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tv   America This Morning  ABC  December 11, 2020 4:30am-5:00am PST

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>> happy hanukkah. right now on "america this morning," the next step for the covid vaccine as we await final approval as early as today. we talk to fedex and u.p.s. on the challenges of delivering the shots. officials at walgreens and cvs speaking out. their plans to administer the vaccine. the time line and the risk. the questions that remain even after approval. and a stunning headline overnight. how one gathering here in the u.s. may have led to 300,000 covid cases. jobless in america. the surge of unemployment claims just before the holidays. more than half of california's workforce collecting benefits and now a new setback in efforts to pass a covid relief package in washington. breaking overnight, the man executed by the federal government despite pleas for leniency. celebrities including kim
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kardashian west calling for president trump to step in. why this execution was so rare and what his victims' family is saying. plus, canine robocop, the nypd looked to the future for backup. "time" magazine's big announcement. its person of the year revealed. >> taylor swift strikes again releasing her second album of the year. a tribute to a woman close to her heart. good friday morning, everyone. the fda's emergency, official emergency approval of a covid vaccine could come as early as today. >> and it cannot come soon enough because doctors say the worst of this pandemic is yet to come. 107,000 people across this country are currently in the hospital with covid. that's a new record and more than 3,000 people are now dying every day. >> even with a vaccine on the
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way, the cdc director warns it could be more than three months before we see that number significantly drop. this morning, the country eagerly awaiting a covid vaccine after an fda committee recommended approving emergency authorization. the vote, 17-4. >> i think the numbers were sufficient to make a decision. >> reporter: despite voting yes, many on the panel are still recommending more research be done and the fda says warnings should go out for people who might be allergic to ingredients in the vaccine. >> there are tens of millions of people in this country who carry epipens with them because they have peanut allergies and egg allergies who believe now they can't get the vaccine. that's a lot of people. >> reporter: now the next crucial step. fda authorization, which could happen at any moment. >> i think they're going to decide in the next 24 hours and i do believe that the data is now clear that the vaccine appear to be safe and effective. >> reporter: the government has nearly 3 million pfizer doses ready to ship. those first precious doses are destined for health care
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workers and nursing home residents. u.s. martials will help guard the vaccine as it's shipped from manufacturing facilities to distribution sites. >> we'll be working closely with the state as well as the cdc to understand who is eligible and when. >> reporter: meanwhile, both walgreens and cvs tell abc news they believe every nursing home on their list will get the first round of visine's two-part vaccine within a month of approval. >> ultimately what our goal is the right people do get the vaccine from the beginning so we can can prevent hospitalizations or ensure that we're keeping our patients safe. >> reporter: then as manufacturing scales up, they say they'll be ready for the rest of us. >> nationwide our systems all talk to each other. so if someone is in new york for their first shot and florida for their second shot, they would be able to get both. >> reporter: it comes as hospital as cross california face an unprecedented crush of patients, available icu beds now at a record low. this hospital turning its parking garage into a makeshift surgical hospital. >> 10, 12 days ago everything
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was under control and it just seemed like we doubled our covid census every five to seven days and went from a very manageable census to getting overwhelmed. >> reporter: in l.a. county someone is dying from covid every 20 minutes. >> these figures are astounding. >> reporter: some states like arkansas have seen deaths double since last week. in massachusetts a newly re-opened field hospital is admitting more patients than expected. virginia's governor is trying to flatten the curve by announcing a midnight curfew and pennsylvania is banning all events with more than 50 people and suspending indoor dining as of tomorrow. officials at pfizer say once they get the okay to start sending out the vaccine, u.p.s. and fedex trucks will be filled around the clock until every dose is loaded. >> those companies, fedex and u.p.s., are splitting the country in two in a divide and conquer strategy and their shipments include multilayered tracking devices so nothing gets lost and promise to deliver millions of doses safely
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in the coming weeks. >> we've been preparing for months working with all of our customers, as i said, to match network capacity with the demand we expect to see just as we do for any surge event whether it's peak season, a new iphone release or any new product introduction, we've been planning for some time. >> fedex and u.p.s. say the faa will monitor vaccine flights and give them priority at u.s. airports. as we wait for the vaccine, new unemployment claims soared to the highest level in months. 853,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits last week and in california, more than half the state's workforce has applied for jobless benefits since the pandemic began. meanwhile in washington a compromised covid relief package has all but collapsed. sources say most republicans are opposed to a $900 billion bipartisan package, and lawmakers still can't agree on aid to state and local governments or liability protections for business. >> we turn now to the long shot legal attempt by republicans to overturn the presidential election at the supreme court.
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experts say the lawsuit has zero chance of working, yet it's still picking up more support in congress. abc's alex presha has new details from washington. alex, good morning. >> reporter: kenneth, good morning to you. president trump and his allies are turning up the pressure asking the supreme court to overturn the results of the election, which trump lost by 7 million votes. this morning, president trump gaining new support in his long shot legal challenge to overturn the election. 106 republicans in the u.s. house are now backing a lawsuit filed by texas attorney general ken paxton, which aims to throw out millions of votes. more than a dozen lawmakers on that list were re-elected on the same ballot. paxton's lawsuits submitted to the supreme court is riddled with inaccuracies and conspiracy theories asking the court to invalidate the results in four states trump lost, georgia, pennsylvania, michigan and wisconsin. this morning those states are
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asking the supreme court to reject the case calling it a seditious abuse of the judicial process. courts nationwide have rejected baseless election fraud claims from president trump and his allies. but a new poll finds only 60% of voters view joe biden's victory as legitimate and only 23% of republicans. but this morning some republicans are speaking out against trump's efforts including texas senator john cornyn. >> i do not understand the legal theory. i don't want other states having a chance to change texas law based on a similar effort. >> reporter: and senator mitt romney saying this. >> madness. it's just simply madness. >> reporter: in the meantime, democrats accuse paxton of filing the suit as a way of fishing for a pardon. reports surfaced last month that paxton is under federal criminal investigation. seven of his top aides wrote this letter to human resources at the texas attorney general's office claiming he used agency resources to do favors for a political donor. paxton has denied any wrongdoing. paxton was also indicted in 2016
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for securities fraud. that case is still in the courts. what's unknown right now is if paxton had direct conversations with president trump about a potential pardon. he didn't respond to our requests for comment. kenneth and mona. >> all right, alex presha, thank you. new details about the federal investigation into hunter biden. sources tell "the wall street journal" that attorney general william barr worked to keep the case out of the public eye while biden's father was running for president, which could further raise tensions between barr and president trump. meanwhile, abc news has confirmed that the investigation goes beyond hunter biden's taxes. they're also looking into his foreign business dealings including a diamond he received as a gift from a chinese energy tycoon. "time" magazine named its person of the year and it's two people. president-elect joe biden and vice president-elect kamala harris. the editor says they were chosen over the other finalists for, quote, sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world. time now for a look at your friday weather.
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the radar shows the winter storm stretching from wyoming and colorado into the midwest. it's expected to bring heavy rain and snow through the weekend with parts of colorado and new mexico getting up to a foot of snow. looking at today's high temperatures, warmer conditions again today in the northeast. high 40s in boston. 50s in new york, and 60s in d.c. 42 in kansas where snow is expected. 60s and 70s across the south. severe storms are possible from houston to little rock and 63 in l.a. coming up, the overnight surprise from taylor swift. but first the search for clorox wipes. why it may take even longer to find them. up next, the breaking news overnight, the execution of brandon bernard is carried out despite a last-minute plea from kim kardashian west.
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we're back now with a controversial execution carried out last night. brandon bernard committed a heinous crime back when he was 18, but in recent days some high-profile figures have demanded leniency for him. here's abc's andrea fujii. >> reporter: overnight despite protests and pleas for leniency, federal inmate brandon bernard was put to death. bernard was convicted for the deadly carjacking of youth ministers todd and stacy bagley in 1999. two others involved who were under the age of 18 were tried as juveniles and have been released from prison but bernard who was 18 faced a different fate. >> it hurts, first of all, to know that they want to execute him. i don't believe that the punishment that they're giving him meets the crimes. >> reporter: bernard's defenders argue he was a low-level gang member just following orders and the case has stirred debate over
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punishing young offenders. several celebrities came to bernard's defense arguing for life in prison including kim kardashian west. but thursday the supreme court denied his last-minute appeal. kardashian responded on twitter writing, i'm so messed up right now. they killed brandon. he was such a reformed person. so hopeful and positive until the end. before his death bernard directed his final words to his victims' family telling them, i'm sorry. he made a similar apology in 2016. >> i have tried to be a better person since that day. i can't imagine how they feel about losing their family, and i wish that we could all go back and change it, and i'm sorry for all of the pain that i caused. >> reporter: in response to the execution, the bagley family said, the lives of family and friends were shattered, and we all have grieved for 21 years waiting for justice to finally be served. it's rare for federal executions to happen during a presidential
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transition period. this is the first one since the late 1800s, and four more are planned before president-elect joe biden is inaugurated. biden vows to end federal executions. kenneth, mona. >> andrea, thank you. a horrifying crash near las vegas has left five bike riders dead and four seriously injured. the group was on a 130-mile ride when a truck plowed into them. investigators say speed may have been a factor. as the pandemic rages on, it looks like you'll have to wait longer to find more clorox wipes. the company says demand is so high that chevroleshelves won'te fully stocked with the disinfectant wipes till the middle of next year. coming up we remember a hollywood actor and pro wrestler after his sudden death. why plans for a new smithsonian museum of latino history has been objected. one senator's objection next.
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dedicated to latinos and to women's history has been rejected by one u.s. senator. utah republican mike lee has blocked the plan saying, quote, the last thing we need is to further divide an already divided nation. he claimed they would be, quote, segregated museums for hyphenated identity groups. the fda's committee's approval is raising many questions. earlier i spoke with dr. imran ali about the concerns for pregnant women, people with allergies and the concerns at hospitals. we heard overnight that covid infections and deaths continue to rise at very steep levels across the country. more hospitals are on the brink. some are keeping patients in parking garages. what are you hearing? >> parking garages, cafeterias are being used as makeshift units. but the problem is staff. we need staff, and staff are exhausted and this is really concerning.
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when we see more patients come into the hospital, we might not have enough staff to take care of them, specifically icu trained staff and that's the biggest concern right now. >> as you know, the fda committee gave the green light yesterday for emergency use of the pfizer vaccine, but they voiced concern about kids and pregnant women. what do we need to know? >> this is a different type of vaccine. it's an mrna vaccine, and we don't have the data right now with pregnant women because they were not included in the study so at this point in time the recommendations are to speak to your doctor or to wait for the other types of covid vaccines which are coming on the horizon which uses the old technology that we are used to already which we know can be safer in pregnant women. and also in teenagers under age 18 we just don't have the data yet to say if it's completely safe. but in those who were studied, the safety data is there, and this vaccine is safe. >> and we know the other concern is the risk for allergies. if you have pet allergies or you're allergic to peanuts
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or eggs, should you get this vaccine? >> what we're now recommending is that people who have these kind of allergies to let your doctor know before you get the vaccine. you may need to use an epipen or have an epipen handy for a day or two after you get the vaccine. >> and what's the next step following the fda committee's approval yesterday? >> so we take this very, very carefully, so we're still not going to get the vaccine right away. we're going to have to have the fda officially sign off and then the cdc as well, and we expect that to happen by sunday. you know, once a recommendation is given, it doesn't mean that it has to be officially adopted, the fda will still take their recommendation and then officially sign off, so we make sure that everything is perfect before we get this rolled out. >> our thanks to dr. ali there. coming up, the big news about harrison ford. also ahead, one very capable k-9. ♪ breeze drifting on by you know how i feel ♪ [man: coughing]
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♪ time to check "the pulse" on this friday. we begin with a double dose of taylor swift. >> she surprised fans by dropping a new album, the second one this year. it's called "evermore." it features 15 songs including this one about her late grandmother. ♪ watched as you signed your name, marjorie ♪ ♪ all your closets backlogged dreams ♪ ♪ and how you left them all to me ♪ ♪ what died didn't stay dead what died didn't stay dead ♪ ♪ you're alive, you're alive in my head ♪ >> wow, i thought that -- >> resemblance. >> i know. swift said we just couldn't stop writing songs and describes "evermore" as a sister album to "folklore," which came out in july and became the first album in the u.s. to sell a million copies this year. >> there were some rumors about her getting married, but we cannot confirm or we can confirm she is not engaged. >> okay.
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next the streaming wars that are heating up. >> disney has unveiled a huge probe of content heading to the u.s. including more than 100 movies and films connected to the company's franchise like "star wars" and marvel. >> the announcement comes after warner brothers announced its plans to release movies in theaters and on its streaming service on the same day. >> disney, our parent company, is raising the price of disney plus of $1 in march and the company also announced harrison ford is returning for another indiana jones. filming begins this spring with a 2022 release date. next a new crime fighting tool for police in new york. >> the nypd is enlisting the help of a robotic dog. it's called digidog designed to respond to calls too dangerous for officers or real k-9s. it can run and climb stairs and covered with cameras to give police a realtime view. >> digidog has already helped with a hostage situation. officers say operating him is like playing a video game. >> hmm, what do you think the snacks are for the digidog?
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>> oil. >> good one. rogress? when you're affected by schizophrenia, you see it differently. it's in the small, everyday moments. hd 4 a little sign of hope. the feeling of freedom. and once these little moments start adding up, that's when it feels like so much more. it feels like real progress. caplyta effectively treats adults with schizophrenia. and it's just one pill, once a day, with no titration. caplyta can cause serious side effects. elderly dementia patients have increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor about fever, stiff muscles or confusion, which can mean a life-threatening reaction or uncontrollable muscle movements which may be permanent. dizziness upon standing, falls, and impaired judgment may occur. most common side effects include sleepiness and dry mouth. high cholesterol and weight gain may occur, as can high blood sugar which may be fatal. in clinical trials, weight, cholesterol and blood sugar changes were similar to placebo. so if you're affected by schizophrenia, ask your doctor about caplyta from intra-cellular therapies.
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now at 5:00, help is on the
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way. the fda say they will approve a coronavirus vaccine within days, but a new projection shows deaths are continuing to rise and should continue to rise well into the new year. who's next for the vaccine after health care workers? this morning the bay area group advocating to get in line. and this morning we are taking a live look outside as we head into the weekend and mike is tracking a chance of rain. good morning. it's friday, december 11th. >> it certainly is. we'll check on your early weekend forecast with mike nicco. hey, mike. >> hey, reggie, couple, we welcome to friday. the heaviest rain of the season will start tonight. it comes in two waves, tonight and then tomorrow night. both of those are a 1. it's going to be a healthy rain,


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