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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  December 30, 2020 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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tonight, the breaking news just coming in. that new covid strain now spreading in the u.s. the more contagious variant first found in the uk confirmed in colorado. a member of the national guard. tonight, a second possible case there and now a confirmed case in california. the race to slow the virus as america records its deadliest day of the pandemic. more than 3,700 u.s. lives lost in just 24 hours. a 41-year-old just elected to congress dying from the virus in louisiana. and now soldiers called in to help at some of california's hospitals on the brink. plus, vaccine timeline trouble. as the nation falls far behind schedule. tonight, we have answers on why so few doses are making it into the arms of americans.
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in florida, seniors lining up to roll up their sleeves. one man there for nearly 24 hours. as operation warp speed officials respond, saying they need to do a better job. the holiday slam. heavy snow and now a tornado strike. ginger zee standing by with what to expect on new year's eve. the surprise airport attack. the moment by moment footage. the chaos and confusion as hundreds scramble for cover after an explosion overseas. more than 20 people killed. missed warning signs. as abc news learns that police were warned about the suspect in the christmas day bombing more than one year ago. his girlfriend telling police he was building bombs in an rv. the wild scene here in new york city. the violent confrontation. video showing bicyclists swarming and attacking a driver on fifth avenue. and lean on me. he carried a bat and a bullhorn and is credited with turning
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around one of america's most notorious high schools. tonight, the tough talk and tough love as we celebrate the life and legacy of joe clark. and good evening. it's great to have you with us on a very busy wednesday night. i'm tom llamas in for david. we begin now with breaking news and new reports of that highly contagious variant of covid-19 in colorado and now a newly confirmed case in california, as well. the coronavirus spreading out of control. more than 341,000 american lives lost. the u.s. closing in on 4,000 deaths per day. colorado health officials say one case and a suspected second case of the variant were found in national guard members deployed to a nursing home outside of denver. a case also detected now in southern california where the number of daily hospitalizations
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in l.a. county have increased nearly 1,000% in two months. california now requesting the return of the u.s. navy hospital ship "the mercy" to help with the overflow of patients. and in new york city and boston, church bells ringing at noon today, paying tribute to the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the pandemic. abc's kaylee hartung in california to lead us off. >> reporter: tonight, that new, more contagious variant from the uk now detected in the golden state. >> an hour or so ago, we were informed that this new variant, this new strain, has been identified here in the state of california. >> reporter: in colorado, officials revealing more details about the country's first confirmed case. >> he's currently recovering in isolation, mild symptoms. >> reporter: and now a possible second one there, though officials have not yet confirmed. both are members of colorado's national guard, deployed last week to a small rural town to help the good samaritan society nursing home amid a covid outbreak. all 26 residents and a majority
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of the staff testing positive. officials now investigating how the national guard members were infected. neither has a recent history of international travel. >> we do not have evidence that the variant virus is circulating in that facility, but testing is ongoing. >> reporter: colorado officials using genetic sequencing to discover the variant, but this type of screening is not as widespread in the u.s. this, as the u.s. hits yet another grim milestone. tuesday, the deadliest day of the pandemic, as a record more than 124,000 people fight the virus in the hospital. from boston to new york, churches ringing their bells to honor those american lives lost. like louisiana congressman-elect luke letlow, dying from covid at just 41 years old. a married father of two. and in california, the surge continues to rage. >> after the christmas holiday season, i'm scared to death, honestly. i just look back on new york city and italy and that's what we feel like right now. >> reporter: 75 u.s. military personnel being fitted for their ppe as they deploy to four southern california hospitals in dire need.
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across the country, north carolina in a staffing crisis, too. >> we are preparing for what would equivalent be to a hurricane or a tsunami. >> reporter: and in chicago, deborah simental is struggling to process her daughter sarah's death. the normally healthy 18-year-old tested positive with mild covid symptoms the weekend before christmas. she died one week later. >> no parent should ever have to watch their child go through that. nobody. >> that victim just 18 years old. kaylee hartung joins us now live from a hospital in los angeles. kaylee, i know you have some new reporting on the patient in california with the new variant of covid-19, as l.a. county, where you are, reaches a grim milestone of 10,000 deaths? >> reporter: yes, tom. that patient is a 30-year-old man in san diego and he has no history of travel. tonight, the cdc is screening for the variant across the country. and they're reminding us that while the variant is thought to be more contagious, it is not found to be more deadly.
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experts believe it will respond to the vaccine. tom? >> good to know. okay, kaylee, thank you for that. there is now growing frustration building over the slow rollout of the coronavirus vaccines across the u.s. officials with operation warp speed admitting vaccinations are not going as fast as they had hoped, suggesting there is a learning curve. president trump shifting blame to the states. and the images in ft. myers, florida, look at this. hundreds of people, many of them high-risk seniors, camping out overnight just to get their shots. here's abc's stephanie ramos. >> reporter: tonight, officials acknowledging what america is experiencing, the coronavirus vaccine rollout has been slower than promised. just look at these images. hundreds of people waiting in line overnight in florida to get their first shots. 90-year-old abdulla benkhatar in line for nearly 24 hours. >> it's really important to me, for my health and to be able to do things i like to do and get back to normal. >> reporter: so far, the federal
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government distributing more than 14 million doses nationwide, but only about 2.5 million shots have been reported. far short of the 20 million vaccinations promised by the new year. tonight, abc news learning there are also issues at the state and local level, including the pfizer vaccine's complex storage requirements, uncertainty over the supply of doses and the strain on local health agencies in this surging pandemic. federal officials today saying they need to do a better job, but blaming the sluggish rollout, in part, on this -- >> there's two holidays. there's been three major snow storms. every day everybody gets better. and i believe that uptake will increase. >> reporter: president trump taking to twitter, putting the blame on the states, urging them to, quote, "get moving!" in maryland, more than 80% of the 191,000 doses received have yet to be administered. >> it's not just sticking needles in arms.
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there's a lot of moving parts and i think nobody is quite performing at the top capacity and we've all got to work together to ramp it up. >> reporter: overseas today, the uk authorizing the oxford/astrazeneca vaccine, which is cheaper and easier to store than pfizer's. >> this is a massive thing for the world. >> reporter: the uk also facing challenges with its vaccine rollout. now changing its policy. giving the first dose of the vaccine to as many people as possible instead of reserving doses for the second shot. >> all right, stephanie ramos joins us now from new york city. and stephanie, you're learning more about what new vaccines may be on the horizon in the new year? >> reporter: exactly, tom. officials say johnson & johnson could apply for emergency authorization by the end of january, with possible authorization in early february. astrazeneca could be available here in the u.s. if authorized by early april. the cdc says they are expecting vaccinations to increase fast by next week. tom?
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>> stephanie ramos with that vaccine update for us. stephanie, thank you. now, to those two new year's storms moving across the u.s. heavy snow, ice and rain. take a look at this. a confirmed tornado damaging more than a dozen homes south of dallas today. and ice storm downing trees on top of cars in missouri. drivers facing whiteout conditions in des moines. abc's chief meteorologist ginger zee timing it all out for us. ginger, good evening. >> reporter: tom, good evening to you. storm one left behind more than a half foot of snow for parts of michigan, big rapids, muskegon and that. but i have to focus on storm two now, because the other has moved on. san angelo up to kansas city on the snowy side with the winter storm watches, advisories and warnings. flood watches from the arkansas down through texas, just west of houston. let's time it out. it is going to be a tornado threat that we're most concerned about tomorrow. that's along the gulf coast. port arthur, beaumont to lake charles. remember, they were hit with both hurricanes. the icy side goes from oklahoma city up to near chicago over to scranton by the time we start january 1st, tom. >> okay, ginger, thank you for that.
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we head overseas now to a deadly airport attack in yemen that happened as live cameras were rolling. an explosion killing at least 22 people. the blast and gunfire erupting just after a plane landed, carrying members of the country's new saudi-backed government. hundreds of people on the tarmac at the time. here's abc's james longman. >> reporter: hundreds of supporters had lined up on the tarmac to celebrate the arrival of yemen's newly formed unity government from saudi arabia. the massive crowd surrounding the plane to greet the new cabinet. they were met instead by terror. watch as the crowd runs from the explosion, moments after the officials start to disembark. the officials coming off the plane taken to safety. in all, at least 22 dead, more than 50 wounded. yemen blamed iranian-backed houthi rebels for the attack, and late tonight, word of air strikes around the rebel-held capital, sanaa.
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the country has been locked in a bloody civil war for years. it escalated when a saudi-led coalition launched a military operation in 2015, which has since left the world's poorest country with over 100,000 dead and a famine which the u.n. calls the worst humanitarian crisis on earth. the new unity government has been formed just a month before joe biden takes office himself. he's been critical of saudi arabia's destabilizing role in the region and its proxy wars with iran. it will be one of the biggest foreign policies challenges he'll face as president. tom? >> james longman with those breaking details overseas tonight. james, thank you. back here at home, new developments in the nashville christmas bombing and the possible warning signs that may have been missed. abc news learning the suspect's former girlfriend alerted authorities a year ago he was making explosives. 911 calls before and after the powerful explosion now being made public, as well. here's abc's trevor ault. >> reporter: tonight, potentially missed warning signs. more than a year before the christmas day bombing that shook downtown nashville. police said this week that alleged bomber anthony warner
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was not on their radar, but documents obtained by abc news show police were warned about him. in august 2019, warner's then girlfriend told officers warner was "building bombs in the rv trailer at his residence." and a lawyer for the girlfriend told police warner "is capable of making a bomb." the police report says officers tried checking on warner at his home, but no one came to the door. they wrote, the rv was outside, with "several security cameras and wires attached to a alarm sign on the front door." nashville's police chief saying today his officers saw no evidence of a crime. >> the officers didn't take it lightly. they didn't have anything else to go on. >> reporter: police did relay the information to the fbi, who at the time said they had no records on warner. this, as 911 calls are released from residents calling in before the explosion. >> we have a recording out there saying there's a limited time to evacuate this area. >> reporter: and after. >> there was just a massive [ bleep ] explosion downtown
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with a huge fireball. >> reporter: the detonation damaging more than 40 buildings downtown. before the bombing, anthony warner had studied multiple conspiracy theories, though investigators have still not yet determined his motive. tom? >> trevor, thank you. next tonight, the emotional toll the pandemic is taking on american children. parents noticing a significant rise in depression and anxiety. and some heartbroken families losing children to suicide. abc's erielle reshef with their stories and how parents can help make children feel less lonely. >> reporter: every day, the grief-stricken robbins family gathers at the grave site of 16-year-old christian, his loss weighing heavily during their first holidays without him. the washington sophomore died by suicide one month into the pandemic. his parents ted and sarah say he was their light. >> he was goofy. he was funny. >> he had a warrior spirit, too. >> reporter: they say christian suffered with bouts of depression and had been
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diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and when the pandemic, they say, he struggled with isolation. >> he had good doctors, he had really good treatment. he had his friends that were coming over every single weekend. and when covid hit, that took all that away from him. >> reporter: the emotional ripple effects of remote learning far reaching. maine high school sophomore spencer smith also dying by suicide in recent weeks, leaving a note saying he felt locked in his house. >> we didn't see the pain that apparently he was in. >> reporter: according to the cdc, anxiety and depression during the pandemic have skyrocketed among young adults, with 75% found to be struggling. and when asked if they had thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days, 1 in 4 young adults responded yes. how can families help kids feel a little bit less alone during this time? >> anyone who works with or cares for children are in a unique position to catch early signs that a child might be struggling. and i think the earlier that we
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can catch mental health conditions, the better the child will do overall. >> it's our goal that if we can save another child that's out there, even one, we've done our job as a family. and we've honored christian. >> reporter: and tom, doctors say providing a routine for kids can act as a swaddle for the mind. and also validating, listening to their feelings and concerns can provide critical reassurance. tom? >> our kids need us now more than ever. erielle, thank you for that report. if you or a friend need help, you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline. that number is 1-800-273-talk. free, confidential emotional support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. even if it feels like it, you are not alone. all right, when we come back, the other developing headlines tonight, including news in the breonna taylor case. what we've learned about two of the officers involved. and this. the disturbing video under investigation here in new york city. a swarm of cyclists caught on camera, surrounding a vehicle, then going on the attack. stay with us. stay with us.
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next tonight, the nypd investigating video and looking for suspects that had a violent confrontation with a driver on fifth avenue. take a look. several cyclists attacking the vehicle, punching windows and slamming the suv with a bike. the driver says the altercation may have begun after he stopped to let them pass and someone hit the vehicle. when we come back, the famous face from a tv classic lost to covid-19. stay with us. thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, are living in the moment and taking ibrance. ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor is for postmenopausal women or for men with hr+/her2- metastatic breast cancer, as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole significantly delayed disease progression versus letrozole, and shrank tumors in over half of patients.
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jaynes say both have been notified of their termination. they could appeal. no officers have been charged directly in taylor's death. she was killed march 13th as officers executed a no knock warrant at her apartment. and a passing to report tonight of a pop culture icon. dawn wells, who played mary ann in the classic 1960s sitcom "gilligan's island," died today in los angeles from causes related to covid-19, according to her publicist. dawn wells was 82. and when we come back, the drill sergeant turned principle who transformed a notorious high school. stay with us. stay with us. and my water broke. at only 23 weeks. andrew: we had to stay in the hospital for 10 weeks, 1000s of miles from family. our driver kristin came along in our most desperate hour. suzanne: bringing us home-cooked meals and gifts. andrew: day after day. we wanted to show you something. kristin: oh my god! andrew: kristin is the most uncommonly kind person that we've met. suzanne: thank you so much.
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finally tonight, remembering an educator whose tough love made all the difference. >> yes, mr. clark. >> yes, mr. clark. >> he was known for walking the halls of east side high school with a bullhorn and a bat. >> they used to call me crazy joe. now they call me batman! >> joe clark, the famed principal, credited for turning around a patterson, new jersey, high school, plagued by crime and drugs in the 1980s. >> i'm going to carry this bat and any drug pusher i see trying to enter into those 35 doors, i'm going to beat the hell out of them. >> the former army drill sergeant expelled 300 students his first week, he said for fighting, abusing teachers and drug possession. defending the process on "gma" back in 1988. >> we are sick and tired of
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leeches, parasites, hang-arounds, individuals who are just eroding the basic fabric of this nation. and the only thing i am saying, no more hand me outs. >> soon his ways caught on. >> he is a dynamic man and i am behind him 100%. >> he's one crazy fellow, but he's good at it. >> his code displayed in his office -- "to err is human. to forgive is not my policy!" and outside his door? "don't take any prisoners." tough talk, tough love, but real results. over the decade, test scores shot up. ♪ lean on >> if this story sounds familiar, you probably saw it on the big scene. "lean on me," starring morgan freeman as joe clark. >> there's only one boss in this place and that's me. >> the real joe clark spoke to ted koppel on "nightline" the year before he retired as principal.
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>> i'm simply saying to 3,000 black and hispanic students, it is about time that you become productive. i don't think that you are working nearly up to your intellectual potential. >> and tonight, one of those lives he touched remembering him, saying, "it was because of his principalship that i'm a proud graduate of east side high school. one of the best experiences of my life." joe clark was 82. thank you for watching. i'm tom llamas. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. stay safe. good night. it's a variant in california
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and the u.s. >> it's here. the new variant of coronavirus warned to be significantly more contagious is in california. that's today's bad news. the good news, there is a plan to reopen schools with $2 billi billion. >> how do you prosecute a corporation for killing people? that's the focus of tonight's episode of "fire, power, money" and the story of p grg&e culpability. >> i don't think that the californians should feel that this is something odd. this is something that's expected. >> expected, feared, whatever reimagined now it's reality. good evening and thank you for joining us. i'm ama daetz. >> i'm dan ashley. a man in his 30s is the first person in california that we
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know of to test positive for the covid-19 vvariant. the governor made that remark in a conversation with dr. ffauci. >> i'm not surprised yo u hayou have a case and likely more cases in california >> the man is not in the hospital. a san county supervisor says the man did not travel recently. >> because there is no travel history, we believe this is not an isolated case in san diego county. county. one person within the man's home has symptoms and is being tested. contract tracing is underway. what exactly does variant mean? we got a


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