tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC September 17, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
usaa. what you're made of we're made for tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. after president trump takes aim at the head of the cdc, dr. robert redfield, and what he said about a potential vaccine and timeline, the nation's top doctors tonight come to dr. redfield's defense. and what dr. anthony fauci is saying about when millions of americans will likely get a vaccine. the president offering his own timeline, much closer to the election. and all of this as the u.s. now nears 200,000 american lives lost. tonight here, a reality check. abc news reaching out to the leaders, the scientists leading more than a half dozen vaccine trials. so, what do they say about when there could be a vaccine and when americans could get it? also, the new obstacles for schools. new york city schools and the setback.
and the pastor who told members of his own congregation they didn't have to wear masks now reportedly in the icu, battling the virus. the remnants of hurricane sally. the storm turning deadly. flash flood watches and warnings across several states tonight, all the way up to virginia. the tornado watch and the rescues still under way. rob marciano in the storm zone. the fbi director on capitol hill today grilled on the president's claims of voter fraud. the fbi director's answer far different. and the head of the fbi pressed on the controversial comments from attorney general william barr overnight, calling some in his own justice department preschoolers. also, the a.g.'s comments on the black lives matter movement and comparing lockdowns because of the pandemic to slavery. new reporting tonight. vladimir putin's foe from his hospital bed now. and new video emerging in the suspected poisoning. what it could mean in the investigation, and martha raddatz is standing by. the popular netflix star under arrest tonight after the fbi raid at his home.
and america strong tonight. the baby and the power of a mother's voice. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night. we have a lot to get to. that storm, the remnants of sally now turning deadly. the rescues tonight. and the tornado watch up right now. but we're going to begin tonight with the coronavirus here in the u.s., and the cdc's dire new forecast. that the death toll could be 218,000 american lives by october 10th. that's just three weeks from now. and tonight, the feud between president trump and the scientists. president trump telling americans that the head of the cddr redfielwa confuen s initi come in november or december, but that it will be well into next year before millions of americans get it. the president suggesting a different timeline. one that could mean a vaccine is ready before the election. and the president claiming it
would be available right away. leaders in the medical community tonight coming to the cdc chief's defense, hoping to offer the american people a more realistic timeline. but in a polarized country and with politics at play, tonight, what the american people are now saying about whether they even trust this vaccine is coming without political pressure. and so we begin with our chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: tonight, the nation's top medical experts are backing up embattled cdc director robert redfield, as president trump calls redfield confused and mistaken about when most americans will be able to get the covid vaccine. redfield told congress that even if a vaccine is approved this fall, it will take many more months before it is widely available. >> i think we're probably looking at third -- late second quarter, third quarter 2021. >> reporter: president trump says he called redfield directly to tell him he is wrong, an extraordinary rebuke to one of the top experts on his coronavirus task force.
>> i think he made a mistake when he said that. i believe he was confused. >> reporter: the president has repeatedly suggested the vaccine would be ready before the election and available to the general public right away. >> we are not looking to say, gee, in six months we are going to start giving it to the general public. no, we want to go immediately. >> reporter: but dr. anthony fauci said even if a vaccine is approved this fall, it likely won't be ready for the general population until the middle of next year. >> the idea of getting the entire population that wants to get vaccinated, vaccinated in a month or two, that's going to be very, very difficult to do. >> reporter: the head of operation warp speed, the trump administration's effort to develop a vaccine, recently said essentially the same thing. while some 20 million doses may be ready for vulnerable populations by the end of the year, for the general public, it will take considerably more time. >> we will ramp up the manufacturing of vaccine doses to be able to, based on our
plans, have enough vaccine to immunize the u.s. population by the middle of 2021. >> reporter: joe biden says he will trust the scientists, not the president. >> a president who by his own admission downplayed the threat of the virus, leaving a staggering number of americans to die. >> reporter: tonight, the cdc projects 218,000 americans will have died of covid-19 by october 10th. but the president has been trying to convince voters he has done a good job handling the pandemic, saying the death count would be much lower if you don't count states controlled by democrats. >> if you take the blue states out, we're at a level that i don't think anybody in the world would be at. >> reporter: it was a comment roundly condemned, including by new york's senior senator. >> what kind of demented person would say that those american lives don't count? >> reporter: and joe biden
tweeted, "the job is to be president of all americans. for the love of god, start acting like it." and tonight, another former member of the trump administration has turned against the president. olivia troye, who served on the coronavirus task force as vice president pence's homeland security adviser, tells "the washington post" that president trump has a "flat-out disregard for human life." >> when we were in a task force meeting, the president said, "maybe this covid thing is a good thing. i don't like shaking hands with people. i don't have to shake hands with these disgusting people." >> reporter: tonight, vice president pence said troye sounds like a, quote, disgruntled employee. >> and so let's get right to jon karl, with us live from washington tonight. and jon, we know president trump is also fighting the cdc director after what dr. redfield said about masks, that masks might be more effective even than a vaccine. but there's also news coming in on masks tonight, reports that as far back as in april, the post office was planning to mail out 650 million masks to american families nationwide, but that plan was shelved?
>> reporter: in fact, david, the plan was so far along that the post office actually drafted this press release back in april announcing it. the press release was just obtained by the oversight group american oversight. and it details 650 million masks to be sent out working with the department of health and human services. the white house did not respond to our questions about why the plan was scrapped, but "the washington post" is reporting that there were concerns at the white house that the plan, sending out all those masks, would cause americans to panic. david? >> all right, jon karl leading us off tonight. jon, thank you. of course, jon, you know, all of this comes as the u.s. now nears that new and grim milestone, the death toll nearing 200,000. now at more than 197,000 lives lost. new york city schools suffering another setback tonight, and this evening, a reality check right here. our team reaching out to the heads of all of the major vaccine trials, amid this political battle, this back and forth between the president and the scientists. so, what do they say about when
a vaccine could come? what they told us tonight. here's our chief national affairs correspondent tom llamas now. >> reporter: tonight, a major reality check in the race for a vaccine. of the eight companies in operation warp speed, just three vaccines are in the final stage of trials. and only one, pfizer, says it might know next month if its vaccine is safe and effective. >> we have quite a good sense, more than 60%, that we will know if the product works or not by the end of october. of course, that doesn't mean it works, it means that we will know if it works. >> reporter: moderna telling us they could have an answer on their vaccine by november. but astrazeneca's u.s. trial is still on hold, waiting for a green light from the fda after a british vaccine volunteer was hospitalized. the fight to get the upper hand on the virus coming as schools wrestle with reopening. and tonight, for parents in the country's largest school
district, whiplash. just days before reopening, new york city announcing yet another delay for most students. >> we need to make sure there's the appropriate number of educators in each school. >> reporter: the mayor also citing a teacher shortage after another showdown with unions representing faculty and staff. >> i feel like the parents and the students are in between the mayor and the d.o.e. and i feel like we always are losing out. i mean, i understand that they're trying to make us safe, but we have to get into a routine. we need to move forward. >> reporter: some teachers are calling for more staff and ppe. at ps-532 in brooklyn, we met teacher sheri bailey last month as her school was getting ready to reopen. >> every day we have two jobs, to keep students safe and to keep them learning. and now safety is more important than ever. >> reporter: out west, some troubling news. wynn resorts in las vegas reporting nearly 500 workers tested positive for the virus since the hotel and casino reopened in june. the company says contact tracing found nearly all the cases were contracted outside of work. and in idaho, a pastor who told congregants they could go
without masks after reopening for services has been hospitalized with the virus in the icu. >> so, let's get right to tom llamas tonight, because tom, i mentioned at the top this evening that there's some new polling, what the american people think of all this, and whether they actually trust this vaccine, will it be safe, whether political pressure is actually rushing it. >> reporter: that's right, david. and what we're learning tonight from this new survey from the pew research center is that there is real concern. they found only 51% of americans will definitely or probably take the vaccine. that's down from 72% back in may, and more than three-quarters of those polled said they have real concerns whether this vaccine is being rushed and whether it will be safe and effective. david? >> all right, tom llamas, great to have you tonight. and one more note on the virus tonight. much of europe is very concerned this evening, fearing they're seeing the beginning of a second wave possibly. the world health organization warning of a, quote, very serious situation, citing arming rates one more wn pandemic fir pked in march.
the uk imposing new restrictions just this week. germany, italy and spain are all seeing increases. back here at home tonight, and we're going to turn now to the fbi director christopher wray on capitol hill today, grilled on the president's claims of voter fraud. the director was also pressed on what attorney general william barr said overnight, calling some of his own prosecutors at the justice department preschoolers. and the a.g. also comparing lockdowns during a pandemic to slavery. here's our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas. >> reporter: tonight, despite president trump repeatedly raising concerns about the potential for mass voter fraud, the fbi director telling congress he's seeing little evidence of such. >> we have not seen to date a coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election. >> reporter: but what he is seeing is hard evidence of the kremlin meddling in the u.s. presidential elections again. targeting vice president joe biden and using social media to sow discord. he also said the fbi is investigating whether iran and
china are trying to meddle, as well. the fbi director was asked about the threat of white supremacists at home. he said lone domestic radicals are the deadliest, with white supremacists being the largest group. >> within the domestic terrorism bucket, raciived violent extremists over recent years have been responsible for the most lethal activity in the u.s. >> reporter: wray also asked about black lives matter. >> have you seen any excessive violence that can be attributable to black lives matter? >> i can't think of one sitting here right now. >> reporter: wray also responding today to combative comments made by the attorney general overnight. william barr reminding all doj employees they work for him and comparing some to preschoolers. >> and as i say to fbi agents, whose agent do you think you are? >> i will say, we, the fbi, work for the american people. >> reporter: barr also showed his utter disdain for the leaders of black lives matter. >> they're not interested in black lives. they're interested in -- they're interested in props.
a small number of blacks who are killed by police during conflict with police, usually less than a dozen a year, who they can use as props to achieve a much broader political agenda. >> reporter: and when talking about lockdowns in the pandemic, barr invoked slavery. >> you know, other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the biggest intrusion of civil liberties in american history. >> reporter: david, some current and former prosecutors were offended by barr's comments, especially those comparing them to preschoolers. david? >> all right, pierre thomas, thank you. the remnants of hurricane sally turning deadly now. flash flood watches and a tornado threat at this hour and rob marciano from the storm zone tonight. >> reporter: tonight, more than 24 hours after sally made landfall on the gulf coast, rescuers still bringing trapped families to safety. this after hundreds had to be saved from high water wednesday, many by the national guard. hurricane sally was a beast, 105-mile-per-hour winds and feet
of rain. tonight, the true scope of the damage is coming into view. families now salvaging what they can from damaged homes and businesses. this marina is just a mess. you've got docks eating into the sides of boats, sterns and bows of boats crunched up against each other. millions of dollars in damages in this area alone. sally knocking multiple barges loose in the pensacola area. brian goduto's family was riding out the storm in their brand new home when the water started rushing towards them. >> she looked back and it was just coming down like a waterfall from the backyard, and she grabbed the kids. >> reporter: brian cutting down this fence to divert the water away from the house. >>t just came out of nowhere. >> reporter: in hard hit orange beach, alabama, at least one person killed, another still missing. >> it's been mighty bad and our state is reeling, just as our people are hurting. >> reporter: now what's left of sally is spreading through the carolinas, with up to a foot ofa d wn treesllver the atlanta area.
>> i was awakened by -- it felt like a dumpster being dropped in my yard. >> reporter: this huge oak crashing into two cars. thankfully no one was hurt. tragically, as sally approached, one person was killed by another falling tree. >> rob with us live tonight from atlanta. and rob, this isn't over yet? >> reporter: it's not. you see what it did here in east atlanta. now it's heading through the carolinas. and we still have a tornado watch that's posted. check it out on the radar scope. not only that, but heavy rain that's moving up through virginia, d.c., even new jersey. flood watches are posted for those areas until sally moves offshore. at which time, it may meet up with our next storm, which is teddy, now a category 4 storm. going to make a run at bermuda sunday night and then maybe canada. and look at the gulf of mexico. a good chance of seeing this next one to develop and that one would be close to home. we'll be watching that one over the weekend. david? >> all right, rob marciano, thank you. multiple nights of great reporting. thanks, rob. tonight in the west, firefighters are racing to shore up containment lines before dangerous weather returns.
crews in the angeles national forest are putting out isolated hot spots near the observatory on mt. wilson. in oregon tonight, heat and storms are in the forecast along with the threat of lightning. they are on alert for more troubling weather there. overseas tonight, we have new reporting on vladimir putin's foe, alexei navalny, recovering in a german hospital. there's new video tonight emerging in the suspected poisoning. and here's martha raddatz. >> reporter: tonight, while alexei navalny remains hospitalized in germany, new and alarming details in this deepening mystery. video just release showing the hotel room where navalny, putin's biggest critic, had stayed in siberia. his colleagues seen gathering the evidence, including a water bottle they say a german military lab had found traces on of the same deadly nerve agent used to poison him. >> he's absolutely lucky to be alive. this is one of the most potent chemical weapons ever created. >> reporter: the hotel room search by his supporters was launched immediately after navalny fell violently ill on
his flight to moscow. passengers recording the sound of his moaning before navalny was rushed to the hospital after an emergency landing and moved to germany a few days later. germany confirmed that he had been poisoned by the military grade nerve agent novichok. the traces of the toxic agent were not found in the water itself, suggesting rather that navalny had been poisoned before he touched the bottle and before he got to the airport. the russians deny they had anything to do with navalny's poisoning, but the same type of nerve agent has been used in a nerve agent as has been used in a prior assassination attempt of a former russian spy who dared defy putin. david? >> all right, martha raddatz. martha, thank you. and when we come back tonight, more on that new study about the virus and people who wear glasses. who have turned into their parents. i'm having a big lunch and then just a snack for dinner.
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fi finally tonight here, america strong. the baby and his mother's voice. maison mcmillan, born in richmond, virginia, 4 months premature, weighing just one pound. >> hey, bud. >> he would spend 158 days in the nicu. gaining strength. his family and doctors, though, began to realize that maison could not hear them. but this week at vcu children's hospital, maison was getting fitted for his hearing aids. sitting on his mother's lap, watch as maison is about to hear his mother lauren's voice for the first time. >> maison. hi! can you hear me? hi, baby. hi! you can hear me? yeah.
good job! yeah, you can hear me. yeah. hi. can you say hi? no. >> do you like that? >> do you like how everything sounds? yeah! >> maison and his mother and father right here tonight. >> hi, david. >> all home together and all still smiling. >> maison is so thrilled to be able to hear everything now. he just can't take his eyes off of whoever is speaking. thank you so much for sharing maison's video and telling his story. say thank you. >> thank you, guys. >> thank you. yeah, good job. yeah! >> we thank you and we love maison's smile. hard to beat that. i'm david muir. i hope
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it's been half a year -- march, april, may, june, july, august, september. six months since 7 million people in six bay area counties started to shelter in place. >> it feels like forever. alameda, contra costa, sclaerl, san mateo. >> six months ago today, we had no way of knowing what our community and our country was facing and still is. >> this is not the time to panic. >> people are just panic buying. that's what it amounts to. >> no chicken at all. they don't have eggs. >> only a few rolls of paper towels left. as far as toilet paper, you can see it is completely gone. >> we're going to take you to a live look showing you the bay bridge toll plaza where