridge traffic in my state, or any other state right now, wondering why this bridge in poor condition can't get fixed -- help is on the way. >> reporter: senators taking that key vote tonight on advancing the bill, but democrats will need ten republicans to join them to pass it. well, senator blunt, is this going to go through? will you vote for it? >> well, i'm checking two things in the bill right now. i've been an advocate for having a strong infrastructure package for a long time. >> reporter: so, you're holding out. that's not a yes. >> no, it's not. >> all right, so, let's get to rachel scott live for us up on the hill tonight. where do things stand on this, rachel? give us the bottom line here, after this key vote tonight, this still faces a road ahead. >> reporter: david, this still has a long way to go. senator minority leader mitch mcconnell voting tonight to
advance the bill. that is a positive sign. but some senators may still try to force some changes. then it will need to go over to the house, where democrats hold a razor thin majority and already some progressives have indicated that this deal is not big enough. david? >> rachel scott with us with the breaking news from capitol hill tonight. rachel, thank you. now to team usa in tokyo and gymnastics star simone biles withdrawing from competition for a second time. tonight, what biles says is behind this decision and her teammates already rallying behind her. support, in fact, from all over the word. also tonight, american swimmer katie ledecky's gold medal win in the pool, and what was historic about thi particular win. james longman again tonight from tokyo. >> reporter: tonight, another shock from the greatest gymnast of our time. usa gymnastics revealing that simone biles will not be competing in the all-around, her most anticipated event, saying she is doing so "in order to focus on her mental health." yesterday, after dropping out of
the team of the finals, biles told the media the stress of these unusual olympics has been too much. >> it's been really stressful this olympic games, i think, just as a whole. not having an audience. there are a lot of different variables going into it. >> reporter: the world was waiting to witness her death-defying routines, breaking records on the way to earning six golds at these games. but biles, scoring perhaps even bigger firsts, opening up conversations about athletes and mental health. former teammate aly speaking to espn. >> it's the most pressure i've ever seen on a gymnast, and maybe even olympic athlete, and i can't imagine how hard it is for her. >> reporter: today, biles seemed upbeat cheering on the men in their all-around final. she may compete sunday for a chance to spring back onto the vault. and back in the pool, a tough loss in the 200-meter freestyle for katie ledecky, finishing fifth. but just over an hour later, the swimming legend bouncing back. claiming her first gold medal of these games as she cruised to victory in the 1500-meter free, winning by more than four seconds. >> i love the way ledecky lookso >> reporter: the 1500 meters
freestyle has been an event since the 1904 olympics in st. . this year, the first time ever women could compete. ledecky saying her grandparents gave her strength, as she cemented her place in history. >> i'm always striving to be my best and to be better than i've ever been and, you know, it's not easy when your times are wrld records in some events. >> reporter: adding that she understands the intense pressure felt by simone biles. >> mental health is so important. physical health is so important. and it's no different being olympians. >> reporter: so, what prompted the best in the world to pull out of two competitions? well, simone biles' teammates saying they support her privacy. she said it could be the fact that there are no fans in the stands, her age could be a contributing factor. either way, i'm sure when she's ready, she'll tell us. david? >> a lot of people pulling for her tonight. james longman with us tonight. james, thank you. back here at home now, and dozens of fires in the west now forcing authorities to issue new air quality alerts in six states
tonight, from washington state to wyoming to ar the alerts all the way to boston this hazy sunset in chicago from all of this. and we're tracking severe storms moving into the east by tomorrow. washington, d.c., philadelphia and new york. abc's will carr from california tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the governors of california and nevada getting a first-hand look at the aftermath of the tamarack fire. that fire straddling both states. the governors thanking firefighters and pleading for more resources. >> cal fire is the largest civilian aerial attack force in the world and it's not enough. >> reporter: the choking smoke from massive wildfires across the west forcing authorities to issue air quality alerts in washington, idaho, montana, wyoming, colorado and arizona. but even smaller blazes, like this brush fire in san jose overnight, causing big problems. >> there is a lot of smoke from this fire and that's why they're
asking homeowners to stay inside and keep their doors and windows shut. >> reporter: the towering columns of smoke from the explosive fires reaching all the way into the jet stream this week. which, as these satellite images show, carries the smoke all the way to the east coast, covering new england in hazy skies. boston issuing warnings this week about air quality because of the smoke. david, back here in the west, these fires are being fueled by relentless heat waves. we're talking record-setting heat. and today, california has now issued another flex alert, concern that temperatures up to 110 degrees could threaten the power grid. david? >> no break in sight. will, thank you. and will mentioned the heat there. tonight, we're also tracking severe storms moving across the country. parts of the midwest including much of wisconsin bracing for powerful thunderstorms, large hail and dangerous straight-line winds. the system with possible tornadoes moving into the east tomorrow. washington, d.c. to philadelphia to new york, all watching this. and the newest heat wave now across 20 states. the heat index in triple digits from nebraska all the way to alabama there. and here in new york
tonight, new shark sightings, several beaches now closed on long island. here's erielle reshef. >> reporter: tonight, several beaches off long island, new tis. >> earlier today, around 1:00 in the afternoon, our guards spotted numerous, not just a singular, but numerous blacktip reef sharks. >> reporter: hempstead lifeguards spotting one of those sharks just 20 yards from the shoreline. experts say this type of shark can reach up to six feet in size but is not typically aggressive towards humans. >> these are actually more of a caribbean shark and we don't know the last time we've seen a sighting up here of this sort of shark. there is some speculation it could be based on the hurricane season kicking up and the waters pushing up. >> reporter: the group of sharks also noticed at two other nearby beaches, forcing them to close temporarily. this coming as authorities investigate a possible shark bite at jones beach earlier this week. a lifeguard saying before the incident, he saw a fin. and david, officials have stepped up patrols in the area.
they say those closures are a precaution to keep beachgoers safe. david? >> erielle reshef with us tonight. erielle, thank you. when we come back on the broadcast, the tragic news tonight, the high school athlete collapsing and dying on the first day of practice. ugh, there's that cute guy from 12c. -go talk to him. -yeah, no. plus it's not even like he'd be into me or whatever. ♪ ♪ this could be ♪ hi. you just moved in, right? i would love to tell you about all the great savings you can get for bundling your renter's and car insurance with progressive. -oh, i was just -- -oh, tammy. i found your retainer in the dryer. is struggling to manage your type 2 diabetes -oh, i was just -- -oh, tammy. knocking you out of your zone? lowering your a1c with once-weekly ozempic® can help you get back in it. oh, oh, oh, ozempic®! my zone... lowering my a1c, cv risk, and losing some weight... now, back to the game!
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>> it feels like the pandemic dominoes are falling again. the cdc first and now the state saying we should all go back to wearing masks. the sonoma county fair is back. changes and even vaccinations. the pacific ocean is the largest reservoir and we can turn it into drinking water. talking about saving california from a drought. >> a heat wave continues for a few more days. all of the details. abc at 6:00 starts right now. building a better bay area and moving forward and finding solutions. this is abc7 news. the big question is the bay area on the brink of a mask
mandate, all signs seem be pointing to yes good >> and i'm dan ashley. you are watching abc7 news, hulu and wherever you stream. california took a step towards reinstating a mask mandate recommending everyone wear a mask whether you are vaccinated or fought. >> it comes as the bay area approaches a concerning milestone. 2000 new covid cases. a record untouched since february during the largest surge. and protecting our health is a huge part of building a bay area. >> it is and why we have team coverage on the pandemic for you tonight. >> better be safe than sorry because you want to protect the people around you. >> protecting yourself and others mean knowing if you are sick, where you can get tested as well. we will share the answers weed found. you will hear from reporter cornell bernard at