tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC October 21, 2020 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT
very soon. world news tonight is coming up next. i'll see tonight, the race to the finish. election day 13 days away. president trump and joe biden on the eve of their final presidential debate. the president complaining about the new rule, muting the mics. and with joe biden prepping for the debate, it's former president obama on the trail tonight for his former vp in the key battleground of pennsylvania. less than 24 hours after president trump was in the state. and what he said about being in erie. before the president faces off with biden on that stage tomorrow night, tonight, the president and the white house appearing to take on veteran journalist leslie staal. what's this about? the troubling numbers mounting across this country, the coronavirus surging. hospitalizations on the rise now in 41 states. and tonight, important news now coming in from the cdc. new guidelines redefining close
contact and what you need to know. the crisis in this country, and the blockbuster settlement, makers of the powerful opioid okay si cown tin. the major news from the vatican tonight. pope francis voicing support for same. sex civil unions. saying homosexual people have the right to be in a family. disturbing news tonight involving the trump administration's zero tolerance policy. parents separated from their children. tonight, the new report indicating the parents of 545 children cannot be found. the horrifying school bus accident outside new york city, colliding with a truck. several injuries, some in critical condition tonight. and the first images just in tonight after that landing on an asteroid. you've got to see it.
good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. 13 days until election day. one day until the final presidential debate, set for tomorrow night. we'll have coverage right here. joe biden prepping. tonight, former president obama in pennsylvania, campaigning for his former vp and he did not take long to go after president trump. what he said in a moment here. president trump, meanwhile, leaving the white house today. he's been on a nonstop flurry of rallies in the key battleground states himself. tonight, the president headed to north carolina. joe biden getting ready for the debate, doing an interview with our abc station in milwaukee. and what he's expecting from the president tomorrow night. and as i mentioned, former president prk bbarack obama new we're coming on the air tonight in philadelphia. so, we will carefully get to it all for you, including where this race stands in the key state of pennsylvania. a couple of new polls out tonight. and abc's mary bruce leading us
off. >> reporter: with joe biden off the trail preparing for the debate, tonight, his team sent in its heaviest hitter to the state that's become an absolute must-win. >> if you just work as hard as you can over these next 12 days, i'm confident we're going to have a good outcome. we're going to have joe biden as the next president of the united states. >> reporter: former president barack obama in pennsylvania, holding his first in-person campaign event, a drive-in rally in philadelphia. >> this is reality. and the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously. at least 220,000 americans have died. >> reporter: biden's team is banking on a huge turnout in philadelphia and its suburbs and hoping obama will help energy african-american voters. >> the truth is, is that i'm very proud of my presidency, but i didn't immediately solve
systemic racism by virtue of me being president. >> reporter: trump has been campaigning hard in pennsylvania. overnight, rallying his supporters in erie -- begrudgingly. >> you know what? four or five months ago, when we started this whole thing, because, you know, before the plague came in, i had it made. i wasn't coming to erie. i mean, i have to be honest, there's no way i was coming. i didn't have to. >> reporter: down in the polls, tomorrow night's debate could be trump's last best chance to change the direction of this race. in an effort to limit the relentless interruptions that dominated the first showdown, this time, the microphones will be muted, some of the time, when it's not the canidates' turn to answer questions. >> i think the muting is very unfair. >> reporter: biden telling our abc news affiliate, wisn, he knows the debate is going to get ugly. >> he's kind of signaling that it's all going to be about personal attacks. but i'm going to try very hard to focus on the issues that affect the american people and talk to them. >> reporter: on "the view" today, jill biden says she's
prepared for the president to attack her husband and son, hunter, but she calls it a distraction. >> you know, as a mother, i mean, i don't -- it really -- i don't like to see my son attacked and certainly i don't like to see my husband attacked. the american people don't want to hear these smears against my family. the american people are struggling right now. >> reporter: biden has been laser-focused on the pandemic, casting it as the president's biggest failure. >> with covid, is there anything that you think you could have done differently, if you had a mulligan or a do-over on one aspect of how you handled it, what would it be? >> not much. look it's all over the world, you have a lot of great leaders, a lot of smart people, it's all over the world, it came out of china, china should have stopped it. >> reporter: as he prepares to take on biden at the debate, the president is lashing out at "60 minutes," after he cut short their interview. >> you have to watch what we do to "60 minutes," you'll get such a kick out of it. you're going to get a kick out of it.
lessley staal is not going to be hap happy. >> reporter: tonight, the white house chief of staff as criticizing stahl as an opinion journalist. >> let's get to mary bruce live in philadelphia. and mary, pennsylvania so key, explains why president trump was there tonight, why former president obama is there tonight. two new polls out of pennsylvania, one with joe biden leading, one eight points, the other a little more. of course, it's always a good bet to look at the average of polls over the last several days. so, where do things stand in pennsylvania? >> reporter: well, david, the polling average has joe biden up here by six points. this is the state that is most likely to determine the outcome of this election. but despite joe biden's lead, everyone is treating this state like it is neck and neck. former president obama unloading here tonight on president trump, ripping into him on everything from the pandemic to trump's taxes and is treatment of the military. david? >> of course, president trump in north carolina tonight. mary, thank you. and tomorrow night, abc news will have coverage of that crucial final debate. our coverage begins at 8:00 p.m.
eastern, right here. of course, one of the key issues tomorrow night is expected to be the coronavirus here in this country, with numbers worsening across much of the nation. and tonight, the cdc is out with new guidance on close contact with an infected person. what you need to know. and it comes as these new cases rapidly reach an average of about 60,000 new cases a day. and remember, dr. fauci has repeatedly said that we needed to be at about 10,000 cases a day as we head into fall to avoid a devastating second wave. and so abc's whit johnson tonight on these new guidelines, on how little time, how little exposure you can have, and still get this. >> reporter: tonight, a new cdc study finding that even multiple brief exposures within six feet in a 24-hour period may increase the risk of covid-19 transmission. until now, health officials had said you can contract the virus if you spend at least 15 minutes within close proximity of an infected person. today, in a rare briefing in
atlanta, cdc doctors urging americans not to let their guard down. >> i recognize that we are all getting tired of the impact that covid-19 has had on our lives. we get tired of wearing masks. but it continues to be as important as it's ever been. >> reporter: researchers at children's hospital of philadelphia out with a new dire warning, forecasting a "continued deteriorating situation" throughout the mountain states and midwest if distancing and mask wearing doesn't improve. >> i want to remind everyone, mask up, illinois. >> reporter: the governor of illinois shutting down indoor dining at restaurants and bars in some chicago suburbs. in wisconsin today, a new record -- 48 deaths. and in ohio, another record -- more than 2,300 cases in a single day. >> we have tamped down this curve in the past. we just need to do it again. >> reporter: hospitalizations climbing in 41 states. in boston, following a surge in the positivity rate, the school district again putting plans on hold to ramp up in-person
learning. and tonight, an june date on the timetable for a vaccine. the chief adviser of operation warp speed telling our bob woodruff he hopes one or more vaccines will be widely available in the spring, meaning everyone could be immunized by the summer. >> it's a plan. it's not a certainty. but the plan should make it such that by june, everybody could have been immunized in the usa. >> really, this coming june? >> yeah. >> everybody? we could all get it? >> we would have enough vaccine doses. i hope most people will take the vaccines. >> we'll see in the months ahead. whit johnson with us live tonight from boston. and whit, i wanted to get back to that new guidance from the cdc when it comes to close contact with someone who is infected. for some time, they had said it was 15 minutes of exposure. now it appears they're saying it can be multiple shorter exposures adding up to 15 minutes over 24 hours. >> reporter: and david, for example, it doesn't need to be someone who sits right next to you at work or at school.
it can simply be someone you pass in the hallways, multiple times per day. as long as it adds up to 15 minutes in 24 hours, you could be at a higher risk. david? >> really important to keep this in mind as americans come back indoors. whit johnson, thank you. we're going to turn next here tonight to that blockbuster settlement from purdue pharma, the marmer of okay si cown toin. the ownersh tonight, purdue agreeing to pay more than $8 billion in penalties. so, will any american families battling addiction see any help from this? here's abc's adrienne bankert. >> reporter: it's being hailed by the federal government as a major victory against a company, whose drug, oxycontin, is part of the public health crisis of opioid addiction that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of americans. purdue pharma pleading guilty to felony charges of defrauding federal health agencies and violating federal kickback laws for inducing doctors to prescribe those powerful opioids. >> the kickback effectively put
purdue's marketing department in the exam room with a thumb on the scale. >> reporter: the company agrees to pay $8.3 billion in penalties. purdue pharma is owned by members of the wealthy sackler family, who will personally pay $225 million in civil penalties and agree to turn over control of their privately held company to a public trust. they say, "in order to facilitate a global resolution that directs substantial funding to communities in need, rather than to years of legal proceedings." but not everyone is cheering today's news. multiple states are still suing the sacklers. >> no one's going to jail, no one's going to prison and worse yet, they've set up a situation where purdue's going to be able to continue on. >> and adrienne is live with us tonight. those penalties that purdue and the sacklers are now paying, many will want to know tonight, will any of that $8 billion actually go to help families in this country fighting addiction, because this struggle obviously
conditions. >> reporter: yes, david, in fact, the deal still has to be approved by a judge, but the department of justice says that money will go to redressing past wrongs as well as new programs for treatment and care for those struggling through opioid addiction. now, we also know this, that because purdue is in bankruptcy, it is believed that a lot of that money, that $8 billion, there's a long line of creditors hoping to get that cash, so, they may receive far less. david? >> all right, you'll keep us honest on this. thank you. we're following the major news from the vatican tonight. pope francis voicing support for same sex civil unions. the first pope in history to do so. the pope saying homosexual people have the right to be in a family, that they are children of god. here's our foreign correspondent james longman tonight. >> reporter: tonight, an historic shift from the leader of an ancient institution. pope francis becoming the first
pope in the catholic church's 2,000 year history, to endorse civil unions for gay couples. in the new documentary "francesco," the pope says, "homosexual people have a right to be in a family. they are children of god and have a right to a family." it's a major departure from the position of the vatican's own doctrinal office. the pope adding, "what we have to create is a civil union law. that way they are legally covered. i stood up for that." the pontiff has called for civil unions in the past, but before he became pope. the emphasis on the legitimacy of the lgbt family also notable. experts calling it a mon yumenu moment. >> it's a real way of not only speaking pastorally to this group of people but also speaking lovingly and making them feel more welcome in the church. >> reporter: conservative catholics tonight calling for clarity. thomas tobin, bishop of providence, rhode island, saying, "the church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships." but francis' words have struck a chord with a younger generation. >> i never thought that i would see something like that in my lifetime.
>> reporter: 29-year-old nicholas traxler from minnesota says the pope's comments speak to his heart. >> it's a difficult road for most lgbtq catholics. i value my faith and my sexuality as equal parts of my identity. it hasn't always been that way. >> reporter: pope francis has cast himself as the modernizing pope, but he's faced huge opposition from within his on clergy. this latest move could mean the biggest backlash yet, but he may feel he has no choice if he's to survive in a modern age. david? >> james, thank you. there is a disturbing new report tonight involving the parents and children separated by the trump administration's zero tolerance policy. tonight, that new report indicating the parents of 545 children cannot be found. tonight, how the white house is now responding. and here's our chief national affairs correspondent tom llamas. >> reporter: tonight, the trump administration again under fire over its controversial child
separation policy. the aclu making a stunning accusation, saying they've been unable to reach the parents of 545 migrant children taken from their families at the border before june of 2018. >> we are still looking for hundreds and hundreds of families where the parent was deported without the child. >> reporter: tonight, the department of homeland security refuting the accusations. in a statement, saying they tried to reunify many families, but quote, "the simple fact is this -- after contact has been made with the parents to reunite their children, many parents have refused." >> it's very sad, the administration wants the families to be reunited, but for various reasons, the families just have not accepted the children back in many of these cases. >> reporter: the trump administration said it enacted the policy as a deterrent to illegal border crossings, but after fierce backlash, ultimately rescinded it. the aclu trying to track down the families after filing a lawsuit on behalf of parents separated from their children.
and tonight, challenging dhs's explanation, quote, "we have not even found these 545 parents, so neither we nor certainly the administration, can know whether they want to be reunited." and the pandemic complicating their efforts. >> and now, because of covid, that that tracking has had to largely stop. and so, there are hundreds and hundreds of families we haven't reached yet. >> reporter: and david, as you heard in our report, one of the most complicated aspects of all of this, many of the parents have been deported, and before covid, the aclu tells us they were working with ngo partners in mexico and central america, going door-to-door in some cases to try to find these parents. david? >> all right, tom llamas, thank you. and from washington tonight, as millions of american families wait for word on help during this pandemic, house speaker nancy pelosi and treasury secretary steve mnuchin speaking at length today about any kind of deal. there are reports they are close, but that it's not finalized and may not be done
before the election. they will speak again tomorrow and we'll continue reporting on it. and to what may be an historic discovery today in tulsa, oklahoma. authorities say at least ten coffins with skeletal remains were found today in an unmarked mass grave at a cemetery where investigators have been searching for victims of the 1921 tulsa race massacre. the massacre left an estimated 300 tulsa residents dead, mostly black. the forensic work to confirm the connection and to individually identify the victims is just beginning. when we come back here tonight, the horrifying school bus accident outside new york city, colliding with a truck. some victims in critical condition. and later, the attorney
tonight, the frightening school bus accident in orange county, new york. at least a dozen people injured when the bus collided with a truck. both drivers in kris call condition. a 6-year-old girl binned behind the bus driver had to be pulled out. her family says she will recover. and an attorney in miami is
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finally tonight, somehow landing on a hurtling asteroid. that's america strong. tonight here, the first images after that history made in space. nasa pulling off an astonishing feat. for the first time ever, landing a spacecraft on a hurtling asteroid. 200 million miles away. that asteroid going 60,000 miles an hour. but they stuck the landing, all to retrieve a sample. >> we're going in. >> we're going in. >> the nasa team in denver celebrating.
i was so excited because i know the team has been really looking forward to welcoming everyone inside. >> napa county moves to the orange tier meaning wineries can open tasting rooms, bowling alleys and movie theaters can expand. san francisco yellow expanding capacity and will people really flood in? thank you for joining us. i'm dan ashley. >> i'm kristen sze. let's begin with distance learning drama. an east bay parent said a letter he received threatening the boy's arrest for missing zoom class is over kill. the school administration said they have no choice given state guidelines around attendance. here is laura anthony. >> i mean, this is our fourth child in this school and out of the blue we get a letter. >> reporter: lafayette parent mark says he was stunned when the family received a letter threatening his